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Monday Links: Farming Detroit

Holiday retail sales jumped 3.6% over last year (as measured by MasterCard Advisors’ Spending Pulse), Bloomberg’s Linda Sandler reports.

One Michigan entrepreneur eyes farming Detroit’s empty lots, P.J. Huffstutter reports in the LA Times. (H/t Planet Money). The story includes this stunning paragraph:

And in a city where there are no major grocery store chains, and more than three-fourths of the residents buy their food at convenience stores or gas stations, the idea of having easy access to fresh produce is appealing.

Maybe Detroit’s urban farms will one day supply the restaurants that are among the new businesses inhabiting closed car dealerships. The AP’s Julie Carr Smyth looks at what’s moving into shuttered showrooms. (H/t Infrastructurist.)

Microbusiness owners’ confidence edges up in the latest Discover Small Business Watch survey by Rasmussen, Joan E. Solsman writes for Dow Jones Newswires.

Taking away free snacks — along with freewheeling startup culture — can drive key employees away, says Steve Blank, writing at VentureWire. (H/t Tim Berry)

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