Flint businesses booming with customers - WNEM TV 5

Flint businesses booming with customers

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The streets of Flint are busy with runners and spectators for the kick-off of the HealthPlus Crim Festival of Races, but that's not the only thing that is busy.

Businesses on the bricks are booming with customers throughout the weekend. 

"It's very hyped up, everybody's excited, slash kinda nervous," said Tiff Sommers, manager of Cafe Rhema.

The cafe, which usually opens at 7:30 a.m., will be making espresso a few hours earlier on Saturday for the big running rush. 

"Cause they'll be a lot of runners and families stopping in for coffee and a quick breakfast before the race," Sommers said.

Cafe Rhema isn't the only business booming. Down the street at the Flint Crepe Company, they're also gearing up for wall-to-wall customers.

"We're just packed. It's just to the door all day. It's a huge boost for us," said Chris Day, head chef.

Day even made a special crepe for Crim racers. It's packed with running-fuel, including bananas, peanut butter and honey.

Day said they have learned in the past to be prepared with extra workers for this extra busy time.

"It's very easy for us to notice the difference. It's not subtle. There's something huge going on," Day said.

Many of the people said they're not only happy their business is busy, but downtown Flint continues to grow.

"They really want to see downtown get out of this rut its been in and when things like that happen and you see the place just alive and booming and all the businesses doing well, it really brings just an energy to the whole downtown area," Day said.

At the end of the weekend, all the new festival-goers will see just what downtown Flint has to offer and hopefully continue that business growth throughout the rest of the year. 

"It's awesome it's brought so many new faces downtown and I think that's what downtown needs so they can see that downtown is not what it used to be," Sommers said.

U of M reports 60,000 volunteers, spectators and runners visit every year and the festival has a $10 million economic impact on the city.

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