Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Economic Development Committee: Quick recap of the Business Listening Session 2 - Oct 19, 2020

Quick recap:
  • The meeting started about 30 minutes late with no explanation as to why.
  • There was an expression of ‘thanks for your patience.’
  • Two representatives of the Franklin legislative delegation (from the offices’ of Senator Splika and Senator Rausch) were present early in the pre-meeting and actual meeting
  • Owner/operators of Hampton Inn, 67 Degrees Brewing Co and Rhapsody Cafe were present to share their stories of struggle to survive

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #edcls1019


Other photos taken during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one folder https://photos.app.goo.gl/hgVYYxKJC6ShomA8A

  • Real time reporting underway for the EDC listening session #edcls1019 Hampton open and underutilized, struggling to make it
  • #edcls1019 what can we do to help? #thinkFranklinFirst one thing. Wedding market none existing, sports market little to nothing, Dean closed so no help there... Travel is down, along with excess capacity, a problem...
  • Running with 9 employee on desk and a couple of house keepers, limited grab and go, could use the outdoor pool during the summer, others with indoor pools were closed. #edcls1019 extended stay have done better than hotels in this time, due to facilities
  • #edcls1019 discussion on hotel tax is a local option, would require legislation to defer. (domino effects to that) (a deviation to this "listening session" by attempting to resolve the issue at hand)
  • Suggestion from Lisa/FDP, maybe the ultimate 'staycation' space and coordinate with local restaurants for take out, #edcls1019 FDP working with local papers to get creative for holidays, etc.
  • Jack Lank of Chamber touts their Facebook page to 'Rally round the restaurants' https://facebook.com/United-Regionals-Rally-round-the-Restaurants-109228560731634/ #edcls1019 also the chamber has a back to business page same concept wider business spread
  • https://facebook.com/United-Regionals-Back-to-Business-106228444403838/ the back to business link #edcls1019 "scare the dark out of the closet"
  • Chamber does verify info before posting, did see 24K visitors to social media pages in last several weeks to get info #edcls1019 Taste of the region would have been 35th year
  • 67 Degrees had just opened before the super bowl, expedited their growth plan to survive, canning had not been in the plan initially. #edcls1019 initially opened with chips/hummus was good, then shifting to real food becomes a challenge, i.e. food trucks restricted
  • Now looking to see what the indoor capacity req would be; currently only have 39, if 25 req that's a challenge. #edcls1019 need servesafe certified, in combo with a caterer? Looking for clarification. Hotels here don't have their own kitchen, King St has been wonderful
  • #edcls1019 Bissanti knows of caterers who would stay on site; caterer business is not booming right now. Motion on Town Council agenda to help with food trucks for winter time via the farm license. Local restaurants have been good help but aren't staffed for dual ops
  • Food truck serves a different market maybe lunch crowd but different from a dinner at a restaurant. #edcls1019 servesafe certified is a MA requirement. Rhapsody owner present, kinda holding their own doing all they can to stay afloat
  • Outside seating will go away with weather, surviving barely. Micro grant application for business with less than 5 employee, still accepting apps. Eligible up to 10K. A lot of work for an admin to do, extra effort, working round the clock #edcls1019 worth effort or waste of time
  • Rep Roy these conversations are happening every day trying to figure ways to help #edcls1019 resources are available for help, if you have trouble navigating let me know. Will see what options are for deferral
  • Partnership meeting Thursday Nov 5, don't have to be a partner to attend, working on holiday happening ideas, looking to advocate Franklin first. Lighting up Franklin, little money required to get lights on, for downtown and beyond, until March 1 #edcls1019
  • Oops, I guess I never signed off formally last night. Hope you all realized that! The meeting was interesting starting 30 minutes, late and all.. catch you next time #edcls1019


Quick recap of the Business Listening Session 2 - Oct 19, 2020
Quick recap of the Business Listening Session 2 - Oct 19, 2020

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