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Downtown Ferndale makes room for 11 new businesses

A small, empty storefront? Not in downtown Ferndale. Not for long, anyway.

The inner-ring suburb has had a banner summer, business-wise, with four new businesses opening, another seven coming, and several more in lease negotiations.

"Especially given the economy, it's showing that all the years of working to establish a stronger business base for the economy, getting all the wheels in motion, is helping us continue to grow despite a down economy," says Cristina Sheppard-Decius,
executive director of the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority. "We're in a position where we're still viable, there's still growth happening."

The new businesses include Rouge, a quirky nail and makeup salon; Visions of Canada, offering what it bills as the world's thinnest glasses; business and information technology consultants Ardent Cause; and Hybrid Moments, a used vinyl and clothing store.

A bakehouse and microcreamery, a painting shop, an espresso bar, and a vodka distillery are yet to come. The range of products and services "follows our mantra of being entrepreneurs and creative business owners," Sheppard-Decius says.

She said a good two-thirds of the people who patronize Ferndale businesses are from outside of the area, mostly those who live up and down the Woodward or I-696 corridors. "It's pulling in a very diverse economy of people," she says. "They're finding something unique."

Also, it's the smaller retail spaces that are going fast, sometimes being leased again within a couple of weeks. That's also a reflection of how small firms are flourishing: "There are a lot of creative minds out there," she says.

Source: Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kristin Lukowski
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