Elkins ON TRAC will welcome a new business to downtown Elkins during First Friday activities this week.
Located at 304 Railroad Ave., Carmen's Place will receive guests at an Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to enjoy refreshments and browse the shop's selection of Kirk's Folly fashion jewelry at the event.
Carmen's Place is one of only 15 premium retailers of the Kirk's Folly product line in the U.S. Open House guests can enter a drawing to win a special Valentine piece of Kirk's Folly jewelry.
Owner Carmen Holmes said ON TRAC influenced her decision to move her business from Thomas to downtown Elkins.
"I evaluated the activities and links the group posted on Facebook before relocating," Holmes said. "ON TRAC was one of the main reasons I decided to move here."
Project Manager Karen Carper said Elkins ON TRAC is delighted to have Carmen's Place and other new businesses in the downtown project area.
"Nothing demonstrates the vitality of downtown Elkins better than new business development," Carper said.
Other new downtown businesses include Flagzzz 'n More, offering decorative flags and banners for the home at 160 Fifth St.; the Yoga and health studio, Jivaka Wellness Center at 19C Third St.; and Studio MK, a Paul Mitchell Focus Salon located at 122 Third St.
At least two other new businesses are in the planning or development stages, Carper said.
The ON TRAC project works to support both new and existing businesses with programs such as the Building Blocks for Business seminars series. Presented in partnership with the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce and the Randolph County Development Authority, the series provides training for businesses on a variety of topics.
Recent seminars included "The Affordable Care Act and Your Business," "QuickBooks Training" and "Social Media Marketing." A future session, "Generations in the Workplace," will address the challenges of managing the four generations of workers now in the work force.
Downtown events also support businesses by increasing activity in the project area. Events are designed to showcase the downtown business district while providing entertainment and quality activities for the community to enjoy.
Increased activity at locally owned businesses benefits the entire community, Carper said.
"Every dollar spent at a local independent merchant generates three or more dollars in the local economy," she said. "Shopping locally is an investment in your community and yourself."
Elkins ON TRAC will feature a different business each First Friday with an Open House in downtown Elkins.
"The events will give businesses, project participants and community members a chance to 'meet and greet' each other," Carper said.
First Fridays are scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on the first Friday of every month.
Businesses that would like to host a First Friday Open House may email firstname.lastname@example.org for a schedule of available dates.
For more information on Elkins ON TRAC programs and activities, find Elkins ON TRAC on Facebook or visit www.elkinsontrac.org.