Latest News

2014 Neighborhood Business Awards

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Uptown Business Improvement District looks for support

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A Big Night for Small Business Owners

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Business Awards Bestowed

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22nd Annual Neighborhood Business Awards Nominee list

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Ernie's Barber Shop in the Franklin/Eastern business district, is one of the oldest businesses in Grand Rapids

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Millions have been invested publically & privately in Madison Square over the last 5 years


A mixture of promising neighborhood business areas, Southtown is an urban micro-region made up of five traditional business corridors on the southeast side of Grand Rapids (Boston Square, Division South, Franklin/Eastern, Madison Square and Oakdale/Eastern). Currently existing business types includes retail, industrial and public facilities with opportunities to launch full service restaurants, small retail shops and services to local residents. A diverse mix of cultures, predominantly categorized by African Americans and Hispanics, makes Southtown an atmosphere ripe for prosperity and growth.


Southtown Incentives

  • Madison Square Corridor Improvement District
  • Renaissance Zones
  • Boston Square Area Specific Plan
  • Strong neighborhood partners
"The area now known as Southtown has been challenged by a stereotype of poverty and crime. Through NV's facilitation of community stakeholders, the Southtown brand has arisen and now is proudly displayed throughout the micro-region in the form of banners, bike racks and window stickers. This sense of pride has led community stakeholders and small business owners to actively participate in the Southtown Alliance to further positive developments in their community. Additionally, NV has worked one-on-one with small business owners to retain existing businesses and recruit new entrepreneurs to Southtown."
   -Suzzette Sanders, Owner, Mika's Boutique/Southtown Alliance Cooperative Marketing Committee Member

Southtown News

Proposed homestyle breakfast restaurant to be only sit-down eatery in Grand Rapids' Madison Square
Feb. 9th, 2011 - Rapid Growth Media
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Boston Square Area Specific Plan goes in front of Planning Commission
Feb. 23rd, 2010
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Madison Square business incubator has community backing for $1.7M project
Feb. 11th, 2010 - Rapid Growth
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