Press Release from the Office of Governor Bill Haslam, March 21, 2018:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced today that 25 communities will receive more than $9.6 million in Site Development Grants.
The Site Development Grant program is part of the larger Rural Economic Opportunity Act passed in 2016 and updated in 2017.
“By making our rural communities ready for investment and economic success, we help them attract jobs and more opportunities for citizens,” Haslam said. “I congratulate the Site Development Grant program recipients and look forward to watching as they thrive and bring new businesses to our state.”
The grants are intended to help rural communities overcome barriers to site certification and prepare them to receive an economic development project that creates jobs in their community. These funds assist communities in finalizing infrastructure and engineering improvements for project-ready certified sites.
“We want to help these rural communities up their game and increase their close rate by making our rural county site inventory among the most attractive and project-ready in the world,” Rolfe said. “We are proud to see these 25 communities taking the initiative to invest in themselves and look forward to seeing their future success.”
“Each of the recipients is taking a major step to enhance their community and with the assistance of the site development grants, they are given the opportunity to compete for jobs and business,” TNECD Assistant Commissioner for Community and Rural Development Amy New said. “The Site Development program shows great return on investment, and I am thankful that the investment from the Rural Economic Opportunity Act will continue to help many more communities in the years to come.”
The Site Development Grant program works in cooperation with the department’s Select Tennessee Site Certification program.
“Through its Site Development Grant program, TNECD has awarded $21.6 million over three years to communities throughout Tennessee,” TNECD Site Development Director Leanne Cox said. “These grants are a valuable resource for local economic development projects, demonstrating Tennessee’s proactive approach to industrial development and support for further growth and job creation.”
Applications were reviewed by an advisory committee made up of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Austin Consulting, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Department of Transportation and the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.