Entrepreneur Spotlight: Bud Liebler, principal of Liebler Group and The Whitney

It's not often a small business owner will own both a restaurant and a public relations firm. Arthur "Bud" Liebler does both. The former Chrysler PR executive recently bought The Whitney and moved his PR and marketing firm, Liebler Group, there.

Liebler is a journalism graduate from Marquette University. He has decades of experience in public relations at Chrysler, Ford and a few other firms. He now oversees a staff of three employees, one intern and an independent contractor at the Liebler Group. He also employs another 40 some people at The Whitney.

Describe your business in two sentences or less?
Public relations and strategic communications counseling -- we specialize in media relations, internal communications, investor relations and networking. I also own The Whitney and the Ghost Bar.
Why did you decide to set up shop in Detroit?
I've always wanted to work in Detroit and by purchasing The Whitney I'm saving (or trying to save) an icon at the same time. I believe the city has a huge heart and enormous untapped potential. We just have to get out of our own way and quit being so down on ourselves. Detroit can rock if we all get behind it!
What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
Very few financially but very many psychically and emotionally. I think the financial advantages will eventually come.

What do you see in Detroit that other people who live outside the city don't?
Heart. Excitement. Enthusiasm. Opportunity. People who care.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about opening a business in the Motor City?
Look past the blemishes, find the positives, and do it. Be patient and careful, but do it. Be prepared for some hassles and frustrations but hang in and make it work. Then partner with the people already here and work to bring others in.

If you could change one thing about Detroit, what would it be?
Its huge inferiority complex ... and the City Council.  

Source: Bud Liebler, owner of the Liebler Group and The Whitney
Writer: Jon Zemke
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