MURFREESBORO, Tennessee -- Locally Owned Murfreesboro President Missy Lay made a surprise announcement at the 2021 Light Up Local Firefly Awards, held with a limited audience Tuesday night, May 11 at The Walnut House.
During the closing of the 4th annual Firefly Awards, Lay said membership in Locally Owned Murfreesboro is now free for any business with a Murfreesboro address that registers with its website.
“Local, independent businesses matter to Murfreesboro because they represent family and community. If you buy a sandwich at a local restaurant, it puts food on their table as well,” Lay said.
That’s one reason why Locally Owned Murfreesboro is opening up membership for free.
“Over the past year, we have seen independent business struggle for their survival. We wanted to do something to help. Following in our mission to help support and sustain local, independent businesses we decided to open up our membership for free,” Lay explained. “Because Murfreesboro Matters.”
Starting May 1, membership in Locally Owned Murfreesboro is now free to all independent businesses and locally owned franchises with a Murfreesboro address.
To become a member, all you have to do is register on the LOM website, LocallyOwnedMurfreesboro.org, Lay explained.
Once businesses register with their basic information, they will be added to LOM’s business directory on LocallyOwnedMurfreesboro.org. Basic membership includes a listing on the LOM website and discounted admission fees to LOM networking and Local Learning events. For an additional fee of $50, businesses can join at the premium level. Premium membership includes benefits, like free admission to LOM networking and Local Learning events, as well as an added link to their websites and their logos in the website listing.
Lay said she hopes this change in business increases LOM’s impact on the community and furthers its true purpose of encouraging the community to support local businesses.
“We want to be the local equivalent to Google for independent businesses in Murfreesboro,” she said. “Want to find a locally owned restaurant to try or need a trusted dog groomer? Look at our membership. We can even recommend insurance agents, accountants and spas.”
And the winners of the 2021 Firefly Awards are ...
Locally Owned Murfreesboro and Smyrna Independent Merchants Association honored a full slate of deserving businesses Tuesday, May 11 at the 2019 Light Up Local Firefly Awards.
The limited-audience event was also broadcast on Facebook Live.
The Firefly Awards is a people's choice awards celebration of independent businesses. During March and April, LOM and SiMA took nominations in 13 categories for independent businesses in Smyrna and Murfreesboro during February. The businesses with the most nominations won their respective category.
The top honor of Business of the Year went to Rocket Shirts for Murfreesboro and Better Body Fitness for Smyrna.
“It was truly gratifying to honor Rocket Shirts, given all they did for the small business community in Rutherford County during the quarantine,” Lay said.
When faced with layoffs and possible closure during the 2020 pandemic, Rocket Shirts launched the “Here For Good” campaign. To keep the screen presses running, they sold T-shirts for $20, donating half to local independent businesses to “keep them here for good.”
The fundraising campaign raised more than $130,000 for local businesses and was adopted by screen-printing businesses across the nation, which raised more than $1.3 million for small businesses.
“This award is presented to a locally owned business that goes above and beyond for the community. The nominees are known for outstanding customer service and leadership in the community.”
Better Body Fitness was the Smyrna winner for how they were able to adapt their business model during the pandemic to keep its coaches employed and clients moving.
The 2021 Firefly Award winners are:
- Business of the Year
Murfreesboro: Rocket Shirts
Smyrna: Better Body Fitness
- WGNS Good Neighbor of the Year
Murfreesboro: Franklin’s Fruit Tea
Smyrna: Crimson Security
- Local Legacy
Murfreesboro: Shacklett’s Photography
Smyrna: Bridal Country
- Best Locally Owned Franchise
Murfreesboro: Farmer’s Insurance - Keene Agency
Smyrna: Slick Pig
- Best Nonprofit
Murfreesboro: Nourish Food Bank
Smyrna: Senior Activity Center of Smyrna
- Best Service Award
Murfreesboro: Wand & Willow Day Spa
Smyrna: Better Body Fitness
- Best Social Media
Murfreesboro: Catfeine Cat Café
Smyrna: Bella Vista Coffee Shop
- Best Night Out
Murfreesboro: Brainiac Trivia
Smyrna: Janarty’s Homemade Ice Cream
- Best Event
Murfreesboro: United We Style
Smyrna: Smyrna Depot Farmers Market
- Best Restaurant
Murfreesboro: Domenico’s Italian Deli
Smyrna: Breaking Bread
- Best Customer Service
Murfreesboro: P’s & Q’s Pickup
Smyrna: Bella Vista Coffee Shop
- Best Retail Shop
Murfreesboro: Veda’s Flower’s & Gifts
Smyrna: Crossroads Women’s Boutique
- Cultivate Coworking Best New Business
Murfreesboro: Empanada Sonata
Smyrna: The Casual Pint
About Locally Owned Murfreesboro
An affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance, Locally Owned Murfreesboro was formed in 2016.
The nonprofit is an organization of independent local business owners dedicated to promoting the benefits supporting independent businesses to the community and building a stronger local economy by joining together in marketing, government advocacy and networking.
Learn more at locallyownedmurfreesboro.org. Because Murfreesboro Matters.
About Smyrna Independent Merchants Association
Smyrna Independent Merchants’ Association helps independent local businesses compete successfully and reverse the trend of losing our community-based businesses that make our home special.
SiMA drives an ongoing public education campaign to inform customers fully about the benefits of doing business locally. We help shift business to our members by raising awareness of the overall value they offer, and their importance to the character and economic strength of our community.
Learn more at simatn.org.