You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

First Friday draws new customers downtown

Springfield businesses share in promotion and excitement as event grows.


On the first Friday of December, Running with Scissors stayed open late and had art and refreshments to attract customers.

By the first Friday of April, 13 different businesses downtown stayed open late — drawing a steady stream of potential customers down Fountain Avenue after 7 p.m.

“Who could imagine downtown Springfield would be alive after 5 p.m.?” said Nancy Blackburn, a Springfield resident of 20 years. “That there’d be fun, grown-up things to do, with wine and cheese, and things like a (blown glass) demonstration.”

Ellen Alleman, co-owner of Running with Scissors, said she took the idea from other cities such as Columbus that have weekend events such as the Gallery Hop.

“All the models we’ve seen that do a First Friday get big, because so many places are open,” she said. “Some people will just go to one place, but others hit all they can. It definitely helps (businesses), and it’s more fun for patrons.”

First Friday has now become an unofficial day for downtown businesses to promote themselves with special hours, deals and refreshments. Alleman said she is excited for the First Friday of the summer months, alluding to new demonstrations and a potential ice cream theme in the future.

Businesses are working with the Center City Association for help with marketing and collaborating for larger First Friday events.

Elaine Morris Roberts is the interim executive director of CCA, and she said the organization plans to continue marketing efforts with local businesses.

“We really try to facilitate First Fridays, and we work with businesses that have questions, that need help from us in someway to get ready,” Roberts said. “We try to offer support help them with new ideas.”

Owner of Gourmet Gift Baskets Nicole Debuty called the First Friday a way to “reintroduce downtown” to people.

“It’s been wonderful. We see a lot of new faces and people who are coming in and checking us out,” she said. “We have great support from the other businesses.”

The event also allows businesses to gain new customers who maybe would not have stopped by, said Sam Beloff, owner of Rose City Fine Jewelry and a consultant with the Small Business Development Center. On the CCA’s marketing committee, his daughter, Mariam, is the liaison with downtown businesses for First Friday.

The first time he participated, Beloff had no sales, but up to 100 people stopped into the store for the first time. The second and third times, he actually had sales.

“And then more people come in after the fact,” he said. “How much would we have to pay in advertising to get people to walk in the door this way?”

First Friday allows businesses to show potential customers the positive business community in downtown.

“It shows the community what’s here, first of all, and that there are some interesting unique things downtown people may not be aware of,” Roberts said. “Plus, it shows there’s camaraderie and growing trust between businesses, and they support each other and try to help each other succeed.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations
Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations

Negotiations between southwest Ohio’s largest health system, Dayton-based Premier Health, and UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurance company, remained at a standstill Thursday with the first deadline for their contract to expire rapidly approaching. UnitedHealthcare’s contract with Premier hospitals is set to expire...
Airfare decreases at local airports
Airfare decreases at local airports

Average airfare at airports in Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati has dropped in the past year, but still remains among the highest in the United States. Five airports in the region rank in the top 50 most expensive in the country, including Dayton International Airport, John Glenn International Airport and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport...
Frisch’s introduces new, limited-edition cheeseburger
Frisch’s introduces new, limited-edition cheeseburger

Frisch’s Big Boy has introduced a new hamburger to its menu — the Primetime Chili Cheeseburger. The Cincinnati-based fast casual restaurant added the Chili Cheeseburger to its menu this month. The burger features premium ground beef, melted cheddar cheese and is topped with Frisch’s famous chili with beans. The restaurant said the...
Auto lender to military service members must pay $1.25M penalty
Auto lender to military service members must pay $1.25M penalty

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken action against an Ohio auto lender to pay refunds and credits the federal agency says were due to hundreds of consumers, and pay an additional $1.25 million penalty, records show. The CFPB alleged Mason-headquartered Security National Automotive Acceptance Corp., which specializes in vehicle...
5 things to know about Meijer home delivery
5 things to know about Meijer home delivery

Meijer’s home delivery starts today in the Miami Valley, allowing customers to shop for more than 55,000 items online. The service will cover 2,100 square miles including Miamisburg, Middletown, Lebanon, Huber Heights, Englewood, Springfield and Troy, acccording to the company. That’s more than 415,000 houses that can be serviced by Meijer&rsquo...
More Stories