With construction complete, Detroit stores yearn for business on Avenue of Fashion

It was nearly seven years ago that Art in Motion and Good Cakes and Bakes received grant money from Detroit Economic Growth Corporation to help open their businesses on Detroit's Avenue of Fashion.

"We received a great grant and that was to redo the Avenue of Fashion," said Kay Willingham, owner of Art in Motion.

But as these businesses worked to stay open, they encountered obstacles that made survival in a storefront on The Avenue challenging. 

"There was not a lot of walkable traffic over here and just realizing what we needed to do to get customers over here," said April Anderson, who owns Good Cakes and Bakes.

RELATED: Businesses fight to stay open amidst road construction on Fashion Avenue

Then, just last year, businesses along the historic Avenue of Fashion got hit with another obstacle. Construction on a streetscape project designed to remove a median, extend the sidewalk and include protected bike lanes made it challenging for many to patronize these stores. 

"We saw a quick dip of 33%," said Anderson.

So April and Kay turned to Detroit Economic Growth Corporation once again and received grant money through a competition to help them keep their doors open. April also worked to give customers other ways to get her products.

"They had an option to go to our website and order and we would bring it to them," said Anderson.

RELATED: Motor City Match winners open businesses on Avenue of Fashion

Now that construction on The Avenue of Fashion is near completion these business owners want your business.

"You can park, you can walk, you can dine, you can shop," said Anderson.

As these business owners continue to build their brand Detroit Economic Growth Corporation says they can help entrepreneurs retain and start a business in Detroit.

"Some of those resources include the coveted Motor City Match program, as well as the Motor City Restore Facade Rehab program," said Pierre Batton, of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.