Franklin businesses shine in decorating contest

Published 8:34 am Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Retail Alliance’s People’s Choice Award, which is determined by customers, went to Dr. Dylan B. Belt in Franklin.

NORFOLK—A Franklin business was among three to receive top honors among 80 entries in this year’s Retail Alliance’s Holiday Window Works contest.

Judges chose Designs by Sandra along with Old Main Street Antiques in Virginia Beach and Decorum Furniture in the Ghent Section of Norfolk.

This year’s competition, themed Santa’s Workshop, featured stores throughout Hampton Roads and Smith Mountain Lake.

Designs by Sandra took top honors in the Retail Alliance's Holiday Window Works contest.

The People’s Choice Award, which is determined by customers who donate cash into the Voting Jar at contestant locations, went to Dr. Dylan B. Belt in Franklin, where $280 was contributed. Proceeds will benefit Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Hampton Roads and Friends of the Lake in Smith Mountain Lake.

Other winners in the People’s Choice category were Ocean Palm in Williamsburg with $150, Altschul’s in Norfolk $121, Home Sweet Home in Smithfield $113, Green Gates Gifts in Hampton $100 and Meiggs Hardware in Chesapeake $100.

The online People’s Choice Award, which was determined through Internet voting, ended with a tie between Dylan B. Belt and Rapid Refill Ink in Ghent section of Norfolk.

Special Design awards went to:

• Most Creative Use of Product — Rapid Refill Ink in Ghent section of Norfolk

• Best 2D (painted window)— Briar Patch Tea Room in Poquoson

• Greatest Attention to Detail — Bedcrafters by Michelle in James City County

• Above and Beyond — Williamsburg Fine Art in Williamsburg

• Best Use of Space — The Queen Bees in Portsmouth

“We hope that when people come out to see these displays, they will also do some shopping,” said Susan Milhoan, president and chief executive officer for the Retail Alliance. “By purchasing from locally owned businesses, you actually strengthen the community. For every $100 spent at an independent business, $45 is returned directly to the area economy — more than three times the return gained from dollars spent at a national chain.”

Since 1903, Retail Alliance has been committed to promoting the healthy growth of businesses and trade as a full-service business resource, extending throughout southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.