Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Don't panic

Lately, it seems another downtown business closes its doors every other day -- Borders, Sweet Georgia Brown, Zaccaro's Market. The Free Press says revitalization has stalled. Even the well received Mercury Coffee Bar shut its doors Monday. Thus began the wailing and gnashing of teeth: downtown is dead, Detroit is doomed.

Let me let you in on a secret. Half of all new businesses fail within four years. And we're in a recession. In fact, the city itself has arguably been in a depression for decades. So while we should celebrate and promote all the new businesses that come on board, there's no need to declare defeat whenever one (or even two or three) shuts down. Just look at the turnover in Royal Oak. A business fails there every month, but no one's writing the downtown's post mortem. It's just the way it goes.

Oh, and Mercury Coffee Bar? It's set to re-open next Friday. It's joined by a fancy new French cafe at Trumbull and Howard in Corktown and a new produce market on John R in Brush Park. Go check 'em out.

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