Civic and community leaders from around Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Fernandina Beach and the rest of the First Coast have joined together to promote this Saturday, September 4 as 904 Day, a campaign to support local businesses and culture. Residents and visitors are invited to join in to celebrate the 904 area code’s many local shops, independent restaurants, attractions and destinations that make Northeast Florida special.

904 Day began as a grassroots movement several years ago with locals, businesses and organizations taking to social media with the hashtag #904Day to celebrate all things local. This year, Melissa Ross, host and producer of First Coast Connect and The Florida Roundup at The Jaxson’s partner WJCT Public Media, saw an opportunity to expand upon the concept after witnessing widespread support for similar campaigns in other Florida cities, such as Orlando’s 407 Day and Miami’s 305 Day.

“The conversation started on social media, which has become an even more important way for people to find information about local businesses during the pandemic,” said Ross in a press release. “Our collective goal in launching the 904 Day campaign is to shine a light on these businesses in a fun, celebratory way. Whether you are a longtime resident or just visiting for Labor Day weekend, we hope you’ll seek out local businesses on Saturday, September 4.”

“Local businesses are the heartbeat of our community, as well as our economy,” said Ben Johnson, President of Martin Coffee Company and the JAX Chamber’s 2020 Overall Small Business Leader of the Year. “Supporting independent shops, restaurants, destinations and organizations on 904 Day — and every day — is vital to maintaining Northeast Florida’s reputation as a great place to live, work and play.”

Additional campaign partners for 904 Day include Downtown Vision, the nonprofit Business Improvement District for Downtown Jacksonville; the JAX Chamber, the not-for-profit chamber of commerce that serves members across Northeast Florida; Visit Jacksonville, the city’s official Destination Marketing Organization (DMO); the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which connects and promotes Hispanic-owned and operated businesses; and Wingard, a Jacksonville-based marketing and communications agency.

Business owners, residents and visitors can participate in the campaign by tagging their social media photos and posts with #904Day. Campaign graphics are available for download here.

Article by Bill Delaney. Contact Bill at Order Bill’s new book, Secret Jacksonville: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure here.