As new local Detroit businesses open and local neighborhood staples expand, the city aims to promote more than 600 retailers and services and is part of a team creating a directory to help.
Spearheaded by Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp. and Councilman James Tate, the DI$COVER D1 initiative, designed to support District 1 businesses, is the first of its kind in Michigan.
Modeled after similar efforts in Portland, Oregon, DI$COVER D1 is supported through a grant from the Knight Foundation with backing by ProsperUs Detroit and Jill Ford, head of innovation and entrepreneurship for the City of Detroit.
Larissa Carr, Grand River WorkPlace manager with Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp., says the web-based initiative is far more than just an information tool.
“The program is not just about creating a directory, it’s about creating relationships with our small businesses and, then, also connecting residents to those small businesses and vice versa, to develop those relationships,” Carr says.
DI$COVER D1 features an easy-to-use design similar to many social media sites. On the website, businesses are divided into 11 different categories that range from automotive and grocery to printing services and tattoo shops. Each individual listing includes the business address, phone number, website, email address and hours of operation.
Residents also have the option to rate and review each business and, through the navigation feature, receive geographic directions to each business.
DI$COVER D1 is an extension of “D1 Business Days,” created by Tate. At these events, District 1 businesses would offer special promotions and discounts to encourage residents to spend their dollars locally. Through “D1 Business Days,” District 1 saw, on average, 30-40 percent increases in revenue, which Tate believed was a springboard for more. But, while the growth in revenue was great, the promotion didn’t drive enough traffic to sustain these businesses.
“We took the D1 Business days and, to amplify it to the next level, we created the DI$COVER D1 program,” Carr says. “Each dollar you spend at independent businesses returns three times more money to our local economy, creating jobs and opportunities for local residents. Most importantly, it helps to create character for our neighborhoods and community.”
Editor’s note: To learn more about DI$COVER D1 businesses, visit www.discoverd1.com or call (313) 224-1027.
To learn more about Bank of America’s many programs and resources for small business owners visit: https://www.bankofamerica.com/smallbusiness/business-financing.go
This copy was written by TheHUB writer Alisha Dixon
Images and video courtesy of District 1 and Grand River WorkPlace