Two brochures will promote downtown Franklin

Published 11:22 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2011

by Dan Howe

There has been some concern and misunderstanding related to the new Downtown Franklin Shopping and Dining Brochure created by the Economic Restructuring Committee of the Downtown Franklin Association.

It is the first of two brochures that are part of this year’s marketing plan for the downtown business district. The purpose of the two brochures — the Downtown Franklin Shopping and Dining Brochure and the Downtown Franklin Business Directory — was to enhance the tourism and business information available to visitors, as well as citizens of our community and surrounding community who will in turn promote and publicize the many wonderful amenities and business opportunities downtown Franklin has to offer.

The shopping and dining brochure was to include downtown Franklin restaurants and businesses whose primary market was retail sales.

The business directory will include every business in the downtown Franklin district listed according to group categories. For example, shopping, dining, salons and barbers, health care, automotive, and professional services, including financial, insurance, banking and more.

The Economic Restructuring Committee has been working diligently since the beginning of the year on marketing improvement plans. The plan was to publish and distribute the shopping and dining brochure in July and the full business directory in late August or early September.

Some of the key distribution points planned are Franklin businesses, Train Depot Visitor Center, Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce, community motels and airports.

Complete distribution of the shopping and dining brochure has been put on hold until improved modifications can be completed. These improvements should be completed in time to resume and complete the distribution before the end of July.

The full business directory is still on track for completion and distribution in August or early September.

The Downtown Franklin Association is a volunteer-driven organization that oversees the Main Street program for Franklin. We are a non-profit corporation whose primary mission is to ensure the long-term viability of the downtown district as a cultural, civic, historical and commercial center through the use of private and public commitments.

The Main Street approach is a philosophy, a program and a proven comprehensive approach to downtown commercial district revitalization. This approach has been implemented in more than 1,200 cities and towns in more than 40 states with the help of the National Main Street Center and statewide downtown revitalization programs.

The success of the Main Street approach is based on its comprehensive nature. By carefully integrating four points — organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring — into practical downtown management strategy, a local Main Street program will produce fundamental changes in a community’s economic base.

All of the four points are orchestrated and managed by committees composed of downtown business and property owners, and other citizen volunteers devoted to working together to improve and ensure the long-term viability of the downtown district.

Through efforts and support of all the dedicated volunteers, stakeholders, sponsors, business and property owners, local government, and residents from in and around our community, the DFA has been a successful and positive impact in our community for over 25 years.

DAN HOWE is manager of the Downtown Franklin Association. He can be reached at