Don’t forget STARTUP Downtown Franklin

Published 9:28 am Friday, January 27, 2017

by Amanda Jarratt and Dan Howe

There is rarely a social event we attend where someone doesn’t say “I wish we had “fill in the blank” in Franklin … .”  If you are one of those individuals that has had a grand idea that you would like to see in our community, now is your chance to see that vision become a reality. STARTUP Downtown Franklin is the first of its kind program in Franklin geared to provide you the skill sets and seed money to see your dreams come true. 

Martinsville-Henry County Main Street shared the following about their results from participating in the program previously: “The CBL program has been a huge success in our community and has started a major movement in cultivating local entrepreneurs. In the past year, we have secured over $100,000 to expand this program into the entire Martinsville-Henry County footprint for 2017 and look forward to seeing more success. This was a great kick-off for a now on-going program. Last year we successfully opened two restaurants, a bookstore, an auto-tech company and a dancewear boutique. We were also able to expand one of our existing businesses.”

We are confident that we can see these same results in Franklin. So in case you need a reminder these simple steps below will get you started: 

• Step 1: Submit an application by Feb. 1 by visiting Remember this one because it will be here soon!

• Step 2: Attend six required courses being taught by Old Dominion University at the Franklin Business Center.

Class 1: Feb. 8 – Simple Steps for Starting a Business Overview

Class 2: Feb. 22 – Innovation, Branding, Completion and Leadership

Class 3: March 8 – Accounting

Class 4: March 22 – Finance and Credit

Class 5: April 5 – Sales and Marketing

Class 6: April 19 – Business Planning

• Step 3: Submit a business plan by May 17

• Step 4: Pitch your business idea on May 31

The winners will be announced on June 14

A few key points to know are that the business must be open in the designated Downtown Franklin area by Sept. 30 and the awarded money must be spent by Dec. 1, 2017. Restaurants and retail businesses will be ranked higher in the competition but we encourage all businesses to take advantage of this opportunity. (Please note that non profits and government entities are not eligible to participate.) You may ask yourself “Is this program for me and my business idea?” The answer is easy. Yes! This program will provide you with so much more than capital. It will also provide you with the knowledge needed to start or expand your business through the classes taught by Old Dominion University. It has already presented opportunities for networking through the Kickoff Event and will continue to provide those opportunities at the Pitch Night and Award Night. And it doesn’t cost to apply-so you have nothing to lose. 

Only four easy steps and you could be on your way to not only living your dream but helping to revitalize Downtown Franklin! Most important takeaway … submit those applications by February 1st to be considered for the STARTUP Downtown Franklin!

For more information or to apply online visit, call 562-1958 or e-mail contact@startupdowntownfranklin.

AMANDA JARRATT is president and CEO of Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc.

DAN HOWE is executive director of the Downtown Franklin Association.