Every morning, I turn on the news and listen to reporters in New York telling me what the economic indicator of the day is going to be - a jobs or earnings report, or perhaps a manufacturing indicator.
While these statistics are very telling, and are certainly important, I want numbers from "Main Street" - the metaphor for you and me that these pundits exhaust without shame.
In my humble opinion, a good local "Main Street" economic indicator for our area occurred this past Friday night with the third annual Wedding Walk conducted by the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority.
The authority's executive director Allen Muldrew cited some impressive statistics for this year's event. The number of brides-to-be that participated increased from 31 to 41 this year, over last, and vendors had to be turned away due to a lack of space. The forty vendors present this year included photographers, caterers, wedding planners, florists, gift shops, and bridal wear.
"I think what makes this event so powerful is that the brides that attend are committed buyers, and are directly in front of the sellers," he said. "If you buy into the prevailing statistic that the average wedding costs about $27,000, then those brides represent over one million dollars in purchasing power. That's a big deal."
Two hundred and twenty tickets were sold to the event which included a bridal expo at the Quality Inn and Suites, culminating with a fashion show at the Emma Kelly Theatre.
"We made a strategic decision last year to open the event to all vendors, not just those with their base of operations in downtown Statesboro," Muldrew said. "It should be more of a regional event. Bringing more people to downtown is a tremendous positive. I think it would be a mistake to have tunnel vision where something like this is concerned."
As with the prom fashion show that was held a month ago in the Emma Kelly, the Wedding Walk is becoming a legitimate event that can hold its own. Main Street has spoken, brides and prom attendees are shopping "strong", and that, according to Wall Street is a very good sign.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
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