Buy Michigan Now. And Ask Questions.

Last week I attended a seminar on innovation sponsored by WWJ-AM radio and the Great Lakes Innovation and Technology Report, authored by Matt Roush, technology editor at the  station.  The seminar was held at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield. Michigan.

One of the speakers was Lisa Diggs founder of the Buy Michigan Now website and publicity campaign dedicated to getting businesses and consumers to “Think Michigan First” when it comes to purchasing decisions.  Diggs said she started both the website and the campaign because she was buying products and services from companies outside of her home state mainly because she had no way or knowing if there were Michigan-based companies offering what she needed.

So, “out of frustration”  she created Buy Michigan Now with space for companies to list who they are, where they are located and what they offer. Its website tells organizations,

an enormous amount of products are grown, manufactured, or distributed by Michigan-based businesses. Thus, when making any purchasing decision, we encourage you to Think Michigan First! If the quality, availability, and price meet with your needs, spend your money within our state. Here are 5 great reasons why:

1. Maintains jobs so our talented citizens can stay in the land that they love.
2. Diversifies Michigan’s economic portfolio so we still thrive when one of our industries comes on hard times.
3. Attracts new employers thereby creating new jobs.
4. Increases the tax base.
5. Reduces our carbon footprint because less fuel is used to move the merchandise, when bought locally.

On a personal note, I remember going to Kroger this winter and noticing the retailer was selling packs of firewood brought in from Kentucky and wondered why, with all the forests and dead trees Michigan has, are we bringing in wood from another state.  I never acted on my questions with Kroger management.   Lisa Diggs would have.

But I am moving in that direction.  Last Friday, I opened a renewal statement from the Michigan Historical Society.  I glanced through it and was going to mail in my check but felt the way the renewal form and letter were laid out, MHS was missing an opportunity to get members like me to upgrade our membership levels.  So, that evening, I emailed the organization and shared my thoughts.

MHS must have a small staff  because the group’s president responded to my email later that evening.  Larry Wagenaar told me he appreciated my suggestions and that he and the staff would discuss them.  Whether or not he will, I will never know (well, maybe when I receive my next renewal letter and form), but I would like to believe my comments were useful and might increase the organization’s revenue if implemented.  The fact is, I did something to help a Michigan organization.  No, it has nothing to do with Buy Michigan Now, not directly anyway, but it came about as a result of the seminar and Diggs.  It’s a start.

And no, I have not contact Krogers about the wood.  Yet.

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One thought on “Buy Michigan Now. And Ask Questions.

  1. We really did appreciate the comment about our renewal letter. At the Historical Society of Michigan we’ve been discussing how to better inform existing members about the various membership levels. As a result of this input we are moving toward including an additional item in our renewal letter which lists the levels, benefits for each and cost – to make the opportunities clear.

    Another thing we do is use Google Alerts – which is how I ran across this posting. It’s part of knowing how we are doing also.

    Thanks for this valued input – it does make a difference!

    Larry J. Wagenaar, Executive Director
    The Historical Society of Michigan

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