Vid: Operation Compliance—Detroit's War on Small Business
"Someone breaks in, they never show up. Yet still, they want to come and blackball you and close your business," says Derek Little, owner of an auto shop along Detroit's Livernois Avenue.
He's one of many business owners in Detroit who's faced what he says amounts to harassment from the city's overzealous code enforcement. Amidst a bankruptcy and a fast-dwindling population and tax base, the city has prioritized the task of ensuring that all businesses are in compliance with its codes and permitting. To accomplish this, Mayor David Bing announced in January that he'd assembled a task force to execute Operation Compliance.
Operation Compliance began with the stated goal of shutting down 20 businesses a week. Since its inception, Operation Compliance has resulted in the closure of 383 small businesses, with another 536 in the "process of compliance," according to figures provided to Reason TV by city officials.
Click the link below for the full story, associated links, and downloadable versions.
Also, check out Shikha Dalmia's column on Detroit's non-recovery, which features reporting on Operation Compliance.
Approximately 5 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Tracy Oppenheimer and Weissmueller.