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‘Buy in Farragut’ campaign a ‘success’

Local business owners are considering the effect of the “Buy in Farragut” campaign on sales during a holiday season that came during a far-reaching economic slump.

“I believe ‘Buy in Farragut’ is one of the best things Farragut does for the small businesses, and I do think it had a very positive affect on our sales in this very rough holiday season,” Jan Miller, owner of Turtlehead’s Tea and Coffee Company, said.

She also looks for the campaign, only in its third year in 2008, to improve as more businesses become involved.

“I think it’s a great thing; great event,” Miller said.

Derek Welsh, owner of Tiebreak Sports and Digitize It Now, said the campaign is a good idea.

“Overall, I think it’s a very positive campaign, especially right now with the way the economy is,” Welsh said.

“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much it did or didn’t help business, but I think the overall visibility and knowledge of the campaign is a good thing for Farragut,” he added.

Welsh said businesses banding together during a tough economy was important, and thought one uniform discount, available at all participating businesses, would be helpful to consumers.

“I think it would be helpful to give back that way to the community, just by trying to help out price-wise on whatever you’ve got going,” Welsh said.

“I think it’s a very good concept,” Overton Lea, owner of Lea’s Natural Health Solutions, said. He voiced an opinion that the campaign may be more effective in future if more businesses chose to utilize the Town’s Web site and other means of advertisement.

“That would be very helpful if people would use it and make it worthwhile for people to go and look there,” Lea said.

“I think the burden is on the businesses to make that part of the Web site attractive enough that people will want to go look and take advantage of special offers,” he added.

Allan Markway, a co-owner of The Shrimp Dock, also said the Buy in Farragut campaign positively affected his business.

“I definitely believe it improves the business. I think anything you can do to promote local commerce is good,” Markway said.

Markway, like other business owners, suggested the idea could be expanded into other times of the year, perhaps even one campaign per season.

“Maybe you do one in each season, one in spring, summer and the one in the holiday,” Markway said.

Debi Tuttle, owner of Town Framery, appreciated the campaign’s aid to small business owners.

“I am in favor of anything that promotes business locally. We’ve been thrilled with the local support,” Tuttle said, adding shoppers visited her store to tell her they wanted to help support local small business owners.

“They were coming, buying gifts, and saying ‘You’re the people we care about surviving in this economy,’” Tuttle said.

“It was wonderful, and anything that promotes that I am in favor of,” she added.

The town of Farragut also collected responses, some anonymous. The general consensus of these evaluations also was generally positive.

“The good part is, of the 18 [collected], 13 were very positive,” Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes said at Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Thursday, Feb. 26.

“Two or three people thought there were things we could do to lengthen it,” Haynes said.

Some of the evaluations mentioned extending the campaign to ecompass New Year’s shopping or to hold another, similar campaign at a different time of year.

“There were very positive comments about the process ... I think the effort continues to grow,” Haynes said.

Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Bettye Sisco agreed.

“Ever since the first year, we’ve participated in it and encouraged Farragut business owners to do so.

“I’ve only seen it get better each year as it grows and people learn more about it,” Sisco said.


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