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After a complete on-site review of TekTone®'s operations, the company earned the coveted Exceptional rating from the U.S. General Services Administration.

The rating is part of the GSA’s report card, which assesses contract compliance by schedule contractors. The report card deals strictly with contractor performance against specific terms and conditions including internal systems and processes, meeting minimum sales criteria, payment terms, and use of electronic contracting tools. GSA evaluates these areas to monitor the basis of award. The report card also includes the review of over 25 critical areas broken into three categories. Failure in any of these areas causes a rating reduction and impacts contract renewal.

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The Franklin Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting celebrating the Grand Opening of Main Street Coffee & Yogurt located at 26 E. Main Street. The shop’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Main Street Coffee & Yogurt offers custom crafted house blends and dark roast coffees, barista-inspired espresso drinks such as cappuccinos, chai lattes and iced frappes. The shop also serves six different frozen yogurt flavors with 24 various toppings you can add yourself. Muffins, bagels, biscotti and other snacks are also available. Travel carafes for company meetings, church functions and family get togethers can be ordered for quick pick-up. Discounts are always available for military, EMS and police.

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Trained volunteers certified by the IRS and under the guidance of the AARP Foundation will be available to assist people of all ages with federal and state income tax preparation and filing from Feb. 3 until April 14, Fridays and Mondays at the Jackson County Senior Center in Sylva and on Tuesdays at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva. They will also assist with the information to be filed with the IRS regarding health insurance coverage for 2014. Senior Center hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All persons are helped on a first-come, first-served basis at the Senior Center. Library hours on Tuesdays will be from 3 to 6:45 p.m. by appointment, with appointments available through the Library’s reference desk at (828)586-2016. There is no charge for this service at either location.

Taxpayers are requested to bring picture identification, their own and their dependents’ Social Security cards or a statement from the government that includes their Social Security numbers, copies of their previous year’s tax return, and any W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, interest and dividend statements for 2014 and other documents necessary to complete their 2014 returns.

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The Small Business Center Network of the N.C. Community College System is celebrating 30 years of providing support and assistance to small businesses and start-ups across North Carolina.

Small Business Centers (SBCs) are located at each of the state’s 58 community colleges, providing free confidential business counseling and seminars to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Southwestern Community College’s SBC serves Jackson, Macon, Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary and is led by director Tiffany Henry, who was recently named a statewide Rookie of the Year.

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