New business owner grateful for city’s help

Published 9:08 am Wednesday, September 7, 2011

by Stacey Scott

As I’ve passed the three-year point of owning a small private practice, I want to acknowledge the role that the City of Franklin has played in helping me to develop and grow as a business.

I own and operate Raiford Psychological Services, PLLC, and began my endeavor at the Franklin Business Incubator. When I originally met with Nancy Parrish to run the idea by her and get more information on the incubator, she was extremely helpful and encouraging.

Nancy not only gave me the beginning steps for applying as an incubator tenant, she also presented a warm and professional work environment with excellent amenities and incredibly reasonable rent schedules. I was impressed with the space, the businesses that were operating there, and the opportunity.

John Smolak, Becky Felts and Brenda Pope were also incredibly helpful throughout my experience at the incubator.

The Franklin Business Incubator provided me with a receptionist, fax and copy services, meeting and conference rooms, all utilities except for telephone service, and all manner of extra supplies such as a shredder, laminator, stapler, paper cutters, etc., in the work rooms. Nancy provided community resources for stationary and door signage so that I was able to network with local businesses outside of the incubator.

I started in a beautiful space overlooking the lobby and then moved to a two-room suite once I began training doctoral students. There are a multitude of options for one and multi-room suites in the building, and I was able to choose exactly what I needed to start and then to grow to a larger space.

While working at the incubator, I met individuals whom I remain in touch with today. I have seen the incubator facilitate two other mental health providers who are serving the local community, Brenda Davis of Stepping Stones Counseling Services and Linda Lytton, who sees clients out of Brenda’s office and owns a practice in Smithfield. We are meeting monthly and I hear that they are still very happy with their space and amenities in the incubator.

I graduated from the incubator and moved to my current location on Middle Street, opening there in January. Nancy has remained supportive and helpful throughout the process, as has the staff including Becky and Brenda.

I provide outpatient mental health services to approximately 30 individuals, couples and families per week from Franklin and surrounding areas. I have been able to network with the Department of Corrections, the Department of Rehabilitative Services, Agape Counseling and Therapeutic Services, Levoc Family Services and Western Tidewater CSB.

I am a training site for Regent University’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Practical students and have just hired a part-time receptionist.

I would not be where I am today were it not for the Franklin Business Incubator and the springboard that it provided me in my first years in business.

I wanted to acknowledge and thank Nancy, John, Becky and Brenda for their support and to thank the City of Franklin for developing and continuing such a fantastic launching ground for small businesses.

STACEY SCOTT is a licensed clinical psychologist and owner of Raiford Psychological Services in Franklin. She can be reached at