Highland EDA’s September 2023 Meeting

The Highland Economic Development Authority held it’s monthly meeting on September 18.

New EDA member Malorie Brower was welcomed to her first meeting.

The EDA discussed and then voted to approve updates to the 2024 Incentive Grant application.   EDA members Dail Fields and Kirk Billingsley reviewed the application and suggested updates.  EDA members who are serving on the review committee for Incentive Grant applicants this fall are Dail Fields, Bryan Obaugh and Aaron Thaler.

The EDA’s Incentive Grant program is funded by the Board of Supervisors.  The program supports the growth of small businesses in Highland.  Grants of $2,000 to $5,000 per business, help with start-up or expansion costs.

Incentive Grant applications are due November 17.  Grant awards will go out following the EDA’s meeting on December 18th.

A workshop is planned, in conjunction with the Tourism Council, to help businesses with applying for the EDA’s Incentive Grant and the Tourism Council’s Marketing Assistance Grant.  The workshop is Thursday, September 28, at 7pm at The Highland Center.

The EDA’s Economic Development Officer, Betty Mitchell, presented her report about ongoing projects.  With the Remote Worker Attraction Campaign, work is underway with Letterpress Communications on a three-month social media campaign that will begin in January.  The campaign was originally set to run October through December, but was rescheduled due to the holiday season, which is a busy time for social media campaigns.

The RCDI group is continuing to work on the requirements for the Economic Recovery Corps program.  Participation in the program may bring a Fellow to Highland County to work on economic development projects from January 2024 until June 2026.

It was also reported that fundraising efforts are continuing for the Highland Inn renovation project.  The goal is $500,000 and reaching that amount puts the project in a good position when applying for the next two major grants.  One of those, the IRF grant is due in late October.

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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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