A good week for economic development

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

It’s been a good week for economic development in Franklin and Southampton County. One week ago, a progressive ribbon cutting was held for the three most recent businesses to open in Downtown Franklin, all of whom were winners and grant recipients in the second annual STARTUP Downtown Franklin contest. On Friday, Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina K. Ring was in Capron to help celebrate the announcement of Belmont Peanuts’ planned new $2.5 million production and warehousing facility that will help the local operation grow its business, generating both 10 new jobs and increasing their volume of purchased peanuts by 30 percent in the next three years.

And just this Monday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that Hampton Farms, a division of the Severn Peanut Company, would invest $5.735 million into its peanut processing facility in Southampton County.

The expansion will create 14 new jobs and lead to an increase in purchases of Virginia-grown peanuts by $6million over the next three years.

The business of economic development is hard work, and requires heaping helpings of both good partnerships and dogged persistence. Fortunately, in Franklin and Southampton County persistence comes naturally and teamwork is a skill we have improved on in recent years. As a result, we look forward to many more good weeks in the months and years to come.