Press Releases

Roe Congratulates Erwin Utilities on Receiving $15,000 Grant

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Washington, October 27, 2017 | Lani Short (202-225-6356) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) congratulated Erwin Utilities on receiving a $15,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for its Cool & Connected Downtown Erwin Entrepreneurs Business Grant project. The project seeks to launch an entrepreneurial business plan competition as a collaboration between Erwin Utilities and the Unicoi County Joint Economic Development Board. The competition will be modeled off similar successful programs in nearby Bristol and Johnson City, Tennessee.

Roe released the following statement:

“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and I’m glad Erwin Utilities is working to provide resources for these ventures. Economic development is vital to the strength and advancement of small cities throughout the country, and I am pleased Erwin Utilities will receive this important funding to create an Entrepreneurial Business Grant competition. This competition will encourage job creation and creativity, and I’m grateful for the Appalachian Regional Commission’s continued support of projects throughout the First District.”

“The Cool & Connected Downtown Erwin Entrepreneurs Business Grant will enhance the skillsets and ideas of its participants and will help address the need for improved access to broadband Internet in Appalachia,” said Lee H. Brown, General Manager of Erwin Utilities. “Participants will help to up build the entrepreneurial spirit of the downtown community and will learn more about how broadband can expand their business opportunities. This program is important to the economic health and vitality of Appalachian communities like Erwin because it encourages entrepreneurs to venture out, connect to the wider world, and open a storefront business in their downtown. The technical assistance received through the Cool & Connected program was invaluable and has informed other strategic planning efforts by the City of Erwin and the JEDB.”

“Erwin is just one example of how communities across Appalachia are thoughtfully using broadband to unleash their economic potential,” said Earl Gohl, Federal Co-Chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission. “This grant will help Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem grow and thrive.”  
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