Boosting Lowndes County Business

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

At Zant's Flower Shop in Valdosta, customers are a click away from dozens of bouquets.

No matter their location.

"It keeps your storefront open 24 hours a day, where they can order flowers at anytime," said Bruce Sumner, 43, who owns Zant's Flower Shop, a family-run business since 1966.

Sumner is now promoting Zant's online while turning to the FastTrac Growth Venture program to maximize sales.

Sumner added, "FastTrack just gives you insight to the business to help you look at the business in a different way. And maybe sort of step out of the box you're in."

By creating mission statements and marketing strategies, this eight-week course is a way to take business to the next level.

An initiative launched by VSU and surrounding counties to boost the local economy.

"This really gives them the opportunity to step back and to see where they are now and where they can be," said Monica Page, VSU's FastTrack Coordinator. "And to set themselves up for success," she said.

On Thursday, FastTrac graduated 13 business owners, including 12 from Valdosta.

And The city is also using traditional media to spur growth.

In this month's Georgia Trend Magazine, there's a seven-page article promoting why you should bring business to Valdosta.

Still, merchants like Holly Coffey, who owns Anastasia's Consignment on Ashley Street, say officials could do more to keep shoppers from leaving town.

"We have tons of apartments," said Coffey. "They could be sending out fliers to them letting them know what's going on in Valdosta. Cause there's a ton of stuff that goes on but nobody knows about it," she added.

The city of Valdosta has seen more than 600 businesses shutter since 2005, according to the city's licensing office.

The application process for next year's FastTrack class starts in November.

Fore more info, call the program at (229) 245-3738

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