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Detroit LISC is committed to the development of jobs and enterprise in Detroit, locally and regionally, to ensure the right opportunities exist for businesses and residents to thrive.
Implementing strategies to stimulate the local economy and to improve economic conditions are critical components of community development. Stimulating economic activity includes a range of actions from commercial corridor revitalization including infrastructure and façade improvements to business organizing including coordination, marketing, and education support. Investing in opportunities that have the potential to create and retain jobs, enhance the tax base, and improve overall quality of life are critical components of improving economic conditions and creating sustainable communities. Examples of the work Detroit LISC invests in related to Economic Development include:
Commercial Corridor Revitalization & Business Organizing
An important component to stimulating economic activity is the physical revitalization and occupancy of commercial corridors. These corridors allow for residents to be employed locally, provide goods and services to the local market, and keep dollars in the community. The Detroit LISC approach couples our financing and real estate development tools with additional support for community development organizations and other partners to grow and attract businesses to locate within the corridors.
In conjunction with partners such as the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, support provided will result in visibly improved corridors through façade improvements and redevelopment and reuse of vacant buildings. Additional support encourages small business development and expansion through entrepreneurial training, technical assistance for small businesses, and linkages to lenders that provide specialized loan products for small businesses.
Additionally, Detroit LISC funds communication and marketing strategies for designated areas to promote retail districts to potential customers and business owners. These key components, working together, will ensure that the commercial corridors are revitalized, a pipeline of viable small businesses to locate within them is created, and a strategy is in place to market the districts to a broader consumer base.
Greater Detroit Centers for Working Families (CWF)
LISC and United Way for Southeastern Michigan have partnered to advance the financial stability of families and individuals in our community. This partnership created and manages the Greater Detroit Centers for Working Families, a network of high performing non-profits that provide the services. The Annie E. Casey Foundation developed the model for this work.
Microenterprise development, a pathway for entrepreneurial business ownership that generates income, builds assets, and supports local economies in creating employment, is a key economic development strategy. Fostering entrepreneurship and the growth of entrepreneurial thinking is critical. Detroit LISC plays an important role in promoting microenterprise initiatives in the Detroit community and supporting small-scale capital investments helping to build and make more visible micro-business success at the neighborhood level.
In an effort to stimulate economic activity, Detroit LISC supported the Detroit Micro Enterprise Loan Fund which, in 2011, trained 21 individuals in micro-entrepreneurship. Since October of 2011, an additional 30 individuals have received the training; 2 participants were also Greater Detroit Center for working Families enrollees. This support allowed us to far exceed our goals and increase the number of individuals trained to 52.
Economic Development Policy
On a macro level, Detroit LISC works to increase knowledge of and advocate for policies and programs that improve the business climate and strengthen opportunities for the use of under-utilized economic development tools.
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