With retailers and restaurants struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic, state leaders are launching a $2 million ad campaign aimed at boosting foot and web traffic at local businesses.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said the administration plans to use $500,000 from the budget of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and $1.5 million from the federal coronavirus relief fund to run print, television, radio and online ads through the end of the year. The campaign begins Friday.

The state will also utilize billboards and social media to spread the message, and plans to consult with regional tourism councils on marketing strategies.

The “My Local MA” campaign can also be accessed online at findmylocalma.com, with links to local resources and chambers of commerce to find out where to shop and stay locally.

“The goal of this campaign is to continually remind people that where you shop, dine and travel matters,” Polito said.

Massachusetts Retailers Association President Jon Hurst said that while 100 percent of RAM’s members are now open, 50 percent are operating at reduced capacity. He said that could mean businesses doing only curbside or delivery business, or limiting the number of people in their stores at any given time.

“We need to remind people that they need to shop like jobs depend on it, because, frankly, they do,” Hurst said.

The announcement coincides with the state’s annual sales tax holiday. For the 14th time since 2004, the state will give shoppers buying from Massachusetts retailers this weekend a break from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax on all purchases under $2,500.

Polito Announces $2M ‘Buy Local’ Campaign to Boost Retailers

by State House News Service time to read: 1 min