National business leaders, local entrepreneurs, and metro area consumers are growing more confident about Detroit's ability to recover from its economic difficulties, a survey by the Kresge Foundation finds.
The 2018 edition of the Detroit Reinvestment Index found that 84 percent of national business leaders, 92 percent of Detroit-based entrepreneurs, 94 percent of the city's residents, and 88 percent of metro area suburban residents said they were confident that "Detroit can recover and become a great American city again." Among national business leaders, the percentage who were "very confident" has increased from 39 percent to 47 percent over the past year.
Now in its third year, the survey also found that 93 percent of local entrepreneurs agreed that "small businesses in the Detroit Metro area have been at the core of the revitalization," and that 89 percent said they would recommend opening and operating a small business in Detroit. Similarly, 93 percent of Detroit residents and 90 percent of suburban residents agreed that "the development or improvement of retail districts should be prioritized to ensure a successful renaissance and recovery of the city," with 97 percent and 93 percent of Detroit residents and suburban residents saying it was important to invest additional funds and resources in retail districts throughout the city. Asked what potential benefits from additional investments in retail districts or neighborhoods were important, Detroit residents cited increased safety and security (66 percent), additional employment opportunities (64 percent), and new high-quality retail establishments (52 percent).
"Consistently, we have heard from national and local audiences that there is confidence in Detroit's ability to make progress, with Detroit residents — arguably the most discerning and in touch with the realities of the city — being the most bullish about the city's future growth potential," said Kresge Foundation president Rip Rapson. "Current commercial corridor funding approaches appear to be bearing fruit, as resident feedback on revitalization efforts to date has been positive, coupled with an eagerness for increased and accelerated investment moving forward."
(Photo credit: Kresge Foundation)