neideas winner

Pam Lewis, NEI Director

Huffington Post Blog


When national leaders traveled to Metro Detroit recently, many hailed the city’s recovery, pointing to the resurging automobile industry and an emerging startup community. While this is true in many regards, it overlooks a key factor in Detroit’s turnaround: the role of existing neighborhood businesses.

In other words, Detroit revitalization is not just about the start-ups; it’s also about the “been-ups.”

To help cities like Detroit, we need to support small businesses that have toughed it out for decades, paid taxes, employed residents, and held on to their corner lots. Encouraging new entrepreneurs and industries like health care, advanced manufacturing and information technology is undeniably important. But such growth has greater impact when it is is shared alongside business development focused on neighborhoods.