With warmer weather around the corner Michiganders are getting excited for the summer season. While summer usually means biking through or boating on Lake Michigan, it also gives us an opportunity to support community businesses. Many small businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, so while you’re gearing up for a safe and fun summer, consider supporting one of these local retailers:

  • Switchback Gear Exchange – On Michigan’s west side Switchback Gear Exchange specializes in high quality, affordable biking equipment for both newcomers and seasoned experts. The store is currently openfor tune-ups, repairs and buying and selling new or used equipment by appointment. We recommend asking Michigan Outdoorsabout their kids bike rental program! Switchback Gear Exchange, 2166 Plainfield Ave., Grand Rapids; (616) 259-9609
  • Downtown Home & Garden – This local home and garden store is a staple in downtown Ann Arbor, if your green thumb is itching to start a new project, this is the place to start. From bird houses to tulip bulbs, Downtown Home & Garden has everything you need to start – or freshen up – your garden. Their Facebook page is updated regularly with new arrivals and orders can be placed over the phone or email for pick up at their curbside drive-thru. Downtown Home & Garden; 210 S Ashley St., Ann Arbor; (734) 662-8122
  • Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop – Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop caters to urban bike riders, offering high quality bikes for sale or rental, repairs and accessories for all your biking needs. The team can also provide great recommendations about the best bike routes in the city. Wheelhouse will be opening May 15th with limited hours and increased safety precautions. Curbside pickup and delivery will also be available. Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop; 1340 E. Atwater St., Detroit; (313) 656-2453
  • The Kayak Store – If you’re more interested in paddles than pedals, check out The Kayak Store. Whether you’re just looking to enjoy time on the water or hopping to scout out a new fishing spot, this local retailer can recommend the right kayak for you. Their store also offers a convenient launch spot available for customers. The Kayak Store is open with limited hours by appointment only. The Kayak Store; 7427 Dyke Rd., Algonac; (586) 725-0009
  • Backcountry North – For those looking to pick up a new outdoor hobby, but aren’t sure where to start, Backcountry North is the place to be. From kayaking to camping, this northern Michigan store has all the equipment you need for your next outdoor adventure. Visit their website or call to discuss products and get tips. Backcountry North is offering drive-thru order pick up and contactless delivery. Backcountry North; 2820 N US-31 South, Traverse City; 231-941-1100

Spending time outdoors is one of the best ways to stay mentally and physically healthy. With warmer days ahead, it’s easy to forget the additional precautions that need to be taken during these challenging times.  Even outside it’s important to wear masks, social distance and sanitize your hands frequently. Visit the CDC’s website for additional guidelines for  

What local businesses do you visit to gear up for a fun-filled summer? Let us know, we’d be happy to add to the list!