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Small Business Features

Where Did All the Retail Go? How and Why Ann Arbor's Downtown is Changing

Yes, there are more restaurants and fewer retail stores in downtown Ann Arbor than there have been in recent years. But don't freak out. Downtowns evolve, change and respond to what the community needs. And the changes are less drastic than you might think.

Fourth and Washington: Retail Rejuvenation

What a difference a successful retail business makes. With Literati bookstore serving as an anchor, the retail shops (mostly locally owned) along Fourth and Washington in downtown Ann Arbor have brought vibrancy and energy into an area that once lived in the shadow of Main Street's restaurant row.

Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory: Building a Business One Chip at a Time

If you've had chips made by the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory you know that calling them "addictive" would be an understatement. So, how did this hand-made tortilla and chip company spring up in a town as unlikely as Ann Arbor? Read on and the truth will be revealed.

Duo Security: More Than Just a Workplace

Can a cutting edge startup be both success-minded and fun? According to Duo Security's Dug Song, the answer is an unequivocal "yes." Achieving astounding growth over four years, this Ann Arbor Internet security firm has not only become the local company to watch, it has developed a family-like workplace that's creative, supportive and innovative.

StartGarden Sows the Seeds of Entrepreneurship

From ArtPrize to the seed accelerator Momentum to the web business incubator Pomegranate Studios, Grand Rapids-based Rick Devos has created an impressive farm team of entrepreneurial enterprises focused on strengthening Michigan's economic ecosystem. His latest creation, StartGarden, gets both professionals and the public behind projects with the potential to blossom into successful businesses.
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Small Business Videos

Doing Business in Downtown Ypsilanti

Last week, at the Concentrate speaker event, blogger Mark Maynard interviewed a quartet of local business owners about the opportunities and challenges Ypsilanti's downtown offers them. From the impact of festivals to the need for space to claims that the city is easier to work with than Ann Arbor, the conversation took some surprising turns.
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