Rise, Fall, and Rise Again: Rebuilding Detroit

Detroit is looking to rebuild from the turmoil it drowns in, and with any city hoping to rise from the bankruptcy ashes, it starts with rekindling small businesses. 

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Detroit once prided itself on the moniker they are known as today, “The Motor City.” But as of the last 20 years or so, the city has been left in despair trying to pick up the pieces from the criminal disregard of a once prestigious city. Many debate whether it could ever regain its metropolis status, but I wouldn’t say it is necessarily up to debate because the city still has the makings of a metropolis, it just needs the idealistic hands of the many visionaries that can re-enhance the prominent plateau Detroit once shined upon.

                         The big question to answer is, how can Detroit attract new entrepreneurs to invest in the city?

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As is well aware, Detroit is climbing out of a huge debt the city had to file bankruptcy for, so it already has a weight holding it down. But that doesn’t mean the city is not working hard to prove it deserves to be recognized and considered the commerce central for the state of Michigan.

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But what exactly would that take and how can Detroit be the beacon of hope for energizing the motor city moniker. For one thing, the city could provide reassurance and protection. Since opening a new business can include a laundry list of tasks, the city needs to make more of an effort in showing it is here to protect not only the people but the businesses. I asked Amera Faraj what she felt was important about opening in Detroit.

There are so many factors in deciding if Detroit is a good place to start a business, and when unnecessary pressure is added, the persuasion of bringing in potential developers becomes that much more difficult. Entrepreneur Don Holmes said, the city is making an effort to help.

If it’s not graffiti, its worrying about arson or breaking and entering. Matt Helms of the Detroit Free Press wrote an article on how Detroit wants businesses to clean up their blight, so the road to recovery is already underway.

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Native Detroit businesses have come up with different strategies, like using a steel garage door to cover their business during closed hours or a high security alarm system with a private security response team for the more profiled shops like jewelers or fine dining to protect from malicious crime.

Besides assuring security, the rebuilding of Detroit needs to come from a culmination of everything the city has to offer. Mary Kramer wrote about patience and keeping a clear vision in rebuilding Detroit and that’s exactly what it will take.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 12.23.35 PMBeginning with the citizens representing the city to the grand spectacle of being supported by popular professional teams, anything helps.

Communications entrepreneur Louis Nelson believes the city has a lot of hope stemming from the new-found good fortune of Detroit’s professional teams like the NFL’s Lions, the MLB’s Tigers or the always dominant Red Wings from the NHL.

Renovations and new buildings of stadiums, expansions of systems already in place to credit unwarranted income and all the little jobs that come from these businesses factor in to helping Detroit gain its confidence back.

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If there is one thing Detroit has plenty of, it is open to develop land and as investors continue to research and look in to development opportunities, location comes first, so being in a popular area makes all the difference. For example, the location of the old tigers stadium is now the up and coming development area and once it picks up traffic, the scene should be quite an eyeful of strong running businesses!

Detroit does have a light at the end of its tunnel because young and old, the city has the potential to become whole again. It will take a lot of effort but if Detroit can use new advancements to its advantage, their will be no more empty, broken down buildings between two strong standing businesses.

Start-up Entrepreneur Thaki Chowdhury discusses the benefits of a tight working community.

There will be skeptics, but with skeptics come optimists like Chuck Salter, who believes in rebuilding Detroit starting with a young united front. For more specific examples, Sam Colt provides a look at 13 young influential entrepreneurs already lifting off.

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A city survives by uniting the internal structure and providing the body of what the corporate model represents. As long as the small businesses owners can sustain and the larger corporations continue to support, Detroit can really bury the dirty past and look to a new, clean future.

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