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Franklin - Local Town Pages

Think Franklin First this Holiday Season

Town Gift Card Program Still Keeping Dollars in Franklin

By J.D. O’Gara

The holiday season is upon us, and if you’re worried about potential holiday gifts sitting on a dock someplace, you might consider shopping locally! The town of Franklin, with help from Dean Bank and the Random Smile Project, have made patronizing town businesses even easier with their Think Franklin First (TFF) gift card program. The TFF program started in November of 2020 with about 30 participating businesses. To date, it has sold roughly $50,000 in gift cards, of that $50,000, $30,000 in cumulative sales have been redeemed by 40 participating Franklin businesses, according to Franklin’s new Marketing and Communications Specialist, Lily Rivera. This closed-circuit gift card program directs spending away from large online retailers and other nearby competition and into our Franklin economy. Consumers can purchase these generic cards as gifts, and recipients can decide where to spend them at participating businesses in town, which are fully reimbursed for the value of the card.

“This project embodies the concept of community wealth building, which essentially is the process of crafting a system in which the community can sustain itself via the collaboration of local government, local businesses and the support of our unified purchasing power,” says Rivera. “This project launched just as last year’s holiday season kicked off and served as a clear avenue for the community to support Franklin directly during peak economic uncertainty. Our sponsors at Dean Bank, Allegra Marketing, and La Cantina Winery played a substantial role ensuring that businesses had the means to participate. Dean Bank is a Platinum Sponsor, which means they contributed $5,000+ to the program. Allegra and are Silver level sponsors, and La Cantina is a Bronze sponsor.”

Think Franklin First gift cards valued at $25 and up can be purchased online at Customers can then choose to have a physical gift card mailed or e-gift card sent to them or anyone of their choosing. You can also purchase a TFF gift card (in cash - ATMs are available) at Dean Bank at 21 Main Street, Franklin, during regular business hours in cash. 

The project’s website, holds the most current list of participants, which includes restaurants, retail stores, services and more. Card holders can visit the website at any time to find out which businesses accept the cards, to check their card balance, or to reload a card. Participating businesses also advertise their involvement in the initiative with Think Franklin First window clings and tent cards at checkout, which have been Allegra Print, Mail & Marketing of Franklin.

If you purchased a card, now’s a great time to use it! As of mid-October 2021, 900 active physical gift cards and 80 e-gift cards still had outstanding balances, meaning there is about $20,000 in TFF gift cards ready to be redeemed.

Rivera points out that the Think Franklin First gift card program is intended as a long-term effort to foster a strong sense of community. The Think Franklin First Gift Card program is endorsed by the Franklin Downtown Partnership, the Metrowest Visitors Bureau, MyLocalMA, The United Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

For more information visit .

Businesses interested in participating in or sponsoring the Think Franklin First program can reach out to Lily Rivera, Marketing and Communications Specialist at [email protected] or visit .