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One Spark; boon for local business

12:08 PM, Apr 22, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One Spark sparked a lot of interest in downtown Jacksonville over five days. 

Despite the wet weather over the weekend the festival drew and estimated 130,000 people. 900 entrepreneurs displayed 450 projects in 65 venues. 

Every project received some money from the $250,000 crowdsourcing pool. 50,000 votes were cast. Each vote was essential worth about $5.

Rethreaded won the most votes. It aims to fight the sex trade business with business by giving women a way out. Rethreaded received more than $6700 in funding.

The Kona School got more than $3100 from the prize pool and an additional $2300 in individual contributions. Along with entrepreneurs, downtown businesses benefitted big. Restaurants opened early and didn't close till late. 

"I would say double the income came in on this weekend compared to the week before that," said Jeries Ewais, owner of Zodiac Grill. Most businesses saw sales at least double but maybe more importantly One Spark gave businesses owners more exposure. 

"All day long people came in and looked around and said they didn't know we were here. So it's getting people to know we're here. That's a long term sales benefit," said Ron Chamblin, owner of Chamblin's Uptown.

The JTA says 40,000 people rode the Skyway between Wednesday and Saturday. In all, One Spark delivered what was promised and now the planning will soon begin for 2014.

First Coast News

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