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Retail Features

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.

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.

Pot and Box: Small seeds for a bigger future

The challenges to establishing a new business are myriad. And as Lisa Waud, owner of Pot and Box, discovered, Ann Arbor's ever-inflating real estate is no small part of that challenge. For her, success has meant finding just the right size, the right location and the right relationships.

Are We Really Thinking Local First?

...Or maybe the real question is: Are we spending local first? The latest Independent Businesses Survey gives a better idea of what Ann Arbor's locally owned commercial ecosystem looks like. The results, as might be expected, are both positive and negative.

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.
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Retail Blogs

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

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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