The community economic development industry serves all aspects of the community, including commercial needs. A neighborhood will struggle to be healthy without a thriving “main street,” new and retained businesses, and attractive commercial facilities. The “main street” approach advocates a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment, and the rebuilding of traditional commercial districts based on their unique assets: distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership, and a sense of community. In some cases, CEDAM members dedicate themselves entirely to business district and commercial space development in their communities.
Old Town Commercial Association in Lansing created the Old Town Business Assistance Team, which provides free services to local businesses in an effort to ensure continued success and vitality.
The Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC) in Detroit assisted over 40 businesses in improving their exteriors through a façade improvement program. GRDC was also awarded a Streetscape Grant from M-Dot, which funded new sidewalks and 150 street trees, resulting in a dramatic improvement to their commercial corridor.
In 2008, Main Street Calumet’s commercial revitalization efforts in the Upper Peninsula won the Community Initiated Development Project of the Year award, and the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation.