Mayor Duggan Rolls Out Reopening Playbook For Detroit Small Businesses

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced a robust new effort developed in partnership with a coalition of government, business, nonprofit and philanthropic partners to assist small businesses in Detroit with safely and successfully reopening, once Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declares the state in Phase 4 of her restart plan.

First and foremost, to make sure business owners know how to safely reopen, the City’s Health Department has released a Small Business Playbook with protocols that can be adapted for various kinds of businesses to create a COVID Safe Work Plan. The guide helps business owners by providing clear guidance on protocols for:

  • Testing of employees prior to opening
  • Daily temperature checks and health screening
  • Obtaining and proper use of PPE
  • Social distancing and workspace practices
  • Worksite sanitation protocols, as well as sick and exposure policies
  • Physical changes to workspace, as needed, for safety

“We are getting closer to the day when Gov. Whitmer will allow a whole new range of small businesses to reopen and we want Detroit small businesses ready to be the first in the state to have a plan in place and reopen their doors when she does,” said Mayor Duggan. “By following the listed standards, the City of Detroit has found that its employees can return to work safely and actually have lower infection rates than Detroiters who stay home.”

The guide is available on the City of Detroit Health Department’s website at, as well as at a new site being launched today by the city and several public, private and nonprofit partners to provide comprehensive support to Detroit’s small businesses as they reopen and rebuild in the new reality of COVID-19.

Detroit Means Business

Detroit Means Business will provide Detroit’s small businesses access to essential tools to prepare them to operate safely and successfully. It will provide a range of financial, technical and safety resources at

“Once businesses are cleared to open under our safety protocols, they are still going to have significant need for other forms of support, whether that is access to financing, developing a more robust online presence or other forms of technical support,” said Mayor Duggan. “The tremendous work of our partners will ensure that Detroit continues to be a leader in safely responding to this crisis.”

Support is available for businesses operating in the City of Detroit, with an emphasis on those under 50 employees. Detroit’s expert medical team, led by Dr. Robert Dunne, has vetted all information and tools to ensure they strictly adhere to all safety precautions and protocols. The program will be rolled out in multiple phases:

Phase One: Launches Monday, May 18. Business owners can visit the website today to find:

  • reopening guidelines
  • basic financial resources
  • pre-recorded webinars

Phase Two: Will launch in the next week and provide additional tools in the near future. A call center will soon be available to assist business owners with all facets of the program. Additional resources will include:

  • Access to safe Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), donated by DTE Energy.
  • Technical support on safe procedures, including one-on-one coaching and live webinars.
  • Assistance navigating financial resources.

“As founder of the Three Thirteen Store, I’m optimistic about the reality of Detroit Means Business and its potential to help small business survive and ultimately thrive post COVID-19,” said Clement “Fame” Brown, owner of Three Thirteen Store.

A coalition of Detroit businesses and nonprofits worked for weeks to leverage individual expertise and resources to create the comprehensive program.

“DTE is committed to doing everything we can to support Michigan’s businesses and communities in this critical time – especially small businesses, who are a key driver of job creation and employment. We’re proud to stand with the partners that created the efforts behind, ‘Detroit Means Business,’” said Jerry Norcia, president and CEO of DTE Energy. “Together, we’re proving we will get through this crisis. DTE has been working extensively to obtain as many masks as possible for our communities and the businesses who need them. The PPE resources will help Detroit’s small businesses keep their employees and customers safe as they reopen their doors to the community.”

“At the New Economy Initiative (NEI), we have seen the positive impact of a community network of business support organizations coming together to support small businesses, especially those who are often disconnected from traditional resources,” said Pamela Lewis, director of New Economy Initiative. “To see private, public and philanthropic leaders working together to respond to the needs of our community’s small businesses during this crisis is encouraging. The ability of small businesses to safely reopen and successfully operate during this crisis is critical to small business customers, the thousands of residents they employ, and to the economic wellbeing of our community. Detroit Means Business will leverage the community network already in place to support all of Detroit’s small businesses and their courageous owners.”

The program will continue to be updated as new protocols are announced and new tools become available. To learn more about available financial, technical and safety resources, and help with hiring additional workers, businesses can visit

“Small business has been at the heart of Bedrock Detroit’s strategy ever since Dan Gilbert purchased his first building, The Madison, 10 years ago,” said Matt Cullen, Bedrock CEO. “Entrepreneurs are the people who help shape the identity of a city and make it truly special, and we are proud to be a part of this group of public and private partners joining together to help our local businesses reopen safely and successfully.”

CLICK HERE to download Reopening Playbook


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