Business Incubator celebrates 10th anniversary
Published 9:57 am Wednesday, June 3, 2015
By Walter J. Francis
Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc. celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Franklin Business Incubator on May 22.
“We chose this opportunity to recognize the original Franklin Business Incubator Advisory Board by naming a board room after them,” said Nancy Parrish, the small business development manager for the Incubator. “We named the Charlie Wrenn Board Room in honor of that original board, who invested so much of their time and energy helping to bring this economic development project to fruition with their vision, their feasibility study and their willingness to serve as board members and mentors to those businesses located in the Franklin Business Incubator.”
Designed to foster economic development and encourage new businesses to settle in the area, the plans for the Incubator emerged after the flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
Opened in May 2005, and housed in a historic, unfinished four-story building, the Incubator creates an opportunity for young start-ups and emerging businesses to bring their ideas to fruition by providing affordable office space and support staff. Since the Incubator opened its doors, it has hosted more than 50 businesses.
In 2008, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Economic Stimulus Recovery Grant provided more than $686,000 dollars for the Incubator to finish the construction of the building, increasing the number of available office spaces from 17 to 52. Additional grant money allowed for outfitting the new conference rooms and workrooms with state-of-the-art furnishings.
Today the Franklin Business Incubator is home to 24 small business, creating 144 full-time jobs and more than 48 part-time jobs.
The Incubator is running a 10th anniversary special. Any business that submits an application to the Incubator by June 30 will be eligible to receive their first two months at the Incubator rent free. All standard requirements for acceptance into the program must be met.
For more information, contact Nancy Parrish at 562-1958 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.