New business alliance forming for Grand River corridor businesses

What’s happening: A new business association is forming along the Grand River Avenue corridor, one that serves to connect fellow small business owners with one another and help further entice customers to the area. And while the Grand River Business Association (GRBA) has its roots in the Grandmont Rosedale community of neighborhoods, officials there say that the GRBA is meant for the entire city corridor itself, from downtown to Five Points.

Who’s behind it: Formation of the Grand River Business Association is led by Dante Williams, owner of Cutz Lounge in Grandmont Rosedale. The Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC) is on board to help facilitate its development.

How it works: The GRBA will be open to members for a $10-per-month fee. Members will then be able to vote on how that money is spent, be it improved snow removal services, beautification efforts along the corridor, or otherwise. The GRBA is establishing a business-to-business referral system and branded marketing materials for storefront windows.

It’s happening: The GRBA is still in its developmental stages, yet to establish its structure and by-laws. But it is coming together — and soon. The organization is already on tap to co-host its first event: the Grandmont Rosedale Spring Block Party, scheduled for Saturday, June 18, at the Grand Parklet. The GRDC and Discover D1 are also hosting the event.

A virtual meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. and will be available on the Microsoft Teams platform.

What they’re saying: “This will be a space to talk about what people’s needs are within the corridor. And as a business owner, it can be very valuable. There will be networking opportunities; you can see what needs and resources are out there,” says Chelsea Salame, economic development manager for the GRDC. “We’re all about providing access to resources and plain old grassroots organizing.”

[Also in this series: Read Why Grandmont Rosedale’s stretch of Grand River is a favorite destination for city’s entrepreneurs” on Model D.]

Block party: The Spring Block Party, scheduled as part of the neighborhood’s Juneteenth holiday celebration, will feature African dancers, food trucks, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Grand Parklet itself, a placemaking win for the neighborhood that built a pocket park atop an awkward intersection. The neighboring Cutz Lounge will host the GRBA, where members can introduce themselves and fellow businesses can sign up.

Coming soon: The Northwest Detroit Farmers Market returns for the season on Thursday, June 2, held each Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the North Rosedale Park Community House. Vendor applications are still available.

This Street View series on Detroit's commercial corridors is made possible with support from the Ford Foundation.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.