Massachusetts wants its residents to shop locally when the 6.25 percent sales tax is suspended for this weekend.
Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday the state is spending $2 million to advertise the sales-tax-free weekend and encourage shoppers and travelers to patronize local shops and destinations for the rest of the year to boost retailers and restaurants hurt by the pandemic, as well as to cut down on travel.
"It's an effort to encourage people to shop locally and to make travel plans within Massachusetts. It's also an effort to remind people that their behavior matters," Baker said.
The "My Local MA campaign" is funded by the Mott Fund, federal coronavirus relief funds and state tax dollars from the Office of Travel and Tourism.
On Saturday and Sunday, the usual 6.25 percent sales tax won't apply to most purchases under $2,500. Baker estimated the tax relief amounts to $20 million to $25 million saved by consumers and kept from cash-strapped state coffers.
Baker appeared at Wheelworks in Belmont, a cycling retailer and service provider with an additional location in Belmont and one in Somerville. The governor said he and his wife are considering purchasing bikes.