Grand Rapids kicks off social media challenge to support local businesses


The city of Grand Rapids and a host of community partners have started what they hope will become a viral campaign to support local businesses during this holiday shopping season.

The campaign announced by the city of Grand Rapids and Local First on Tuesday involves self-recording videos that showcase local businesses, posting them on social media and challenging friends to do the same, using the hashtags #SupportOurGRBiz and #IAmIn in English and #ApoyaNuestrosNegociosGR and #cuentaconmigo in Spanish.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss kicked off the challenge in a video she posted on Facebook this past weekend highlighting a recent purchase from Mosby’s Popcorn and challenging three friends to support local during the holidays.

“This has been a difficult year for all of us, including our local businesses,” Bliss said. “As we enter the holiday season and start buying gifts for those we care about, I invite you to join me in supporting our Grand Rapids businesses. They have always been here for us, and now we can step up to be there for them.”

The campaign is part of a coordinated effort with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan Business Connect Program (PMBC). PMBC will pilot the use of its business-to-business matchmaking platform to help large corporate buyers connect with small local businesses. The goal of this program is to encourage large buyers to consider local business support as an alternative to traditional holiday celebrations that are less likely to occur as a result of the pandemic.

To participate in the campaign, consumers can record themselves safely shopping at local-owned businesses and call out three or more friends to do the same. They also can share one or more of the campaign’s graphics, which are available in English and Spanish here.

Those who would like to participate in the challenge can find local businesses in the following directories:

Experience Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses

Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce

Local First of West Michigan

Pure Michigan Business Connect

West Coast Chamber of Commerce

West Michigan Hispanic Chamber

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