December 18, 2015
Mark S. Lee
Crains Detroit Business
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Imagine an entrepreneur keeping the doors open in Detroit for 40 years — and still going strong.
With this as a backdrop, Barnes opened Heritage Optical Center in July 1975 as the first African American-owned and -operated full-service optical dispensary in Detroit.
In 1991, Heritage Optical applied for and earned an Alternative Financing and Delivery System Certification of Authority from the state of Michigan. Heritage is the only minority-owned company in the state to hold an AFDS certificate, which allows Heritage to offer fully covered and self-funded vision benefit programs. Heritage’s first major client, as offered by then-Mayor Coleman Young, was to provide vision coverage for city of Detroit employees.
I recently caught up with Barnes to share how he’s been successful conducting business for 40 years and discuss his plans for continued sustainability.
Lee: You have been in business for 40 years, all in the city of Detroit. What have been the keys to business sustainability?
Barnes: For me, the keys to success are determination, knowledge and hard work — these are essential.
Read the full interview on Crain’s Detroit Business