Year in Review: Business News

Published 10:57 am Tuesday, December 31, 2013

COURTLAND—The past year was not without its good news, and some bad news, in the business sector.

The Peanut Patch Gift Shop and Feridies were featured on WAVY’s “Hampton Road Show” on Jan. 11.

During the 2012 Fiscal year, which ended June 30, Virginia vineyards sold a record number of wine — about 485,000 cases. This is a 12,000 case increase from the previous record.

The jobless rate hit a five-year low in January, dropping to 7.8 percent.

Smithfield Foods gave $330,000 to Paul D. Camp Community College.

Six local businesses donated to help local veterans and their families. They were Bobby’s Muffler, ACE Hardware, Walmart, The Peanut Patch, photographer Alan Boyton and Palm Tree Inn.

Franklin Plaza shopping center, which was foreclosed-on, was sold at auction for $5 million to Bank of America.

Historic Rawls Farm was sold to Cedar Hills of Chesapeake for $659,900. The new company planned to rent the property out to be farmed as usual.

The Franklin Business Incubator had grown to include 28 businesses in March, having a total of 151 full- and part-time workers.

The Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce named Rawlings Mechanical Corp. in Courtland the Business of the Year for 2012.

Franklin was officially added to a list of localities that would allow businesses connected to the Port of Virginia to locate or expand and be eligible to apply for grants based on jobs creation.

In what will be a $7 million investment, Love’s Travel Stop had a virtual groundbreaking in April. The truck stop will create 50 new jobs.

Lancelot Limo services rolled into Southampton County in May.

Smithfield Foods announced plans to sell all outstanding shares to Chinese holding company Shuanghui International Holdings Limited in May for $34 per share, or $7.1 billion.

A Main Street Farmers Market opened in Ivor during the summer.

In August, Hampton Farms announced that it would build a plant in Southampton County that would add 60 jobs.

Southampton Memorial Hospital celebrated its 50th year.

PDCCC celebrated its Major Gifts Campaign, with donations far exceeding the $3 million goal.

The Peanut Patch celebrated 40 years.

The Franklin Incubator was featured in the National Business Incubators Association’s book “Best Practices in Rural Business Incubation: Successful Programs in Small Communities.”

Amanda Jarratt, president and CEO of the Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc., and Rhonda Stewart, executive director at the Village at Woods Edge, were recognized by Inside Business as two of the members of this year’s Top 40 Under 40 for the Hampton Roads area class.

Franklin Lumber LLC opened up for business in November, which will create a total 70-72 jobs once fully staffed.

Mary’z Café of Newsoms relocated to downtown Franklin.

Providence Agriculture joined the Southampton Business Park, which would create 10 jobs.

Enviva’s Southampton Plant started manufacturing pellets.


The Franklin office of the William E. Wood and Associates Realtors closed in December 2012.

Billy Phillips Ltd.’s last day was Saturday, March 30. Billy Phillips, who was 75 at the time, retired after having operated the shop for more than 50 years in downtown Franklin. The business was a men’s clothier.

Valley Proteins on Route 58 in Southampton County closed its facility in early September. Forces of business, such as the high cost of fuel and the decline in raw materials forced the closure.

The business, which took restaurant grease and animal byproducts for recycling through rendering.

City Paint and Supply announced in May that it’s going out of business. The shop remains open until inventory is sold.