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  • Michigan residents are encouraged to support local small businesses

Michiganders throughout the state are encouraged to visit local small businesses and support the backbone of the state’s economy on May 8, Marian Ilitch Day, as designated by Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer in June 2023. The date also coincides with the 65th anniversary of Little Caesars. 

Last June, during an event celebrating the lifetime achievements of Marian Ilitch, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared May 8 as “Marian Ilitch Day,” in recognition of having “dedicated her life to entrepreneurship, community development, and fostering economic growth within our state.” The proclamation encourages Michigan residents “to join in this observance and promote economic growth by shopping at small businesses, thereby strengthening our local economies and fostering a sense of unity within our state.” 

Marian Ilitch and her husband Mike Ilitch opened the first Little Caesars restaurant on May 8, 1959 in Garden City, Michigan. Little Caesars has grown into the third-largest pizza chain the world, expanding from that single store to restaurants in each of the 50 U.S. states and 28 countries and territories. 

“My mother’s dedication to nurturing entrepreneurial spirit, fostering innovation and championing small businesses has been such an inspiration to me and the thousands of Little Caesars’ franchisees and colleagues across our organization,” said Ilitch Companies CEO, Chris Ilitch. “We have the power across all our businesses to improve lives and contribute to thriving communities, and the core values of hard work, integrity and humility passed down from my mother remain the foundation of our companies.”

Ilitch Companies is a global leader in the food, sports, entertainment, gaming and other industries. The organization provides a wide range of opportunities to entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the state of Michigan and franchise owners in 28 countries around the world, including contractor fairs, pop-up restaurants, co-developer programs, and more. The District Detroit is also home to a variety of locally-owned businesses in Michigan, such as Good Cakes and BakesBasanDetroit Vs EverybodySahara Restaurant and Grill, and Union Assembly.