From Kevin Johnson, President and CEO
Earlier this week the DEGC held its 2018 Annual Board Meeting and 40th-anniversary celebration. It was impressive to see the impact our organization has had on Detroit over the last four decades.
Equally impressive was DEGC’s list of successes in the last six months. We have helped many companies do business in Detroit, including ArcelorMittal, Microsoft, Flex-N-Gate, Tata Technologies, Chemical Bank, The Corner, the Hudson’s project and Wolverine Packing Company, to name a few.
We are well on our way to achieving our 2020 goal of:
- Generating 10,000 new jobs
- Securing $3.4 billion in new investment
- And helping open 140 new small businesses throughout Detroit
I’m proud to announce that through three quarters of 2018, we’ve created nearly 3,500 jobs, secured $1 billion in new capital investment, activated nearly 2.5 million sq./ft. in development, helped 14 small businesses open, and seven complete exterior façade improvements. We’ve achieved much, but there’s much more to do.
Detroit has reached an inflection point. To become competitive, we must accelerate our pace of growth by taking (disruptive) action while the window of opportunity is open. That includes combatting regressive thinking. It’s time to turn the page from “America’s come back city” to “America’s best of city.”
DEGC has a clear vision and a bold and progressive plan to achieve our 2020 goals. Our vision is to:
- Lead Detroit’s economic development
- Execute with excellence
- And partner in mutually beneficial partnerships
Our blueprint for elevating Detroit’s economy includes:
- Re-imagining the way we attract business, especially our preparedness. We’re aggressively pursuing international and domestic companies within our targeted industry clusters —establishing Detroit as the catalyst for growth in the region.
- Making it easier to do business. That means securing physical assets, as well as providing superior service to those who seek to do business in our city. If Detroit is perceived as a hard place to do business, we lose our right to be considered for new opportunities.
- Migrating our focus on urban renewal to our neighborhoods. Small businesses are Detroit’s lifeblood.
I am so confident in our team, I predict we will be ahead of schedule in all metrics in the next six months. I thank everyone that has supported DEGC in 2018 and over the course of our 40 years. I ask that you continue to do so in 2019 and beyond.
Five things you should know about the DEGC:
- On Monday, Oct. 22 MCM awardee, Detroit City Fieldhouse will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new athletic facility.
- Oct. 28-30, leaders from around the world will join Mayor Mike Duggan and former New York Mayor Bloomberg for the CityLab Detroit conference.
- MCM awardee, Cooking with Que, was recently featured in ModelD on its efforts to educate communities of color on veganism.
- Motor City Match was mentioned in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, where the publication commended MCM for its efforts to rebuild Detroit’s small business community.
- DEGC is partnering with the city of Detroit to launch #AlwaysHandPaint for artists who specialize in hand-painted signs as part of Detroit’s anti-blight program.