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Frequently Asked Questions for Businesses

Whether you are new to downtown or one of our seasoned veterans, explore our most commonly asked questions here.

New Businesses

We’re glad you asked! Downtown Lansing Inc. and other partners offer a variety of tools to help support your business in Downtown Lansing, including grants (for general support, facade improvement, signs, patios, and more), educational resources (like our Comprehensive Market data), design assistance services, and more. We’d also love to partner with you through our many events and public offerings. Learn more about how we can help here. We also try to communicate grant opportunities on the Downtown Lansing Business Owners Facebook page as well as in our monthly newsletter. Email [email protected] to join the list.
Hooray! We want you to start a business downtown, too. We’ve compiled a list of some of the top steps to remember throughout the process, such as licensing, inspections, and funding. This resource also includes some helpful contacts and departments that can help get your business growing.
Downtown Lansing Inc. has conducted a Comprehensive Market Analysis to make it easy for business owners and developers to source data that will make operating in Downtown Lansing the obvious choice.
Downtown Lansing Inc. can guide you to the appropriate contact. Let us know your needs and we will help you connect with the right property! Contact [email protected] for more information.
The City of Lansing Planning Office has more details on licensing and permitting requirements here.
Signing on as a participating business in our social district is great for business, and we’ve got resources to help you get started. Get started by checking out license information and downloading the House Rules Sign to display in your business. Email Cathleen Edgerly at [email protected] for more information on being added to our participating businesses list.
From street parking to one of our many parking garages, Downtown Lansing has a variety of parking options. Hourly, daily, or monthly, we have it all! For visitors and customers, street parking is available along downtown streets, with an abundance of metered spots on S. Washington Square. There are also a number of public ramps available, such as the North and South Grand Ramps, and the North and South Capitol Ramps. See this map for parking locations and more information.
We want to celebrate your new business! Scheduling a ribbon cutting event is a great way to formally announce that you are open for business. Downtown Lansing Inc. will walk you through the process to make your grand opening a success. Contact [email protected] to learn more.

All Businesses

You can add your event to our Events Calendar here. Our calendar includes a diverse collection of happenings in our neighborhood, and sharing your event can help you reach new audiences and build community downtown. Our calendar is specific to events taking place in Downtown Lansing, but all downtown events are welcome. Please allow up to two business days for your event to be reviewed and published, and please do not submit your event multiple times. Contact [email protected] for more information on how we can help promote you.
If your business is located downtown and you’d like to be in our directory, please complete this form or reach out to [email protected].
Downtown Digital Dollars are a great opportunity to expand your customer base and increase visibility to your business. Customers can use these gift cards at any of the participating downtown businesses. To apply to be part of our local network that accepts Downtown Digital Dollars, contact us at [email protected].
Downtown Lansing Inc. hosts several signature events downtown, and we’d love for you to get involved. Be sure to read your monthly Merchant Newsletter for links to marketing toolkits and ways to participate. We also share information on how businesses can get involved in these events in the Downtown Lansing Business Owners Facebook page. Email [email protected] to subscribe to the Merchant Newsletter.
In order to use the shared space outside your business (for things like sidewalk cafes, sandwich boards, seating areas, or street performers), you’ll need to file a Right-of-Way permit. To start, review the guidelines and download the application.
You can fill out a Vendor Application and make a payment online here to participate in one of DLI’s seasonal Downtown Neighborhood Markets.
The Market Series at Reutter Park, which includes our Holiday Kringle Market, is a series of events aimed at activating the Reutter Park space on the southern border of downtown. To get involved, contact Julie Reinhardt at [email protected].
DLI offers a variety of funding grants to help support your business. These include financial support for general growth, facade improvement, signs, patios, design services, and more. For most grants, you will need to meet eligibility requirements in order to apply, and then complete an application. Explore our available grants and learn how to apply for each one.
Amazing, we’d love to have you! Downtown business owners bring a necessary perspective to our four committees — Organization; Promotions; Business Development; and Design and Public Spaces. Learn more about our committees and how to join.
The Business Huddle is a monthly meeting designed to meet your neighboring businesses and share insight and updates. Hosted by a different business each month, you’ll hear the latest news from Downtown Lansing Inc., as well as perspectives from guest speakers invited to discuss topics pertinent to downtown. We even have raffle prizes and snacks! Contact [email protected] for information on getting involved in the Business Huddle.
You can download DLI’s logo and branded materials in our Brand Toolkit. Be sure to read through this before using DLI’s logo on your materials.
Subscribe to DLI’s newsletter to receive the latest updates on the downtown community. We also recommend checking out our News for the most recent stories.
The Michigan Main Street program is a state-driven initiative dedicated to revitalizing and preserving the economic vitality of traditional downtowns and neighborhoods in Michigan. As a part of Main Street America (a national program), Michigan Main Street provides communities with resources, expertise, and support to enhance their downtown areas, fostering economic development and community engagement. Downtown Lansing became a designated Michigan Main Street community in February 2013 by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and is proud to continue partnering with the program through community investment tools and educational resources.
Downtown’s Lansing includes all spaces within the “Central Business District,” which is bounded by St. Joseph St. to the south; the east side of Capitol Ave. to the west; Shiawassee St. to the north; and Larch St. to the east. Established in 1996, the Central Business District contains more than 1,000 businesses in a 64-block area. The downtown area is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can also download the boundary map.
Officer Damon Pulver is the Downtown Community Police Officer. Contact him at [email protected] or 517-898-5009.