Detroit businesses hit hard by COVID pandemic determined to get people back in stores

DETROIT – The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Detroit businesses hard as many people stay home and shop online. But the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is determined to get people out of their homes and into businesses.

“People are still trying to bring things together, stabilize their businesses after COVID, and we feel that it is really important to support and uplift them and keep things close to their home,” said Lashawna Manigualt , Director of Small Business Attraction & Retention.

Felle Kelsaw is a local artist and art gallery owner.

“We’ve been on the Avenue of Fashion between 7 and 8 Mile Roads in Livernois for about 15 years, and we’ve been for 16 years,” said Kelsaw.

Today he is Vice President of the Motor City Business Roundtable, which has just received a DEGC grant.

“This year we have kind of an overall effort,” said Kelsaw. “We will be able to receive a grant from our Investigatory and DTE partners to activate the vacation corridor, which has given us $ 30,000 across the city – at least one in each district has grants to enable businesses to cooperate with one another “for beautification efforts and support efforts to help them promote and market their business.”


For this part of the city, they make shopping on Livernois an experience.

“We were blessed to be able to get this scholarship through the DEGC to make it possible for us – we’re doing decorations here,” said Kelsaw. “We have the tree ceremony that we are there. We’re preparing to ring in the avenue’s Christmas season, and every dollar is helping. “

Kelsaw is preparing the tree so that when people get to the tree lights they will get in the Christmas spirit and be ready to shop.

“This is just a sign to say the lights are on, sales are on, you know, go shopping and then all the stores here on avenue will be involved,” Kelsaw said.

He said that people only come to the area once to learn what it has to offer and he hopes that once they learn they will keep coming back

“Well, one of the reasons (is) they have to come out on the avenue, but (also) because they have to find out what’s on the avenue,” he said. “There are lots of great offers here. Everything is cheap. “


The tree lighting will take place on Saturday (November 27th) at 6 p.m. in front of Mike’s Fresh Market. For information on other events and popups in Detroit, click here.

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