Ypsilanti Citizen Community ]]>

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Simply deVine closing doors in February

The unique gift items sold inside Simply deVine have always been popular with customers, but they did not generate enough revenue for co-owner Sheila Miller to continue operating the business. She will have to close her doors for good Feb. 28. Photo by David Gomez

The unique gift items sold inside Simply deVine have always been popular with customers, but they did not generate enough revenue for co-owner Sheila Miller to continue operating the business. She will have to close her doors for good Feb. 28.
Krispy Krunchy Chicken

Ypsilanti DDA looking for ways to help local retailers stay open

By David Gomez
Jan. 29, 2010    ·    12:32 p.m.


On a gloomy winter morning a going out of business sign hangs over the store front of Simply deVine.

The inside of the store is much more cheerful than the sign outside. The tables of candles and lotions in the center of the store draw you in immediately.

Simply deVine opened its doors in November 2007. The unique gift items sold inside have always been popular with customers, but they did not generate enough revenue for co-owner Sheila Miller to continue operating the business. She will have to close the doors with her husband Samuel for good on Feb. 28.

“The main reason why we are having to close is, we think a lot of it is due to the economic climate,” Miller said. “Because we are such a new business it has to have a lot of customers coming in and making purchases.

“We just completely ran out of revenue basically.”

Miller’s story is one the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority’s Economic Restructuring Committee wants to avoid. That’s why it is tackling ways to help keep local retail businesses like Simply deVine afloat.

In a meeting this month the committee discussed plans to help keep small businesses in the downtown area. By talking with local business owners, the committee hopes to get a better understanding of why stores are closing.

The DDA also would like offer a welcome packet to new businesses that come to downtown. The packet will offer information and help for the new business owners, containing economic information to help with planning and contact information for other local business owners.

The DDA hopes the packet will give business owners the tools needed to be successful.

Miller said she was not offered any such help when she opened up shop.

“You had to figure a lot of things out yourself, or talk to other business people,” Miller said. “I didn’t even know about the DDA until one of the business owners told me about them.”

Miller has hopes the DDA will be able to help retail sales in downtown remain profitable in the future.

“I think the one thing in Ypsilanti, is people need to get the mindset that there are stores and places to come to shop” Miller said. “For a long time there were not a lot of businesses here, so it’s not rooted in people’s minds.

“You must promote the local aspect and play it up,” she said. “The Ypsilanti downtown is a beautiful area, it’s historic, it has so many things about it that are being understated.”

Miller said that economic stability in downtown would be based around cooperation among local business owners in the future.

“You must band together, I would say work together, do cross promotions,” Miller said. “It’s always the humble few who participate, the others kind of wait around until you kind of have to force them.”



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