Businesses See Mixed Results from Roots 'N Blues

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COLUMBIA-The Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival brought hundreds of people into Columbia, but the large amount of tourists did not necessarily translate into profit for downtown businesses.

"I did my own study this year," Kent Anderson, the owner of Kent's Floral Gallery said. "Of all of our customers this weekend, only one was here because of Roots 'N Blues."

The festival also kept some regular patrons away.

"Most of our regular customers do not shop here during Roots 'N Blues," Anderson said. "The closed off streets and the potential traffic problems encourage them to stay home," he said.

A few doors down at Calhoun's, there was a different view.

"This year we did very well during Roots 'N Blues," part owner Lisa Klenke said. "We did better this year than in years past. When Roots 'N Blues first started I was not a fan of it, but that has changed."

One reason contributed to the boost.

"We were one of many businesses to create a window display called "Celebrating Your Roots" as a way to promote it. In return they promoted us on their website," Klenke said.

Even though Anderson lost business during Roots 'N Blues, he's not too worried.

"It is only for one weekend," Anderson said. "It would be different if it happened during a big holiday for us such as Mother's Day or Valentine's Day. Overall, it (Roots 'N Blues) is good for Columbia."