FORGED IN FLINT
“In other communities you don’t get asked, ‘Why do you stay here?’ all the time. Feeling that is hard on a daily basis.”
ERIN CAUDELL, THE LOCAL GROCER
THE FLINT YOU KNOW
Flint became famous because people there figured out how to make things. First, it was finished lumber, and then, when the trees ran out, it was carriages, and then it was automobiles. Flint became Vehicle City, Detroit’s little brother that could compete with it in every way.
When GM started closing plants in Flint in the mid-1980s, unemployment skyrocketed. As crime and drug use went up, more people left town, draining the city’s tax base. And after years of missteps and questionable decisions by the local government, there was the water crisis. That put Flint back in the national consciousness again, but not for reasons it would have ever wanted.
“When you meet everybody down here that owns small businesses, it was important to really plant our seed right here in Flint. And to be part of the change.”
KEYSA SMITH, SPECTACULAR SPUDZ
THE FLINT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Flint is far from hopeless. It’s mounting a comeback because after decades of hoping for a silver bullet from a large corporation or the government, people here have decided to start making the future they want to see. And it’s working. Today, 81% of businesses in Flint have fewer than 10 employees. Sales at small businesses using Square in Flint have increased 250%.
The entrepreneurs could have left town for greener pastures but instead, they are making their own pastures a little greener. It’s not the easy route, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
In 2019, 81% of businesses have fewer than 10 employees. (michiganbusiness.org)
There’s been a 40% increase in new small businesses on Square in Flint since 2014.
Nearly $2 million in financing offers through Square Capital have been extended to small business owners in Flint.
Since 2014, overall sales at small businesses using Square in Flint have increased 250%
THE COMEBACK MAY NOT MAKE THE NEWS
And that’s okay with everyone in Flint. Because the folks like Oaklin (GoodBoy Clothing) and Erin (The Local Grocer) aren’t doing it for press. They’re doing it for their families. And their town.