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New collaborative provides guidance, temporary space to help Detroit businesses take next step

Cass Collective Facebook photos
Cass Collective provides a creative space for small local businesses in Detroit.

The Next Idea

So, you've got a small business. You've been selling your product at farmer's markets or art fairs, or maybe online.

But it's a great big step from that to having your own brick-and-mortar store. One way to help bridge that gap is happening in Midtown Detroit: the Cass Collective.

It's a new collaborative retail space where businesses rotate in and out so a budding entrepreneur can put a cautious toe in the water without a big commitment. The Cass Collective is a joint project of Midtown Detroit Inc. and TechTown Detroit.
Sarah Donnelly from TechTown Detroit joined Stateside to talk about how Cass Collective works.

"It's an opportunity for small businesses to have the experience of running a brick-and-mortar shop before they jump right into a long-term lease," Donnelly said. "So it's that in between of a one-day market and a long-term brick-and-mortar operation."

It's an open-air space where six vendors have the chance to operate their businesses.

"Each business can preserve their own identity within their small footprint," Donnelly said. "They also have the opportunity to collaborate with each other. The customer that is visiting the space, they can really go on the journey and discover things as they turn the corner." 

There is also additional space available for meetings and other external events that the vendors can use. 

Listen to the full interview below to hear how businesses are chosen for Cass Collective and how the organization provides guidance to those businesses to help them achieve their goals.

The Next Idea is Michigan Radio's project devoted to new innovations and ideas that will change our state.

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