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From Martha Potere

Detroit is rich with place-based organizations serving neighborhoods and commercial corridors. To best equip those organizations and promote local economic development, the DEGC recently hosted its second Detroit Business Association Consortium (BAC), held at the The Lighthouse on the Avenue of Fashion. The goal is to position the city’s commercial corridors for growth by better aligning services and resources. With a vested interest in neighborhood economic development and a 40-year history in Detroit, DEGC was the natural convener of this group.

To join the consortium, an organization should provide services and/or other support to a defined geography of commercial activity. This includes a variety of place-based groups including block clubs, business associations, community development corporations, business improvement districts and business improvement zones.

These organizations are already engaged in all aspects of business development – from financing and marketing, to forming business improvement districts and joining organizations like the National Main Street Center. By creating this robust consortium, the DEGC is helping Detroit’s economic ecosystem share best practices in a peer-to-peer learning format, as well as identify and address gaps in available resources.

Small-business success is the heart of any thriving city. They provide jobs, help stabilize neighborhoods, increase local spending by residents and generate a sense of community. These businesses are among the most inclusive and accessible economic opportunities for women and minorities, providing a way for families to create wealth and employment for generations.

The DEGC is pleased to help build a strong cohort of community organizations across Detroit’s network of neighborhoods. Local economic development efforts will help ensure our communities can retain and attract small businesses, as well as engage in commercial real estate development efforts. Growing the capacity of these groups will also ensure the city’s investment in its neighborhoods through the Strategic Neighborhood Fund is maintained and has the highest possible impact for Detroiters.

For more information on the DEGC, visit www.degc.org.