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Features

When new businesses fail, statistics show the most likely cause is a lack of business planning.

To help local entrepreneurs avoid that pitfall, the Macon County Certified Entrepreneurial Community (CEC) Leadership Team is hosting a business plan competition starting this fall and running through the spring of 2014.

The winner will receive a $5,000 grand prize.

Designed to encourage entrepreneurs to start successful businesses in Macon County, the competition will provide applicants the opportunity to complete a comprehensive business plan with the help of a series of free seminars. They’ll also work with various mentors in hopes of making their business a reality.

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The Franklin Tourism Development Authority (TDA) held its monthly meeting Monday night at town hall. Members gathered to look at a funding request from the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, (SMPCA) to listen to a presentation concerning the Winter Wonderland festival and to consider an amendment that would change the amount of funds in their reserve.

Paul Garner, general manager of the performing arts center along with Adam Raymond of Premiere Marketing — the firm that handles the marketing strategy for the TDA — were both in attendance to tell the board how the center would be using any money that was allotted to the facility. Using figures that were collected from the Third Day concert that took place the night before, the duo pointed at the large markets that were being brought into Franklin.

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Providing opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities has been the mission of Macon Citizens Habilities, Inc. (MCH) for more than three decades and now with support from the Evergreen Foundation, a new venture is planned. No later than early spring, MCH will begin a greenhouse business at its campus on Lake Emory Road in Franklin.

Several months ago Jeannie Garrett, executive director, and Robert Edwards, assistant director, of MCH and staff began exploring ideas that could potentially provide additional meaningful work for individuals in the program. Once they had decided on a greenhouse they discovered that a local business with greenhouses was going out of business.

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The Franklin Chamber of Commerce along with Mayor Joe Collins recently welcomed Hana Express with a Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Celebration. Hana Express is located at 215 Holly Springs Plaza.

Hana Express offers an Asian fusion of Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese cuisine which includes a large sushi bar. Dishes are prepared to order and always fresh and hot. Folks can order from the extensive menu, from the sushi bar or from the hibachi bar. The hibachi bar allows you to create your own dish in four simple steps choosing your rice, sauce, vegetables and meat. Owners Henry Te and Nancy Phuong have 32 years of experience preparing and serving their dishes.

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