By Sara Powers

(CBS DETROIT) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared May 1 to 7 as small business week to celebrate small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Small businesses make up more than 98% of Michigan businesses and employ half of Michigan workers, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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“Happy Small Business Week! Small businesses are anchors of our communities—they create jobs, build more vibrant cities and towns, and generate prosperity for Michiganders in every region of our great state,” said Governor Whitmer. ”Michigan’s small businesses are tough. They have been resilient and strong over the last couple of years and we should come together to celebrate them and their invaluable contributions to our state by shopping local not only this week, but every week. I will work with anyone to ensure that small businesses have the resources they need to succeed. Right now, our unemployment rate is 4.4% and we’ve added 174,000 year over year. Let’s keep working together to grow Michigan’s economy, create more good-paying jobs, and invest in small businesses in every county.”

Residents sent $23.7 billion to retailers outside of Michigan in 2020, and if one in 10 of those purchases outside of Michigan were switched to local businesses, Michigan would gain $1.9 billion in economic activity, which would create 14,000 new jobs.

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Whitmer recently released MI Economy, a $2.1 billion proposal to grow Michigan’s middle class, support small businesses, and invest in communities.

The plan includes:

  • $500 million to build on the Michigan Mainstreet Initiative, which offers grants to restaurants, place-based businesses, and microenterprises with further dollars to attract more start-ups.
  • $200 million to create a more conducive business environment for high-tech, high-growth start-ups and create jobs of the future in Michigan.
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