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The government is open for business again. Just as the public was starting to see the effects of the government shutdown, the United States Congress finally passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling and avoided default. Public support for Congress as described by various media outlets seems to be waning on a national level, but what do the citizens of Macon County think about the latest crisis that has been averted for the time being?

Franklin resident Gary Sutton was keen to answer questions about his feelings towards the shutdown, placing blame on all members of Congress.


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.


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.


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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