The mission of the Franklin County Office of Economic Development is to provide world-class customer service to its customers.

employees working in franklin county

What We Do

When it comes to opportunities for business and strong quality of life for employees, Franklin County shines. Franklin County Economic Development is a connector of all the natural and human resources Franklin County has to offer. We tell the story of all the ways Franklin County can provide strong growth for your business and excellent livability for your employees.

With the new Summit View business park, broadband internet, top-of-the-line health care, and educational opportunities, rural is different in Franklin County. Here you’ll enjoy vital sectors in manufacturing and agriculture in a highly livable and convenient East Coast location. Let us show you why Franklin County is a natural setting for opportunity, business, and workforce talent.

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Organization History

In 2012, The Franklin County Board of Supervisors committed to increasing investment in economic development for the region. They formed the Franklin County Office of Economic Development in January 2013. In its first decade, the Franklin County Office of Economic Development has:

  • $71.6 million new private investment
  • 296 new jobs
  • $20 million in grant funding

Learn more about how you can be part of Franklin County’s bright future! 

County History

Founded in 1785 and named for legendary inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin, Franklin County is a vibrant community with a storied past. The area began as a thoroughfare for early European immigrants traveling further west and south. A fragment of this famous route, known as the Carolina Road, still exists within Franklin County’s Waid Park. Civil rights pioneer Booker T. Washington was born in Franklin County, and his home has been transformed into an educational national monument and park. During prohibition, Franklin County also earned the distinction of being the "Moonshine capital of the world." Moonshining exploits in Franklin County were so legendary that in 2012, Hollywood made a movie about it

The music and arts culture in Franklin County is not to be missed. Developed over centuries, locals and visitors alike can sample the rich traditions of the area through The Crooked Road Music Trail, 'Round the Mountain, Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, and the Franklin County Historical Society.  Check out our Arts & Culture page to learn more. 

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Beth Simms

Beth Simms Franklin County

Director of Economic Development

Beth Simms is a Franklin County native, former small business owner, and economic development powerhouse. As director of economic development for the county, Simms works behind the scenes and in front of the business community to create business opportunities in the county. From bringing in new companies to helping Franklin County companies grow to grant writing to push programs forward, Beth deploys her passion for economic development every day.

Simms is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, completed the Basic Economic Development Course at Georgia Tech in 2020, and is a 2017 alumni of the EA Morris Fellowship of Emerging Leaders based out of North Carolina. She was previously the cultural and economic development director for the Town of Rocky Mount and earned her bachelor’s degree from Ferrum College.

Want to know more about economic development or how you can invest in our community? Contact Beth Simms at 540-483-3030 or email her at Beth.Simms@franklincountyva.gov.

Amy Minnix

amy minnix

Economic Development Specialist

Amy Minnix is thrilled to have returned home. The Franklin County native and Ferrum College alum has recently joined Franklin County’s Economic Development Team as the Economic Development Specialist. Amy began her career with The Willard Companies in Hardy, where she spent 12 years before relocating to Florida. Comfortable working in large and small business environments, Amy brings extensive experience in marketing, long-range planning, and business development in both the Florida and North Carolina markets. In her new role, Amy will assist with the creation and execution of upcoming economic initiatives within Franklin County as well as nurture the marketing initiatives to residents, businesses, and prospective newcomers to the county.