U.S. Small Business Administration pays Franklin Business Incubator visit

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, April 29, 2015

by Mallory Taylor
Special to The Tidewater News

Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. was pleased to host Natalia Olson-Urtecho, regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration and Chris Zobel, senior area manager (Hampton Roads) for the U.S. Small Business Administration on Friday, April 17, at the Franklin Business Incubator.

“The tour and the time spent with us discussing the Franklin Business Incubator and the local community helps us understand what we need to do to be of service,” Zobel said. “I appreciate all that you are doing and look forward to working closely with Franklin Southampton Economic Development as we move forward.”

Jim and Lisa Strozier, owners of Highground Services Inc., which is a current Franklin Business Incubator client working on moving into its own Mechanic Street building, attended the meeting and discussed opportunities the Incubator had provided to their small business.

“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with Ms. Natalia Olson, and having the opportunity to express my appreciation for the efforts that the SBA is making to assist small businesses,” said Jim Strozier. “As a business owner that has made a loan through the SBA, I know firsthand that the process works. We were able to complete a loan for our business in a very short time. The process flowed very smoothly, and we were able to complete the process from start to finish in less than eight weeks. The loan has worked very well for us and allowed us to complete a loan that would have been much more difficult without the SBA backing.”

Additional conversation included new ideas and resources for the Franklin Business Incubator to consider as part of their collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Development Administration.

“The opportunity to showcase our community and facilities to Natalia is excellent exposure for the Franklin Southampton area,” said Amanda Jarratt, FSEDI CEO. “We are working hard to grow our local economy at every level and hearing feedback and advice from Natalia and her staff is incredibly valuable. We were honored that the SBA staff took the time to hear about our initiatives and needs and offer helpful feedback.”