Celebrating 20 years!!!

Celebrating 20 years!!!

July 1 marks FSEDI’s 20th year in operation!

On April 25, 2005, the Franklin City Council and Southampton County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted separate resolutions supporting the creation of Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc., a new public-private economic development organization to be grounded in city-county cooperation and collaboration.  The Franklin Business Center, then known as the Franklin Business Incubator, opened its doors in May 2005.

During that time, there have been many accomplishments.  Just to mention some of the more recent ones, they are:

  • 100% occupancy of the 40,000 square-foot Franklin Business Center during portions of 2022, 2023, and 2024.
  • The Franklin Business Center has 27 graduates. Its most prominent alum, Highground Services, graduated from the program in 2017 and won the Western Hampton Roads Small Business of the Year for 2024.  Our most recent graduate, Hometown Realty LLC, moved into a new office in Franklin during June.
  • Major new businesses have come to Franklin Southampton, including Hampton Farms, Enviva Biomass, and the forthcoming Global Concentrate.
  • International Paper closed and re-opened in the Isle of Wight/Franklin shared services areas. New businesses Franklin Lumber, ST Tissue and M&M Milling also developed in that zone.
  • Substantial growth has occurred with peanut-related businesses, including Hubbard Peanut Company, Belmont Peanuts, Parker’s Peanuts and others.
  • The creation and development of STARTUP Franklin Southampton. This successful pitch competition has awarded prize money to 12 businesses that all remain in business.  Two are forthcoming as the winners of the 2024 competition.  At least six other businesses have also formed due to participation in STARTUP.

FSEDI will be highlighting other projects and accomplishments during this 20th anniversary year.  We are looking forward to an even brighter future in Franklin Southampton!