Monday, March 24, 2008

Lawrimore Produces New Optimized Website for Mint Condition Inc.

Lawrimore Produces New Optimized Website for Mint Condition Inc.
For Immediate Release

CHARLOTTE, NC – Lawrimore Communications Inc. of Charlotte has
produced a new search-engine-optimized website for Mint Condition Inc.
( to help strengthen its growing
national building cleaning franchise program.
Mint Condition began in Charlotte in 1996 and is now located in Fort
Mill, S.C. The company has a unique two-level franchising operation
that has helped it grow nationwide. Master franchisees buy market
territories, then recruit cleaning franchisees, which are typically
small, family-owned operations that do the actual cleaning of office
and other business buildings. The master franchisees are responsible
for finding building owners and managers who need janitorial services,
then match up the customers with the cleaning franchisees.
"Our model is unique in the industry, and is one we developed to meet
our own needs of growing our business beyond the Charlotte market a few
years ago," said Company President Jack Saumby. "Because our cleaning
franchisees have their own small businesses, they have a vested
interest in the satisfaction of our customers, and typically enjoy
long-term relationships with them. By contrast companies which hire
hourly workers to clean buildings usually experience very high
turn-over, which in turn diminishes expertise and service quality."
"We designed to be totally search-engine-optimized
from the ground up," said Buck Lawrimore, president of Lawrimore
Communications (, a Charlotte marketing and
website design firm. "We researched the terms that all three target
audiences – potential master franchisees, potential customers, and
potential cleaning franchisees – are searching for online. Then we
built separate sections of the website to address the special interests
of each audience. This not only saves time and enhances the experience
for different website users, it also improves search engine rankings to
generate more free traffic to the website."
Mint Condition currently has master franchises in the Philadelphia
area, East Pennsylvania around Allentown, Southern New Jersey,
Raleigh-Durham, and all of Georgia. It is seeking to grow nationwide.
Lawrimore Communications, founded in 1979, provides marketing,
communications, web design, and strategic consulting services to
business, government and nonprofit organizations primarily in the
Charlotte Region. It also partners with specialists worldwide to
provide a full range of cost-effective search engine optimization
(Media Contact: Buck Lawrimore, Buck (at), 704-332-4344)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

FranNet Announces Seminar Series on Franchise Ownership

CHARLOTTE – Well-known franchise consultant and president of FranNet
Carolina, Michael Hall, will be presenting a no-charge seminar on
Franchise Ownership on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30
p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Durham Airport and Wednesday
March 19, same times, at the Hilton Charlotte Executive Park.

This seminar is aimed at answering questions of would-be entrepreneurs
who are considering business ownership through franchising. An overview
of the franchise industry will be followed by a frank discussion of
franchising questions:
•      Is franchise ownership the right career path?
•      How to minimize risks?
•      What are the advantages of owning a franchise?
•      What do they cost?
•      How to make a safe and affordable decision regarding the right
franchise to purchase.

"Realizing your dream of starting a business requires a lot of hard
work and due diligence," says Hall. "This seminar is just one way
aspiring business owners can learn about all of the advantages and
benefits of owning a franchise."

Some of the fastest-growing and popular franchise companies seeking
owners in the greater Raleigh and Charlotte areas will be explaining
their programs at the seminar.

"When it comes to franchising, Michael Hall brings extensive knowledge
and experience to the table," says Jenifer Sanders-Smith of Whitman
Administrative Services. "I look forward to Mike's seminar – I expect
it to be an exceptional learning opportunity."

FranNet - 'The Franchise Connection', is a franchise sales and
consulting firm with offices in Charlotte and Raleigh that specializes
in matching potential business owners with franchise companies that
meet their personal and career goals. Many of these candidates are
corporate executives looking for new career challenges or professional
alternatives. Some are current business owners seeking, new business

Michael Hall advises clients on how to search for and evaluate
franchise opportunities and is responsible for placing many new
franchise owners throughout North and South Carolina. He is also a
frequent lecturer on franchising and small business ownership and
conducts public seminars on a regular basis. For more information visit, email or call 704.522.9394


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Attorney Explains Proposed Village at Lake Norman Infrastructure Financing to Cornelius Town Board

Attorney Explains Proposed Village at Lake Norman Infrastructure
Financing to Cornelius Town Board Monday Night
For Immediate Release March 4, 2008

CORNELIUS, NC – Financing plans for widening I-77 and other needed
roadway infrastructure benefiting the Town of Cornelius and the Lake
Norman Region were explained to Cornelius Town Board members Monday
night (March 3) by David Jones, an attorney for the developer of the
Village at Lake Norman, Cornelius Bromont, LLC.
Jones, who is experienced in the public financing of real estate
infrastructure projects, pointed out that all infrastructure
improvements proposed by Cornelius Bromont are to be financed using new
property taxes generated by this project alone, over a period ending
about 22 years after the proposed buildings are completed.
Jones, a partner with the Charlotte law firm of Kennedy, Covington,
Lobdell and Hickman, explained, "The principal benefits of our proposal
-"The Town of Cornelius gets much-needed road infrastructure.
-"The entire region gets a widened I-77 corridor between Exits 23 and
28 nearly a decade sooner than otherwise likely.
-"The source of funding is new incremental tax revenue generated
solely by the Village.
-"If new incremental taxes are insufficient, the risk is borne by the
-"The Town incurs no debt. The Town will have no legal obligation to
make any payment from any source other than new incremental taxes
generated solely by the Village."
Jones noted that the current tax value of the Village property in its
undeveloped state is $5,506,774. At current tax rates, this property
generates a combined total of $61,329 per year in Town and county
property taxes.
Cornelius Bromont commissioned Economics Research Associates (ERA), a
nationally noted independent research firm, to do an analysis of the
economic impact of the Village in its fully developed state. "ERA has
done a number of similar studies over the years and has been engaged by
Mecklenburg County to do similar analyses for other projects," Jones
Based on the developer's plans for the buildings on the Village site,
ERA projects that, upon completion, the total value for property tax
purposes will be $515,594,575. "This is nearly 100 times the current
assessed value," Jones observed. "The developer expects to achieve this
full build-out by 2016."
He then added, "As the proposed new development results in a nearly
100-fold increase in assessed value, it follows that the taxes
generated will increase nearly 100 times as well, to approximately
$5,742,177 annually for the County and Town. The financing we are
proposing uses this newly generated property tax revenue to fund the
costs of the road improvements the Town and region needs now."
Jones said, "The developer will borrow the funds needed to pay for the
construction and then use the new property tax revenues to repay the
loan." He recommends dividing the roadway improvements into two
categories: I-77 widening, a regionally significant benefit; and "local
road improvements" such as Highway 21, the Westmoreland interchange,
Westmoreland Road widening and many other locally significant
"In our view, the County and State need to take responsibility for the
I-77 widening," Jones told the Town Board. "The interstate highway
system is a responsibility of the State to fund. In other parts of this
zoning case, the point has been made that due to the region's
non-compliance with federal air quality standards, this region will
begin to lose federal highway dollars in 2020" unless necessary
improvements such as widening I-77 are made by that time.
The widening of I-77 is needed to reduce "car-idling times" and
thereby improve local air quality, Jones said. "This project is on the
TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) for completion in 2020, but no
funds have been appropriated."
Because of the federal air quality requirements, "the financing of the
I-77 widening ought to involve the County and State," Jones said.
The development team proposes that the County should finance the
initial construction costs of the I-77 widening, currently estimated by
Whiting-Turner and Kimley-Horn Associates at $23.7 million, through the
issuance of bonds known as Certificates of Participation (COPs) in 2009
or 2010. The County already issues COPs annually to find a variety of
public projects. "The County would make the proceeds of the bonds
available to the developer, as needed to pay for the I-77 widening
costs," Jones said. "All payments… would be monitored and approved by
the County to insure that the funds are being properly spent on roadway
The development team proposes that "the State fulfill its obligation
by agreeing to repay the County's COPs debt in full in 2020. This
amount, approximately $23.7 million, "allows the State to fulfill its
obligations today, in today's dollars, but not pay for it until 2020,
when the costs would likely be double or triple this estimate. This is
basically a layaway plan for the State: get the improvements now with
no money down and pay for them later at today's costs."
Funding of the costs to improve Highway 21, Westmoreland Road, a new
Bailey Road flyover bridge and other "local roads", currently estimated
to total $56.2 million, would be financed by the developer, with money
borrowed privately or from other sources obtained by the developer.
These costs would be reimbursed to the developer using the new property
taxes generated by the Village, he explained.
Those new property taxes would be allocated based on a "waterfall" of
uses, with highest priorities first.
-First would be $61,329 to the County and Town. This is the amount
currently being collected in property taxes.
-Second would be payments estimated at $1,681,573 to Mecklenburg
County for the debt service on the COPs bonds.
-Third, 25 percent of the new tax revenue to the County and Town,
estimated at $1,435,544 per year, to cover expenses associated with the
new development, such as police, fire service, etc.
-Fourth, the remaining 45 percent of the new tax revenue to reimburse
the developer for the costs of local road improvements. This would be
about $2,563,671 a year, thus taking about 22 years to repay the full
costs of $56.2 million for local road improvements.
"It's important to note that this would be the last 45 percent in the
priority list," Jones said. "So if the development is only slightly
more than half as successful as anticipated, all payments to the County
and Town are fully funded."
Jones pointed out that this proposal:
-"Doesn't use any current tax revenue of the Town or County.
-"Doesn't seek any of the substantial sales tax or hotel/restaurant
taxes to be generated by the Village.
-"Doesn't create any Town debt.
-"Doesn't provide for any payment to the developer until after the
Town and the County get all payments due to them."
In conclusion, Jones said, "the financing proposal for the road
infrastructure improvements has been designed to keep all financial
risks squarely on the developer."
[Media contact: Buck Lawrimore, 704-332-4344, Buck (at)]

Monday, March 3, 2008 Launches New Line of Area Rugs Launches New Line of Area Rugs
For Immediate Release

CHARLOTTE, NC -, a leading online retailer of home
furniture and accessories, has launched a new line of area rugs to
complement its other high-quality furniture products.
"Our new line of area rugs is a natural fit with our extensive array
of upholstered and wood furniture," said Jeff King, Vice President Of
Marketing. "Our customers have been asking for area rugs, and offering
them strengthens our position as a one-stop, full-service home
furnishings retailer."
Most of the area rugs are made in Asia, both by hand and machine, and
come in a wide array of styles and colors. Currently
has 25-30 styles in each of three main categories or "showrooms" –
traditional, transitional and contemporary.
Sizes range from 42 X 66 inches, to 9 X 12 feet, and prices from $100
to $2,500. Most are 100 percent wool, and others are polypropylene or
other synthetics. More area rug details can be found at

"There's a saying among interior decorators, that the most economical
way to change a room's décor on a budget is with a can of paint and a
new area rug," King said. "So for folks on a budget, this gives them a
great opportunity for an inexpensive new look." was founded in 1997 by brothers Darrin and Jeff
King, selling furniture direct to consumers. As demand grew, they
established relationships with leading furniture manufacturers,
launched their own e-commerce website, and have provided products to
thousands of customers nationwide for more than 10 years.
"We're family owned and provide very personalized service to all our
customers," Darrin King, President said. "This high level of customer
service combined with our unmatched product selection leads to a high
level of customer satisfaction, which is extremely important to us."
For more information, visit or call