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Putting the spotlight on local businesses with ‘904 Day’

Campaign aims to support housing efforts on the Eastside

News4Jax reporter Ashley Harding shows us some great local businesses where you can celebrate 904 Day.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – From Lynyrd Skynyrd to the Jaguars to the Gate River Run, there’s a lot to celebrate about Jacksonville. There are also many great local businesses. Saturday, September 4th, will also be known as “904 Day.” A day specially dedicated to celebrating them.

According to the Small Business Administration, Florida has more than 2.7 million small businesses, representing 99.8% of business growth across the state. As Northeast Florida grows, these independent ventures are critical to creating jobs on the First Coast.

At Manifest Distilling in downtown Jacksonville, organically made spirits are churned out every day. Manifest’s president, David Cohen, says the company will celebrate its 5th anniversary.

“We make vodkas, gins, we make multiple types of whiskey, rum,” Cohen said. “All that is made on site. This is our warehouse where everything is made.”

Cohen says with 904 Day happening this weekend, the distillery is not only running the bars at this year’s Taco Fest, it’s launching its campaign where a portion of all proceeds go to a charity. Cohen says not only can you give back, you can discover businesses you never knew were here.

“We have so many great businesses and guides for people doing innovative stuff creative stuff,” Cohen said. “It never ceases to amaze me the amount of talent that is here.”

And across the river at Bold Bean Coffee Roasters in Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood, the next cup of joe is always served fresh.

For its “904 Day” celebration, Bold Bean is offering up three new blends, aptly named “nine”, “zero”, and “four” for all of September. 20% of those proceeds go to charity too.

For Bold Bean’s president, Zack Burnett, making up a small part of the city’s fabric is everything.

“We want Jacksonville to feel different than Savannah, Orlando or anywhere else,” Burnett said. “And, really, what gives Jacksonville that character is the local business.”

If you’re on social media, there’s something fun you can do with this when you’re out and about. Make a post with the hashtag #904Day.

Whether your beverage is brewed or is best served with a toast, both businesses raise a glass to Jacksonville and all its future business owners.

“If you have a good concept and you come in the city and you do a good job with it, people just love to support your business,” Burnett said. “People in Jacksonville are really big on local, homegrown businesses.”

Cohen agrees. He also shared his message to anyone interested in starting a business in the River City.

“The culture of the city is really cool,” Cohen said. “I think downtown especially is so ripe for business opportunity because of the availability of what’s here.”

The money they’re giving back from sales this month is going to the same place. “Lift Jax”, which works to fight poverty in the city.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.