Michigan Retailers Gear Up for Saturday’s Second Annual Get Caught Blue-Handed Day

Governor and Legislature Declare Oct. 4 as Get Caught Blue-Handed Day

Lansing, Mich. (Oct. 3, 2014) – The Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) announced that its second annual Get Caught Blue-Handed Day on Saturday, Oct. 4, will include the chance to win a $500 shopping spree. The event celebrates and promotes MRA’s year-round Buy Nearby campaign and was recognized this week in a proclamation by Gov. Rick Snyder and in resolutions passed by the Michigan House and Senate.

“Everyone in Michigan wins when we shop in Michigan, and one shopper also will win $500 simply for ‘getting caught’ doing it,” said MRA President and CEO James P. Hallan. “Get Caught Blue-Handed Day is a great opportunity for Michigan residents and retailers alike to promote and enjoy our vibrant retail community. Buying from Michigan retailers means more jobs and a stronger economy for all of us.”

Get Caught Blue-Handed Day gives shoppers a way to help their local communities and the state economy by putting their dollars to work “nearby.” More than 850,000 Michigan jobs are directly dependent on retail sales, and roughly half of every dollar spent in a Michigan store goes back into the local and Michigan economies.

Saturday’s celebration will take place in stores and communities all across the state. Michiganders are encouraged to go shopping nearby with friends and family and have fun “getting caught” supporting retailers in their communities (or wherever they happen to be working or visiting in Michigan that day).

Many shoppers are expected to take photographs or videos “getting caught” and then post them on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites using the hashtag #BuyNearbyMI. Shoppers who use social media to post photos of themselves “getting caught” shopping in Michigan and who use that hashtag get the chance to win a $500 Buy Nearby shopping spree from MRA. A random drawing that takes place after Get Caught Blue-Handed Day will select the photo-posting winner.

A July study by East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group found that if Michigan consumers made all their purchases in 2015 from retailers in Michigan rather than from out-of-state merchants, Michigan would gain an estimated 74,639 additional direct and indirect jobs and $9 billion in additional economic activity, including $2.5 billion in additional wages the new workers would earn.

If Michigan consumers switched only one in 10 of their purchases from out-of-state merchants to Michigan businesses, Michigan still would gain more than $900 million in increased economic activity and 7,463 new jobs. Switching one in five purchases would mean more than $1.8 billion in increased economic activity and nearly 15,000 new jobs.

The Buy Nearby campaign “is intended to serve as a personal call to action, a symbol of pride and celebration, a rallying cry across Michigan and an economic driver for our state and local communities,” the governor’s proclamation said.

The State House resolution can be found here and the Senate resolution can be found here.

A Buy Nearby infographic highlighting the benefits that buying nearby brings to the Michigan economy is attached. Additional information is available at BuyNearbyMI.com and Facebook.com/BuyNearbyMI.

The Buy Nearby campaign is sponsored by DTE Energy. Supporting sponsors include AT&T, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Retailers Mutual Insurance Co.

The Michigan Retailers Association is the unified voice of Michigan’s retail industry, representing nearly 5,000 member businesses and their more than 15,000 stores and websites.