Downtown Shops' Favorite Day Keeps Them In The Black - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

4/10/04

Downtown Shops' Favorite Day Keeps Them In The Black

Some Bay Saint Louis small shops owners trying to ink out a living say they can mark the days on the calendar that are keeping them in the black. This Saturday kicked off the first "2nd Saturday Art Walk" of the season. From now until December, downtown stores and restaurants will offer extended hours, featured artists and well as live entertainment. Some merchants are calling the second Saturday their favorite day of the month.

Whether you're running a lemonade stand or a bridal and wedding consultant shop, attracting customers isn't easy. Small business owners like Jutta Bordelon who just opened her store a few weeks ago hope to get a lift from the Second Saturday Artwalk.

Second Saturday's popularity has translated into big profits for downtown Bay St. Louis. Organizers say some 40 to 50 businesses have come to depend on the event.

Chairman Richie Zitzmann said "In talking to the merchants and the different shop owners and the restaurants and so forth, they tell me that 2nd Saturday is the best Saturday of the month or it basically pays their rent for the month because of the crowds it draws and so forth."

The shops market themselves as quaint and friendly but for tourists like the Davies and Overies. it's the uniqueness that will draw them back.

"[They've] got many varied shops," said British tourist Barry Davies. "We've met a man who makes models with a chainsaw this morning. He's very good. There's everything here."

Merchants say when sales are high here in the downtown the whole city cashes in. The Second Saturday art walk ends December 11th.

by Danielle Thomas

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