Board of Directors

Scott Saionz - President
Adam Jones - Vice President
Colleen Kurecka - Director
Gary LaPointe - Treasurer - Communications
Laverne Wainwright - Director - Artspace



Downtown Dearborn has attracted more locals and visitors alike than ever before. With more than 200 retailers and dining options, we’ve become one of Southeast Michigan’s most diverse and dynamic destinations. Now’s the time to go local and discover world-class choice and convenience right outside your door.

Now who's ready to reimmerse in commerce? 

As our downtown businesses start to open up and get back to business, we welcome Dearborn residents and visitors to #loveyourlocal retailers, restaurants and services who you've always depending on through the years, and the new ones just starting to take off! 

You'll find some constant reminders to keep it local and to keep it safe -- from signage, posters, and social distancing reminders throughout the downtown districts to our social media and marketing sharing business reopening news. Tag us and share your experiences!

For business owners, we are here and ready to support you! If you haven't yet received your #DowntownDearborn Welcome Back Kit of materials and safety guidelines to prepare your downtown business for reopening, please contact the DDDA office. Tap into the new Dearborn brand and social media images to hype up your reopening. Don't forget to tag us and let us know you've reopened!

Last but not least, #Dearborn is supporting outdoor expansion plans for restaurants, services, and activities so businesses and events can accommodate the latest state requirements and operate safely. See the breaking news below! 

#reimmerseincommerce #loveyourlocal #downtowndearborn #backtobusiness


Dearborn customers can look forward to more opportunities to patronize their favorite eateries this summer, since the City is making it easier for businesses to add outdoor seating by using sidewalks and private property. 

Indoor capacity restrictions caused by COVID-19 safety concerns mean that restaurants have limited seating.

In response, the City, under the direction of Mayor Jack O’Reilly, and with support from the City Council, has directed the streamlining of the application process and waived permitting fees for restaurants to add outdoor seating to accommodate more customers. Zoning requirements also have been relaxed to allow for this enhancement.

The City’s goal is to approve restaurants’ outdoor seating permit applications in about 24 hours after receipt of all required information. Applications for the Sidewalk Café and for Outdoor Seating can be found at

Although fees are waived, businesses must get a permit to proceed. Other provisions apply.

Businesses will be able to serve food outdoors, and can provide alcohol outdoors once permission is obtained from the State and proof is provided to the City.

“The City is here to help. We want to clear the way for restaurants to welcome and serve as many customers as they can, safely and within the required health guidelines,” said Mayor O’Reilly.

As of June 18, applications for business expansions on sidewalks and private property are available. The application process for public spaces, such as public land, parking lots, streets and alleys, is currently under review and is expected to be available the week of June 22.

Sheila Rucinski of Dearborn Brewing appreciates the expedited process and the potential for expanding their seating outside.

“I think it will be creating a huge benefit for Dearborn businesses, because of the indoor capacity limits. I think expanding outdoor seating is a very positive move,” she said.

Mayor O’Reilly agrees.

“We encourage our residents and visitors to take advantage of this enhanced opportunity to enjoy eating and drinking outside, and being served by our outstanding restaurants, bars and breweries,” Mayor O’Reilly said. 

The initiative is being spearheaded by the Economic and Community Development Department and the Property Maintenance and Development Services Department, and is endorsed by the Downtown Development Authorities, the Corridor Authorities, the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, and the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.

With outdoor seating, businesses are responsible for creating enough space for social distancing, and for providing regular sanitation. Approval can be revoked for noncompliance of any of the permit provisions.    Complete rules and details are found on the applications.

The relaxation on requirements is set to end on Nov. 1, 2020, but may be revisited in the future based on its success. 

Be the first to know who's open and who's offering outdoor dining and activities! 

Join the Dearborn: Open for Business Facebook group for a list of businesses that are open and those who you can purchase from online. You will also see personal posts from participating businesses sharing their latest news and current deals.

Thank you for supporting our community members and local economy!



The Dearborn Farmers and Artisans Market (#DFAM) opening day is fast approaching! The market returns to Wagner Park, located on West Village Drive between Mason and Monroe Streets every Friday from July 10 - September 25 from 2 pm to 7 pm. 

The community looks forward to the local food and craft vendors that #DFAMbrings to Dearborn each summer. Although the market will be reopening a bit later than usual this year due to COVID-19, anticipation is palpable.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the market has made some significant changes. You will be able to find this information on the market’s website and on Facebookas well as in the handy flyer at the end of this email. These changes have been made with the safety of the public, market staff and volunteers, as well as the vendors best interests in mind. 

Current Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)rules prohibit some activities, including live cooking demonstrations and children activities.  Although the market’s popular cooking demonstrations cannot take place live, we are working with Edible WOW  to create pre-recorded segments which will air prior to the market. The recipe will be given on the market's Facebook page and website in order for you to pick up the ingredients from your favorite market vendors.

The Dearborn Farmers & Artisans market is brought to you by the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority and proudly sponsored by Beaumontedible WOW, Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, Glass Academy, Andrea Fitzgerald Realtor--Keller Williams Legacy, Kiwanis of Dearborn, and the Dearborn Heights Rotary Club.

Stay up-to-date as new information becomes available, and follow #DFAM on Facebook and the brand new Instagram page! 

We look forward to seeing you all at the market very soon!


Bring a lawn chair or blanket, and settle in for a fun night. Movies begin after dusk, with the movie to start as soon as the night sky allows. With the current social distancing rules, the movies will be limited to a certain amount of people. Staff will assist attendees with locating designated spots for their families to enjoy the movie, while maintaining safety protocols. Click here for updates and details. 

  • August 7 - A Dog's Purpose @Wagner Park
  • August 14 - Toy Story 4 @City Hall Park
  • August 21 - TBD @Wagner Park
  • August 28 - Godzilla @City Hall Park


The Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce & Foundation announces an unprecedented partnership with ItsOnMe® to launch the “Gifting Dearborn” campaign to support local businesses and first responders and other at-need citizens. 

The program offers a one-stop shop platform for the public to purchase electronic gift cards from local businesses, which will then be distributed to Dearborn Area first responders & those in need by the Dearborn Area Chamber Foundation.  

Local businesses can register to be part of this program for free at GiftLocal.Com/GiftingDearborn, purchases of gift cards are deposited at point of sale, rather than redemption to help those businesses now! This is also where consumers can go to Gifting Dearborn by supporting both local businesses, first responders and other local citizens in need. The Dearborn Area Chamber Foundation administers the distribution of the gift cards to area first responders & those in need.

The program is open to all area businesses, members and non-members, including businesses that are currently operating as well as businesses that have had to suspend their operations because of COVID-19.


Downtown Dearborn has developed strategies to address and fulfill the small business concerns and needs to guide business owners through the COVID-19 pandemic over the next several months, as well as setting businesses up for long-term success. 

The Dearborn DDAs continue to spearhead the Dearborn Business Assistance Team (#DBATeam) program by gaining commitment from area small business experts. Over 25 area agencies and resource representatives are now involved in the DBATeam effort to provide you with up-to-date information on current city, county, and state small business development resources to successfully navigate your business needs now and in the future.

Specific program support tactics, including special COVID-19 funding, business technical support and one-on-one meetings with businesses to establish a streamline support tool have been identified. In addition to the technical and financial support, Downtown Dearborn is also creating an Internship program through UofM Dearborn. This would offer small businesses a pool of students (paid or unpaid) with business and marketing background to gain some staff support over the semester months. More to come on this new program.

Dearborn businesses can apply for the DBAT consultation services here. A carefully crafted team of experts are pulled together to meet one-on-one with business owners to address their needs. 

Downtown Dearborn is working closely with the City of Dearborn and Wayne County to link businesses to grants and loans, small business training, as well as PPE equipment. Here are the latest updates:

  • The City of Dearborn is expected to announce in mid-June a new grant program for small businesses through their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.
  • Wayne County's new website is where businesses can find information on their loan program, webinars and trainings, resource materials and technical assistance -- all in one spot.
  • Wayne County is preparing to offer “Start-up Kits” to help small businesses re-open. It will include safety guidelines for reopening properly, and PPE and sanitary equipment. Stay tuned for details.


As businesses begin to safely re-engage in the economy, the MI Symptoms Web Application is a cost-free way for employers to comply with recent executive orders and implement a COVID-19 symptoms screening questionnaire for employees. Designed primarily for employers and employees, the online tool is also available to all Michigan residents.




With efforts to re-engage Michigan’s economy underway through recent executive orders signed by Governor Whitmer, the Pure Michigan Business Connect program has developed a free COVID-19 Procurement Platform, in an effort to help connect those businesses in need of access to PPE – including face masks, face shields, gloves, goggles and other materials as necessary to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers – with Michigan businesses that have supplier capacity to meet that demand.

The East & West Dearborn Downtown Development Authorities (DDDAs) launched a new building improvement and business start-up grant program, Open Door Dearborn, to restore and expand the commercial core buildings of the community and attract key businesses to Downtown Dearborn. 

The Open Door Grant Program (OD) provides funding to existing property and business owners, as well as new businesses moving to the DDDA Districts, on three types of funding support levels. The OD Program will fundup to $10,000 of improvements for items such as design, signage, start-up businesses and interior and exterior build-out. Applicants must follow the Downtown Dearborn Design Guidelines to be eligible.          


To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses.


As retailers reopen their doors, Michigan Retailers Association is sponsoring free webinars to help deal with difficult customers. The webinars will be conducted by trainers who have law enforcement experience.


Dealing with difficult customers: This training will arm retailers with communication and de-escalation strategies to handle belligerent customers who don’t want to follow the businesses’ guidelines, such as wearing face masks. 


Active violence in the workplace: If customer confrontations do escalate, preparation is key. This training will help employees/managers/owners pick up on cues of potentially dangerous customers (or employees) and prepare to respond to violent incidents.


Click on the link to register for the webinar:

2 p.m. Monday, June 22 - Dealing with difficult customers

1 p.m. Tuesday, June 23 - Dealing with difficult customers

2 p.m. Thursday, June 25 - Dealing with difficult customers (this one may be changed to workplace violence if there's a demand)

If you have any questions regarding these webinars, visit here.

If you have further questions on the webinars, email MRA's Meegan Holland at



LaFontaine Automotive Group has put together Starter Kits for small businesses that include 50 masks, hand sanitizer, Family Strong T-shirts, and gloves. They wanted to make sure that the small businesses that are trying or just opened back up, have the supplies that they need.

Contact LaFontaine today to order yours.


As a business owner and/or manager, you are responsible for keeping your properties safe, clean, and attractive. Because of your location, the City of Dearborn currently provides or manages trash removal with onsite dumpsters on city-owned property. In an effort to keep Dearborn seen as a destination city, everyone should take pride in their business, the areas that surround their business and honor the efforts of keeping the dumpster areas tidy.  

This includes training your employees on proper trash disposal.

Trash rules and Expectations:

  • all trash must be bagged, tied and stored in a trash container or in a dumpster;
  • never leave trash on the ground for any reason or for any length of time (do not put anything next to dumpsters);
  • break down all cardboard boxes before placing in dumpster. Unbroken boxes lead to unnecessarily overfull dumpsters, which leads to trash on the ground;
  • construction debris is never allowed in any municipal dumpsters or enclosures.

The City expects high standards in regards to litter and dumpster use for the health and safety of residents, business owners and visitors alike.

The City issues court appearance tickets and bills for any clean-up to owners and/or managers for trash or food waste left on the ground, illegal dumping, prohibited material, or creating a nuisance.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the Property Maintenance and Development Service Dept., Neighborhood Service/Sanitation Division at 313-943-2150 or the Dearborn Downtown Development Authorities office at 313-943-3141.



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© GTC Board of Directors  2020