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Business mentorship program for creative start-ups

The Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), a partnership between the College of Creative Studies and Business Leaders for Michigan, believes the city has the assets to be a global center of design and creative innovation. In order to manifest that belief, the DC3 started the Creative Ventures Residency Program in 2011. The CVRP chooses small local creative businesses to mentor and connect with larger clien ...

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Grand Rapids resident aims to bring Black-owned businesses out of the shadows

An ambitious and energetic entrepreneur, Jamiel Robinson looks at areas like Eastown, East Hills and the Wealthy Street district and wants the same for the Southtown area and other minority neighborhoods in Grand Rapids. He envisions vibrant business districts catering to the city’s African American residents, where they can shop, eat, work and live in thriving urban communities. ...

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Our/Detroit

Our/Detroit, a woman-owned vodka distillery, is slated to open this summer in Southwest Detroit. Located inside an old liquor store, the micro-distillery will be a meeting space for the community. “This will give me a space to prove businesses can invigorate communities in unexpected ways,” says Brandi Keeler, 25, one of Our/Detroit’s partners. ...

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Detroit sushi business gets new home in a recycled shipping container

For the past few years Social Sushi Detroit has been a nomadic, bringing Japanese cuisine to Detroiters in a diverse array of venues, local businesses and offices. Now, they will be getting a new permanent home thanks to a partnership with students from both Lawrence Technological University and Western International High, a Detroit Public School. The restaurant will be constructed from a reclaimed shipping ...

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The Bottom Line

After two years of operation, the Bottom Line Cafe has established itself as a Midtown option for coffee and tea drinkers, as well as a creative space for local artists. Located in the basement of the Beethoven Apartments, this growing Black-owned coffee shop is tucked in the Cass Corridor area at Third and Prentis. Since opening in July 2012, Kyle Harris and his parents Al and Pat serve the fast-paced life ...

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Loans available for Detroit small businesses

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation is offering a new line of small business loans. This new infusion of dollars could aid entrepreneurs who are currently operating and those that wish to operate in low-income communities. Working with the Small Business Administration and its Community Advantage program, LISC will provide loans under $250,000 to small businesses that put down roots in distressed neig ...

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Multimedia artist expands with ‘Suddle Creations’

A true artist must complement their thorough knowledge of their craft while adapting to new ways of creating with the ever-changing technology of the day. Urban artist Nivek Monet, owner of the art gallery Suddle Creations, is a prime example of being able to evolve as an artist. Born and raised on Detroit’s east side, Monet learned how to draw at the age of six. “I remember sitting down drawing with my gra ...

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From the desk of the CEO

I’ve had to make very difficult decisions in 2013 — the kind that challenge you and make you feel uncomfortable. That’s how real leaders grow. Last year, I had to work extra hours every day, including Saturdays. I can’t remember ever working this long or hard. I’ve had to jump into the role of CEO and then as putty to fill in the gaps wherever needed. ...

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Tattoo artist profits from penitentiary

“Prison saved my life,” says Marcus “Big Penn” Samuel, owner of Penitentiary Tattoos on Detroit’s east side. Life hasn’t been easy for the self-made entrepreneur. His mother was neglectful and struggled with substance abuse. She kept Samuel away from his father for the first decade of his life. When he was 10 years old, the state put him and his siblings into foster care. Two years later, luckily, Samuel’s ...

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‘Spectacles’ helps Detroiters look good

“For those who like to stand out,” is the motto of Spectacles, owned and operated by Zana Smith. Spectacles has been in Harmonie Park for over 20 years and is one of Detroit’s most stylish small retail shops. This holiday shopping season, the store is once again filled from top to bottom with leading fashion brands, music, books and accessories for a unique gift-shopping experience. ...

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