Highground Services deserves business honor

Published 10:31 am Saturday, March 19, 2011

On Thursday, March 24, the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual meeting, at which time the 2010 Business Of The Year will be honored.

This year’s recipient will be Highground Services, an engineering firm owned and operated by John and Rose Warren and Jim and Lisa Strozier.

They are deserving of this honor for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they have created more than 30 good-paying jobs since opening their doors in 2006.

But perhaps more importantly, as was pointed out recently by a fellow member of the FSA Chamber Board of Directors, they have shown that it can be done.

Businesses can be started, quite successfully, in this community and in this time. Highground Services is a shining example of what can be done. Well done, friends.

There is another aspect to the story that must be told. And that is the work being done at the Franklin Business Incubator.

A former buggy factory built in 1907, the recently renovated 40,000-square-foot Incubator is home to Highground Services and more than 20 other startup businesses.

Owned by the City of Franklin and managed by Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc., the Incubator provides startup assistance to new businesses with affordable lease space, business services and planning assistance.

The Incubator’s objective is to help fledgling business get off the ground, become self-sufficient and ultimately develop into productive, contributing members of the local business community. Under the leadership of manager Nancy Parrish and the Incubator’s Advisory Board, this objective is being met.

A number of businesses have gotten off to a good start because of the opportunities offered through the Franklin Business Incubator. It’s a fantastic program that works and one that the city should be proud of.

TONY CLARK is the general manager and advertising director at The Tidewater News. He can be reached at tony.clark@tidewaternews.com.