First Fridays gives economic boost to businesses

First Fridays gives economic boost to businesses

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Mikky Hudson, the owner of Jessie's Restaurant prepared for Valdosta's First Friday Celebration.

Her regular business hours are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. but once a month on the first Friday, she extends the closing time to 9 p.m.

And she's not alone.

Most businesses downtown do the same thing.

It's all in an effort to not only bring downtown Valdosta to life, but to give small shops and restaurants a boost in revenue to start the month off strong.

Main Street Director Ellen Hill said First Fridays have actually saved a lot of businesses downtown.

"There's been times where back in the recession that's been like the day that has made their month, so they would really hope for a good First Friday," said Hill.

First Fridays aren't just about businesses, but other fun activities as well.

Food, live bands, even karaoke.

This year the featured event was an art walk and wine tasting.

Jessie's enjoys the event because it gives the guests more options to spend money.

"People are buying different things -- the alcohol, which they don't normally buy at lunch time, so the ticket prices are higher, so it's better," said Hudson

Around the corner at Kaleidoscope Gallery and Emporium, owner Fay Hyatt said that First Fridays does more than boost profits.

"It helps us in two ways, we have good sales that night and we also have people returning so it's a good thing, a good event," said Hudson.

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