Online Staff Report
Rockford City Market — held every Friday from May 30 through Oct. 17 along Water Street in downtown Rockford — had a total economic impact of $8.7 million in 2014, according to a recently completed economic report.
The Rock River Development Partnership (RRDP) recently completed the SEED (Sticky Economic Evaluation Device) Study provided by marketumbrella.org. This tool measures the economic benefit of the market for both vendors and nearby businesses. The data were obtained from the respondents to the market’s annual patron survey, which was conducted in September and October 2014.
The SEED study showed a combined direct spend on Friday nights of $3.9 million: $2.4 at the market, and $1.5 at downtown businesses. When considering the multiplied effect of the initial round of spending plus successive rounds of re-spending within a region, the total combined economic impact is $8.7 million (the Bureau of Economic Analysis assigns a 2.25 multiplier to the region).
Peter J. Provenzano, chairman and founder of the RRDP, the 501(c)(3) that created and manages the market, said: “We are pleased that the Rockford City Market continues its significant economic impact on the community. This is more good news and demonstrates that downtown Rockford is growing in popularity as a destination for visitors from around the region. The market is also serving as an incubator for start-up small businesses. It is everything we envisioned it to be when we started it five years ago.”
The average dollars spent at the market per shopper each market day is $31, and 57 percent of those spend $20 at a nearby business. This year, the attendance topped 75,000 people, a weekly increase of 11 percent, despite two rain-outs and a cool fall season.
Several market vendors grew their businesses in 2014. Candle Crest moved out of their home to a manufacturing/storefront at 1418 20th St. in October. Zammuto’s Drive-In is now selling four flavors of granita at Woodman’s and Chiquita Food Mart. The Olive Oil Experience opened a second location at 328 E. State St., right around the corner from the market.
In 2015, market favorite Woodfire Brick Oven Pizza will open their long-awaited restaurant at 408 E. State St., and Bath and Body Fusion will relocate to 324-326 E. State St., expanding from 500 to 3,000 square feet. Bath and Body Fusion products are now carried in a number of retail locations in the area, and they are in need of more production space to meet the demand.
Rockford City Market includes local growers and vendors who sell natural products, including vegetables, fruit, meat, cheeses, flowers, herbs, baked goods, wine and healthy snacks, as well as artisans and vendors with unique offerings and live entertainment by a variety of performers.
Rockford City Market is a collaborative effort of several agencies, including the RRDP, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the City of Rockford. Learn more at www.rockfordcitymarket.com.
Posted Dec. 16, 2014