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Town hosts ‘Buy in Farragut’ kickoff


The town of Farragut kicked off the 2007 Buy in Farragut campaign with a meeting at Town Hall Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Vice Mayor Mike Haynes said, “From Farragut’s standpoint, this is a ‘win-win’ situation. It is first and foremost a public education effort. We want to educate the people of Farragut and remind them that when they buy something in town, that money stays here.

“Farragut does not have a property tax. One of the reasons we do not is because we have revenue from sales tax.”

Buy in Farragut is a month-long campaign by local business owners and the Town to encourage residents to purchase goods in Farragut over the holiday

season.

“Last year was our first effort and we felt like it went pretty [well]. We got 56 businesses to participate and the town budgeted $5,000 for advertising,” Haynes said.

The campaign is aimed at helping local businesses get more traffic during the holiday season and, in effect, offers them free advertising during the

campaign.

Sue Stuhl, director of leisure services, said the town would still do the advertising they have done in the past through farragutpress, the Knoxville News Sentinel and on the Town’s cable access channel.

Stuhl said, “We would kick it off [at Town Hall]. We could do a listing of all the businesses that are participating so that your name would appear in the paper under the advertising. It would say ‘Buy in Farragut and participate with these businesses.’

“The other thing we are proposing is that you would get a freebie on your special events permit that allows you to have a sign of certain dimensions, you could have a sidewalk sale if the weather is nice, [anything] that falls within reason of what our special events permit allows. It would not be counted against your four per year and you could do it for the entire time of the campaign.”

She added that the free special events permit would only be available to those who registered for the campaign.

“One of the comments that we got last [year] was more flexibility,” Haynes said. “The special permit approach gives each business more flexibility.”

Stuhl and her staff are also working on an idea for a passport to savings card to be handed out to patrons of businesses during the campaign, which would give them discounts during the campaign as well as information on other participating business.

“We have talked about giving [customers] something that allows them to go from business to business and present it for whatever that [business’] special might be,” she said.

Alderman John Williams suggested the town pay for the printing of thousands of the passports and each participating business would be given stacks to hand out during the campaign.

“I would like to see them handed out to everyone who comes in, saying you can come back during this campaign and get a discount,” Williams said.

The meeting also was intended to gather feedback from local business owners.

Jan Miller, owner of Turtleheads Tea and Coffee Company said, “I think it’s a wonderful campaign and all that advertising [last year] really did help.”

Miller suggested the town use Farragut radio station WFIV-FM 105.3 to advertise the campaign.

Fares Schlank, owner of West Bicycles, did not feel that last year’s campaign had anything special about it. He suggested combining the campaign with special events such as scavenger hunts and other events designed to “put a face on the businesses in Farragut.”

For more information on the Buy in Farragut Campaign, call Sue Stuhl at 865-966-7057.

 

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