To hear national news tell it, Detroit's future is bleak. After all, Detroit is a miserable, crime-ridden city that is struggling with a declining population and bankruptcy. The other side of the story is that the city has plenty of assets, financial and otherwise, that are inspiring people to invest in Detroit's future. Detroit's Business and Economic Advantages include:
Detroit Talent and Know How
Detroit's legacy as the Motor City means that the city has a history entrenched in innovation. Regardless of the ups and downs of the Big Three auto companies, the auto companies have left a lasting imprint in the area in the form of talent, universities and research centers.
Start Up Support and Scrappy Entrepreneur Spirit
The struggles the area has undergone over the last few decades have also left their mark. According to Inc.com, Detroit provides a great environment for the entrepreneur and start-up company. The people who gather in the city to form start ups have a strong drive to prove something, and are unfailingly supportive of each other. It doesn't hurt that a business starting in Detroit can be a big fish in a little pond and get unparalleled attention and support from the community, whether it be from seasoned business leaders or city and state government. In fact, a host of nonprofits were formed for the very purpose of attracting and supporting small business:
- The Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) is an economic development association formed through business leaders and the College for Creative Studies. Its goal is to build and integrate Detroit's creative community.
- Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) is a nonprofit organization created to provide key support and resources to businesses within Detroit. DEGC's services include acting as a liaison with the city, sharing business knowledge, and providing technical assistance, as well as finding tax incentives and financial assistance. It also manages private and public development projects.
- TechTown 2.0 is a nonprofit organization established in 2007 to “incubate and accelerate technology and innovation” and “support the creation of technology-centric start ups.” It not only helps start ups obtain funding but provides business mentors and rents space within its TechTown building.
Low Cost of Living and Doing Business
While the Detroit area has had more than its fair share of struggle, the result is a low cost of living and doing business that are attractive to investors and potential businesses. This translates into bargain real estate, a city and state eager to pave the way for new business, and relatively low-cost talent pool.
While people who have lived and/or worked in the Metro-Detroit area are often frustrated with the “image” of it as portrayed in the national media, The Detroit Pulse Survey found that 48% of people surveyed “love” living here. They also give Detroit high marks for its cost of living, quality of life, and entertainment/cultural attractions, including sporting events and teams, the arts, music and museums.
All of these factors combine to give the the area a sense of opportunity. According to an article posted on CBSlocal.com, this is best reflected in the fact that Michigan is one of only a few states in the country in which the Venture Capital industry has significantly grown in recent years.
Investments in Detroit's Future
There are plenty of people and organizations who are investing in Detroit. They show their commitment and confidence in the city by continually committing to its future, whether it be through a plan for a new entertainment district, cleaning up a neighborhood, the renovation of buildings, or a concerted effort to bring business back downtown.