The Motor City Is Revving Its Engine

While it feels like it has been a long time coming, there are some very exciting things happening in Detroit right now. The last few years have seen a steady progression of mostly good news and economic progress, and, as anyone who lives and works in this great city can personally attest, it feels like we have reached a tipping point where the future looks very bright.

The bottom line is that Detroit is a great place to do business right now, and plenty of businesses are growing with the city, not in spite of it. We are seeing new partnerships with and between anchor institutions in Detroit—and there is a growing sense that everyone in the business community here is truly committed to seeing the city grow. Here at Powerlink, and at many of our civic and business partners, that commitment is clearly evident.

There is a fresh wind in the air and a new hope that is already beginning to translate into new business opportunities: companies large and small—including some big national and international names—are moving their businesses to the Motor City. There are also a lot of new companies and strong businesses that are looking at Detroit as a viable and profitable place to do business—Quicken Loans is a sterling example of that dynamic.

Just because the future is looking brighter, however, doesn’t mean we need to ignore the lessons of the past. Far from it. It’s critically important that the new administration continues to do things differently and operate more efficiently. If that keeps up, more businesses will want to do business with the city—and that will translate to more positive momentum in the city.

While the bankruptcy was not our finest hour, I suspect that the long-term structural implications will actually be a tremendous positive for Detroiters. The bankruptcy discharged Detroit from a number of obligations that it held in the past, and enabled the City to redesign and streamline its budget. I know that many in the business community see it as a fresh start—a clean slate—that will help the city build new partnerships and make it a better place to grow our businesses.

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