Report: National, Local Business Leaders say Detroit Must Invest in Small Businesses

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The Kresge Foundation, a Troy-based private grant-making organization that supports social investing, has released its 2017 Detroit Reinvestment Index. The report builds on research regarding what national and local business leaders think about Detroit as a place to live, work, and start or sustain a business.

The report found that for the second consecutive year, national business leaders continue to believe in Detroit, with 84 percent confident in the city’s ability to recover. Detroit-based entrepreneurs were even more optimistic, with 92 percent expressing the same belief. Ninety-three percent of both parties agreed that small businesses have been an important aspect of Detroit’s revitalization.

Younger entrepreneurs surveyed indicated favorable impressions of Detroit, with 94 percent describing themselves as likely to recommend Detroit as a city to start and operate a small business. In order to sustain small business growth, Detroit-area entrepreneurs say the city needs to “offer skilled workers to fill open positions” and “improve the pace of neighborhood revitalization,” according to the report.

Respondents also say investments in high-quality public spaces is important to their business today. The report demonstrates that national and local business leaders are calling for neighborhood revitalization efforts with the same urgency as they demand traditional economic development tools.

Responses also indicate the most significant roadblocks local entrepreneurs face include a “lack of customers with spending power,” and “limited resources.”

A full version of the report can be viewed here.

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