Jackson businesses team up to host outdoor vending event


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—Small businesses lined the streets of downtown Jackson Sunday. It’s all part of what they are calling ‘Spring Fling.’ And owners say it’s here at the right time.

“It’s bringing light to downtown. We need to support our local businesses now more than ever,” said  Stephanie Smith.

Smith owns a small business selling locally made honey. She’s one of dozens of business owners who came to downtown Jackson for the city’s first major outdoor vending event of the year. Smith says business has been tough.

“Not having any shows when you pull so much honey and you need to unload it because we are going to turn around and pull more honey here starting Mid-June,” said Smith.

Relying on shows to make a living is a common theme among vendors. Gary Merritt and his wife make and sell homemade soaps. He says last year he wasn’t able to go to a single show. That’s why today was so important for him and his business.

“It’s just fun. Most of the good relationships we’ve developed over the last five or six years have been other vendors as well as customers at these events we’ve got to know people all over Michigan,” said Co-Owner of Finding the Trail Home Brewed Soaps, Gary Merritt.

Organizers of the event say even with the major toll on businesses this past year, it’s about sticking together.

“We’re working with each other, realizing that we are better as a team then working against each other, so we put on events like this to bring people downtown,” said Co-owner of The Blesses Nest, Travis Moore.

Smith says this is a sign of hope and a return to some form of normalcy.

“People have a lightness about them when they are out and doing normal things again. It’s very important we definitely need this.”

Vendors say they hope to have a similar event this summer.

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