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Why the Detroit Regional Chamber is focusing on Detroit’s neighborhoods


By Jackie Berg

Investments in Detroit’s neighborhoods are on the rise and will soon swell with major new investments or resources from critical business institutions like the Detroit Regional Chamber (DRC).

The DRC has frequently weighed in on issues that impact Detroit’s neighborhoods, particularly in regard to education and transportation, but has increased efforts to make an impact in neighborhoods beyond the city center.

Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah clearly put a stake in the ground with his proclamation that “Detroit cannot be a great city until people (translation: DRC members) participate in neighborhood development in a sustainable, market-based way.”

Sandy Baruah

Sandy Baruah

Acting in concert with Mayor Mike Duggan and Hope Center Founder John Hope Bryant, the DRC’s commitment to recruit 20 C-level leaders to open or support HOPE Inside Centers is already showing signs of success. That sent an important signal to its membership that the Chamber is clearly “in” on neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Fifth Third Bank, the first member to step forward and open a HOPE Inside Center inside the Northwest Activities Center, reports that its center, open only five months, has already outperformed the (HOPE) organization’s 37 existing operations.

At press time, we’ve confirmed Deloitte, Henry Ford Health System , the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and PNC Bank have also agreed to step up and sponsor/open a center.

Together, we are changing Detroit.

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