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Business Buzzzzzzzz

Business Buzzz, Sept. 7, 2009

Category: Business Buzzzzzzzz

A LOT of feedback on the City of Savannah and SDRA’s efforts to try to attract locals to Savannah’s downtown for dining and shopping, a marketing campaign announced last month.  But many are saying that before $500,000 is spent on marketing, City leaders need to create something for people to do once they get there.
Black leaders say that Black families don’t feel there’s anything for them to do downtown, so why would they go?  Whites are saying that there is a double problem…nothing to do and a continued perception about crime.

A number of cities, such as Reno and Palm Springs, close their Main Street one night a week during the summer and create a walking environment with a fresh vegetable market, street vendors, music and food vendors…creating something to see and do, and encouraging families to come and “stroll.” 

For Savannah, we'd need to add lots of visible police on foot, and make parking free for a few hours.  How about Thursday evenings in the summer?  We have strong tourist traffic on Friday and Saturday nights.  Thursdays could be targeted for locals.
But, hats off to the City/SDRA for trying!
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The Pooler Crossroads Chamber helped to host a ribbon cutting for the Fountain Church, located at 13 Canal Street, Suite B in Pooler this month.   And the Chamber has been active in marketing The Flyin' Pig BBQ & Music Festival that will run Fri., Sept.25, from 6-10 p.m. with the main event on Sat., Sept. 26, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at the Oglethorpe Speedway. Corporate sponsorships are still needed.

Of course, the big doings in Pooler are the upcoming “Pooler Days” on Friday, Oct. 9, when the Chamber is offering members and opportunity to promote their business.  The all day event will run from  9:30 a.m. (set-up time) to 4:00 p.m., and is free for Chamber members.  Information is available at 912-748-0110.
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Old Town Trolley is going to be converting their long-stranding gazebo in City Market into an “Information Center” concierge service, in the Decker courtyard. The center is currently under construction, and will open Sept. 18.

“The City Market Information Center will be staffed seven days a week, year round and will promote the businesses of the market as well as the city's many attractions and tours. The center should greatly benefit all of the businesses of City Market by directing guests to your shops and restaurants,” according to Kimberly Phillips, Asst. Manager of City Market Partners, the management company for the area.

They will be providing information on all the businesses in City Market, as well as selling tickets.  Any company in City Market can have their 9” x 4” brochure on their store carried at the new center, according to Phillips.

“The information center staff will be knowledgeable of the history of Savannah and will act as concierges for City Market and Savannah as a whole. Daytime Trolley Tour Tickets will be available for purchase for guests wishing to see the sights and sounds of the city as well as a nighttime "Frightseeing" tour called Ghosts and Gravestones,” said Phillips.

“Discounted area attraction tickets will also be offered at the gazebo including tickets to the River Boat Cruises, Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, Telfair Museum, The Davenport House and many more which will be offered below the door prices as a courtesy to City Market guests,” she added.

“They brought the idea to us,” said Phillips. “They’ve been a long-time tenant of ours, and they’ve owned their gazebo for many years.”  The opportunity to run a concierge service for City Market was not put out to bid, according to Phillips, explaining that Old Town Trolleys is the only tour company that is a tenant of City Market Partners.  Other tour companies in City Market pay rent to the City of Savannah “on the City lease street,” she explained.

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Speaklng of the City Market area, the long awaited Ellis Square project which has turned City Market into a battle zone for the past few years, is supposed to be completed by the end of October.

On Nov. 18 is the unveiling of the Johnny Mercer statue.  “That date is set in stone,” according to City Market Partners.  The traditional “Holiday Open House” will be Dec. 12.  During the day, there will be “Christmas for Kids” featuring Father Christmas, face painting and activities such as ornament decoration and cookie decorating.  In the evening, all the City Market businesses will remain open to attract shoppers, with carolers and lots of holiday spirit.

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The workers at the Boeing aircraft plant in Charleston voted last week to removed -- to "decertify" -- the Machinists union local of The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers The election was overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.  Boeing has confirmed that it is looking at Charleston for a plant assembly line expansion to produce the new "Dreamliner" model.  The workers had been members of the union for two years.

***

Associated Industries of Florida on Friday endorsed revisiting the state’s longstanding ban on offshore oil exploration during a special legislative session this fall.
Lawmakers may meet in October or November to vote on a new gambling pact that Gov. Charlie Crist signed with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and there has been talk that they might work in ending the 20-year moratorium on oil exploration.

In a news release, AIF called lifting the ban an “urgent imperative” to create employment opportunities for the one in 10 Floridians who are out of work.
“There is no better way to recognize, honor and support Florida’s workforce than for our leaders to create employment opportunities for the 1.7 million Floridians who are currently out of work,” AIF President and CEO Barney Bishop said in the news release. “Energy production would put tens of thousands of Floridians to work.”

In April, Henry Fishkind, an economist with Fishkind & Associates in Orlando, said the state could expect $31 billion in new revenue over 20 years with the current estimates of oil deposits.

However, numerous environmental groups – including the Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Audobon Society – oppose the plan.

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