We are all community advocates

Published 10:43 am Wednesday, October 31, 2018

by Amanda Jarratt

The mission of Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. is the following: to diversify the economy; create high quality jobs; and provide a future for the families and youth of Franklin and Southampton. While it is both my and the staff’s vocational responsibility to employ these goals, we simply cannot succeed alone. On behalf of my team, we are asking you, beloved Franklin-Southampton community, to link up with us in our effort to showcase the perks of choosing Franklin Southampton as one’s home.

What does that even begin to look like? It can start as a simple smile and maintaining eye contact as you hand a customer their receipt from the grocery store.

Perhaps holding the door open for an incoming patron at our favorite restaurant, adding ‘Have a nice day’ once they walk through the door. I know your mother taught you different, but in the case of local businesses, bragging is a good thing! Leave a review on the social media page of the boutique down the road or your favorite service provider. We need to build our local business community up as much as we can. Prospective residents and businesses visit the area regularly, and one positive interaction could result in a life-long community member.

Most recently, a site selection consultant from Atlanta was visiting the community to evaluate one of our industrial parks for a potential significant investment. At the end of the site visit and detailed discussion about all of the infrastructure they wanted to get a flavor of our community. They patronized one of our local establishments and received some of the worst customer service that I have ever personally observed. This interaction made such a poor impression on the consultant I’m not sure she will be back or consider us for any future projects.

This brought to light a greater issue surrounding community pride and making sure we all take ownership in the success of our community and local businesses. Especially with the holiday season approaching let’s rally around our spectacular community, everyone plays an important role in advocating for Franklin-Southampton!

AMANDA JARRATT is the president and CEO of the Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. Contact her at 562-1958 or ajarratt@franklinsouthamptonva.com.