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Features

Struggling economy to blame

We hear it often. Small businesses are the engine of economic growth in the United States. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 44 percent of private payrolls in the U.S. and employ half of all private sector employees. Their ability to thrive in Western North Carolina is essential to long-term economic growth in the region, says Will Lambe, Associate Director of the UNC School of Government’s Community and Economic Development program.

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The local Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) board is facing some big changes both locally and statewide.

At a joint dinner meeting between the Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen and ABC board members on Dec. 12, it was revealed that the property management firm of Macon Plaza may be raising the rent on the local ABC store in November of next year.

For the past 17 years, the store has been leasing space from the plaza. Prior to July 2006, when the Town of Franklin passed its mixed beverage ordinance, the store was only 3,200 square feet and paid approximately $3,000 a month. After the ordinance passed, the store expanded to 6,008 square feet. The rent was raised to $6,069.76 per month.

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A joint initiative by the Franklin Tourism Development Authority and the Franklin Main Street Program is supporting local small retailers by encouraging locals and visitors alike to Shop Franklin First.

Although this initiative is not new, a renewed focus by these organizations hopes to bring more attention to our local small businesses.

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The Franklin Chamber of Commerce along with town officials recently welcomed Livingston’s Bar and Grill to Franklin with a ribbon cutting celebration. Livingston’s Bar and Grill is located at 201 Highlands Road, next to Edward Jones, serving appetizers, sandwiches and burgers, soups and salads, as well as, entrees and desserts. The entire menu is available all day long.

Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., Livingston’s offers a different dining experience for Franklin. Manager Jamee Pelcher’s love for the Florida Keys and Jimmy Buffet was the basis for the restaurant’s theme.

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