Detroit, Quicken Loans Community Fund Partner to Streamline Permitting, Inspection Process

Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and innovators can now navigate the city of Detroit’s permitting process more easily, thanks to a series of advancements underway through a partnership between the city’s Building Safety, Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED) and the Quicken Loans Community Fund.
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Quicken Loans headquarters
The city of Detroit and the Quicken Loans Community Fund have partnered to make the Detroit permitting process more user-friendly. // File photo

Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and innovators can now navigate the city of Detroit’s permitting process more easily, thanks to a series of advancements underway through a partnership between the city’s Building Safety, Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED) and the Quicken Loans Community Fund.

The upgrades, announced today, address all facets of the permitting process. The new offerings were driven by the influx of new businesses and construction emerging in Detroit. Since January 2015, BSEED has issued more than 22,000 business licenses and 3,000 commercial building permits.

The resurgence in new investment in Detroit has created a high volume of applicants interacting with BSEED, many of whom have never been through the permitting process with city government.

“Our mission is to provide services in a way that makes it easy for people who want to improve their property or open a business in Detroit,” says David Bell, director of BSEED. “We are very appreciative of the Quicken Loans Community Fund for the assistance it has provided to make our office and our processes much more customer-friendly. We have already received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from new and returning customers alike.”

The Quicken Loans Community Fund works city-wide with Detroit entrepreneurs through the Small Business Murals Project, a partnership with Backstage Capital for its startup accelerator, ongoing sponsorship of Detroit Startup Week, its continued commitment to assisting small business owners, as well as Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day, an annual entrepreneurship competition for Detroit-based businesses or those looking to move here.

“Small business owners and entrepreneurs are the cornerstone of Detroit. The entire city rises together through their shared success,” says Laura Grannemann, vice president of the Quicken Loans Community Fund. “One of our passions is looking for ways to remove as many obstacles as possible for these innovators. We are thankful the city shares our values and vision in drastically simplifying the process of taking innovation to action.”

Changes to Coleman A. Young Municipal Center wayfinding signage, forms, and the online system were implemented based on public feedback and collaboration between BSEED and the Quicken Loans Community Fund, with additional support provided by Detroit design studio Pophouse, formerly dPOP. Based on extensive public input, the revamp was carefully integrated throughout this year.

“The effort between the Quicken Loans Community Fund and city of Detroit to overhaul the permitting process is going to streamline the experience for all small business owners,” says April Anderson, pastry chef and co-owner of Good Cakes and Bakes, a Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day winner. “Through the numerous, time-saving improvements, innovators and entrepreneurs will be able to spend their time on their passions, not paperwork.”

Alex Johnston, founder of civic design firm Cities Reimagined, provided additional consultation on the project.

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