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July 22, 2014

Cruise could have positive economic impact on Roseville

By Kevin Bunch
C & G Staff Writer

ROSEVILLE — While it is only in its second year, expectations are strong that Roseville’s Gratiot Cruise will be a boon to area businesses, according to the Eastpointe-Roseville Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber President Danielle Bare said that while last year’s first-time cruise brought in a fair amount of revenue, a lot of work had to go into it to make sure that it happened. This year has seen a bump in terms of participation that is riding off last year’s success, she said.

“You still have a lot of momentum from the excitement of last year’s cruise to build from,” Bare said. “Businesses will enjoy the opportunity to touch base with customers that they might not reach otherwise.”

She said the chamber has been helping the Roseville cruise committee, also known as the Roseville Heritage Foundation, reach out to local businesses for sponsorship and participation, adding that the chamber’s experience working with Eastpointe’s Cruisin’ Gratiot has been helpful.

Roseville Gratiot Cruise Marketing Manager Amelia Hinds said that the organization had gotten approval from the city to handle vendor permits during the event. While the city still handles inspections and has ordinances that must be followed, the cruise committee handles the actual permitting process, which speeds things up.

This also means that the committee will not be charged full price for permits, and Hinds said they are passing those savings along to the businesses planning on doing special attractions during the cruise.

As of July 11, Hinds said they had not gotten a huge vendor response due to a late start, but some businesses already planned on having food booths and fundraisers.

“We’ve had some — again this is a late start. I don’t think enough people were thinking about vendor opportunities — we probably only have 18 vendors at the moment, but they have one more week,” Hinds said.

Among those are Kmart and Kroger, which Hinds said are both planning food fundraisers — selling things to eat during the cruise, with the money going toward specific causes. Kmart is raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, while Kroger is focusing on a program called One Touch.

“One Touch is dedicated to helping women get back into the workforce, whether they’ve been out because of domestic abuse or they’ve been raising their kids for the past 18 years,” Hinds said. “So it helps them get up and moving.”

Bare said the change in vendor permits has encouraged some more local businesses to participate in the cruise, and she believes a scavenger hunt devised by the cruise committee — where Roseville businesses have items for participants to retrieve — will help bring in more business in the future.

“This gives folks a chance to visit local businesses, and many businesses will be giving the scavenger hunt participants special discount incentives to come back and do further business with them,” Bare said.

The cruise will be running from noon-6 p.m. July 26 between 10 Mile Road and 13 Mile Road.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kevin Bunch at kbunch@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1030.