Highland County EDA Hears from 2023 Grant Recipient and Announces 2024 Recipients

The Highland County EDA met on December 18 to further discuss the housing study from the The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission and hear from recipients from the 2023 Highland County Economic Development Authority Incentive Grant.


There were two grant recipients from 2023, Wes White of Shadowlands Farm, who was not at the meeting to present, and Paul Clemmons from High’s Restaurant, who was on-hand to give an update on how the grant was used to boost business.


“So what we did was we decided that we would go and start marketing merchandise,” explained Clemmons.  “But in our opinion the three things that draw people into Highland County are Maple Festival being number one, number two in my opinion is High’s, and number three is really the black bears. Believe it or not people come out to see the black bears, and I didn’t for the life of me think that this was something to capitalize on.”


“By the time we got the last of our merchandise in, it was July 1 of this year,” Clemmons continued. “If I take from July 1 and go all the way to November 30, the calendar month that this ended, in the five months of 2022, we did 11,117 customers. If I take a snapshot of 2023, we’re at 13,108, which is roughly a 16 percent increase in customers.”


In a closed session, the EDA voted to give a total of $21,498 in Incentive Grants to the following:


Blue Grass Mercantile:  $5,000

Larry Williams, III:  $5,000

Valentina Meehan – The Barn: $5,000

Nicole Puffenbarger – Heart & Soul Massage:  $3,998

Marcia Carrol – Buck’s Bees: $2,500


The next meeting for the Highland County EDA will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at The Highland Center. 


Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

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