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Retail Features

State Street at Liberty

What makes a street vital? Exploring downtown Ann Arbor's most and least vibrant blocks

Stroll through any downtown and you can quickly identify which streets are hopping with activity and which aren't. Concentrate's Natalie Burg looks at which of Ann Arbor's downtown blocks struggle to attract people and why.

L to R Ryan Dixon and Jack Bidlack at the Digital Inclusion store at EMU

Digital Inclusion: From classroom to pop-up

A program at EMU not only aims to teach low-income and at-risk area youth how to repair computers, but how to sell the fruits of their labors at a retail pop up. It's the best kind of entrepreneurial education, learning by both book and by practice.

Aaron McCullough of University of Michigan Press

Plot twists in Ann Arbor's publishing scene

Like the rest of the nation, Ann Arbor's publishing industry has undergone quite a bit of upheaval. The rise of e-readers and print-on-demand has presented both challenges and opportunities. Still, there is an active and even innovative local book scene, filled with readers, writers and publishers. 

Cami Ross of Bad Habit Caramels at The Ugly Mug

The entrepreneurial case for Ypsilanti's authenticity

Maybe it's the price point. Maybe it's the proximity and cost prohibitions of Ann Arbor. Maybe it's the gravitational pull of authenticity. Whatever the reason, Ypsilanti is drawing local artisans and boutique entrepreneurs into its fold with its unique sense of community.

Bill Brinkerhoff and Kathy Sample at the Argus Farm Stop

Argus Farm Stop: One-stop shopping for local food

Being a locavore can be a challenge of logistics. All farmer's markets are not created equal and none operate year-round. Enter Argus Farm Stop, a downtown market offering one-stop shopping for locally produced goods.
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Retail Blogs

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Ingrid Ault

Is it worth paying a 6% sales tax to keep jobs in Michigan and build vibrant downtowns? Ingrid Ault, executive director of Think Local First, writes a series on how to not just talk local, but how to live local.
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Retail Videos

YpsiSpeakerEvent

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.

Inside Aut

The \'aut Bar\ is Ann Arbor's gay and lesbian Grand Central, where you can do everything from brunch to raise a toast. It's hopping with straight folks too. This popular Ann Arbor hangout has even spawned a sister bookstore, cabaret, and gallery in its Kerrytown courtyard, earning it the moniker: the Queer Quad.
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