FSEDI leader responds to article on downtown

Published 10:17 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to the article regarding the relocation of Gray Fox Electronics from Downtown Franklin that ran in Friday’s edition of The Tidewater News. I would like to take a moment to provide some additional information that would rebut the personal opinion shared in the article. Had I been aware of the opinions shared I would have stated the following as my official article comment:

Downtown Franklin is experiencing tremendous revival and is home to many new retail stores breathing life into our community. The Franklin Cruise-In attracts hundreds of visitors to our community each Wednesday filling our streets with activity and energy. The Franklin Market on Main is growing leaps and bounds, highlighting the produce and wares of our local entrepreneurial and agricultural regional community. The Main Event is offering numerous community engagement events, such as monthly comedy club nights and evening concerts. Within the past three months, we have seen the following retail shops open: Lavender and Lace, Vintage and The Busy Bee. Each store brings a strong customer base and will only expand the shopping options available to the public.

STARTUP Downtown Franklin, a business plan competition presented by Franklin Southampton Economic Development and the Downtown Franklin Association, just completed its second installment. Katrina Sykes-Manley, the contest’s grand prize winner, opened Spoken Interior Homes, a high-end home décor retail space, in late July. Kim Mallon of Children’s Therapy Concepts took home the runner-up prize, adding a much-needed medical service and bringing high-wage jobs into our Downtown district. Andrea Epps of Tiers to You is an up-and-coming baker with incredible dessert and baked goods creations. Expect her business to sky rocket in the community as well.

Stay tuned for the date of the progressive ribbon cutting ceremony, highlighting all three of this year’s winners.

We also take great pride in our anchor businesses and business owners that have invested in downtown for numerous years, pouring into the economic vitality of our resilient city. I am truly optimistic about the future of Downtown Franklin, and envision substantial economic investments to occur in the future.

Amanda C. Jarratt
President & CEO
Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc.