Next IPDC Board meeting will be January 9, 2018.  This will be a business meeting and will be in the evening here at IPDC offices in Rutherfordton.  Please be on the look out for further information on this meeting.
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December 11, 2017
Contact: Scott Dadson, Executive Director
828-287-2281, ext. 250

Isothermal Regional Legislative Gathering
RSVP today!

The Mayors and Chairs of the Isothermal Region have been working on details for the inaugural Isothermal Regional Legislative Gathering which is the first ever gathering of elected officials in the Isothermal Planning Commission Region C area consisting of Polk, McDowell, Rutherford and Cleveland Counties with Federal and State Legislative Representatives.  And now, we have a date and place!

The Gathering is slated for January 22, 2018, 10am to 11:30 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.  Invitations will be offered to all of the elected officials of our 37 Member Governments in the Isothermal Region as well as NGO Leaders and Business Leaders. 

The IPDC staff has reached out to all of the Federal and State Legislative staff to work on this date and on attendance by the Isothermal Regional Delegation.  We are happy to report that Rep. Tim Moore, Speaker of the House here in North Carolina will be attendance.  We have informed the Legislative Delegation that the theme is Regional Economic Development and want the State and Federal Elected officials that attend to have time to address the attendees on issues of regional importance. 

Isothermal Region Staff is developing a draft legislative platform based upon our regional economic development plan and from input from our staff and others.  This Platform will be an agenda for our January Regular IPDC Board Meeting which is January 9, 2018. 

And lastly, our host for this event will be the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Leaders from the Tryon International Equestrian Center will be coordinating a presentation to be part of the meeting and a tour for afterwards, for those that have never been there.  This should be a great opportunity for the Regional Leadership to see a true driver in the economic realm of our Isothermal Region.

We are excited that so much has come together to make this event a special one.  Please be on the look out for official invitations for you and your board, as well as a sign up poll for planning purposes.  We remain hopeful that this will become a “go-to event” for the Region. 

Please RSVP here
News from the Economic Development Administration

Here are some grant opportunities through the EDA.  If you have further questions, please give us a call at the Isothermal Regional Workforce and Economic Development Division.

Grant Opportunities

Recent grant opportunities that have been announced which may be of interest to you and your regional stakeholders include:

SBA announces funding under its Veterans Business Outreach Program
The Small Business Administration announced it is inviting proposals for funding from eligible non-profit organizations, local and state government agencies, and institutions of higher education to provide quality training and counseling to veteran small business owners and entrepreneurs. A key component of this Funding Opportunity is for applicants to provide training to transitioning military personnel through the Boots to Business (B2B) Training Program and to veterans previously discharged from military through the Reboot Training Program.
Additionally, applicants will provide counseling, training, technical and financial skill development, comprehensive business assessments, and mentoring services to veteran, active duty, Reserve, National Guard, military spouse/survivor entrepreneurs, and small business owners interested in starting a new, or expanding and diversifying an established small business.
Applications are due by January 8, 2018.  To learn more, please go to:
REMINDER: DOT announces funding for supporting youth service or conservation corps related to Federal-aid highway program
The Federal Highway Administration announced its intent to award a cooperative agreement to assist the recipient in encouraging States and regional transportation agencies to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth service or conservation corps to perform appropriate projects eligible under the Federal-aid highway program, and to expand youth workforce development opportunities while strengthening transportation career pathways.Cost sharing is not required.
Applications are due January 8, 2018 and are open to government agencies, institutions of higher learning, or non-profit organizations. 
To access the full announcement, please go to:
REMINDER: Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge Program accepting applications
The Rural Broadband Association is accepting applications through the Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge Program to support the development and deployment of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to support rural commerce and economic development, education, energy, health care, public safety, or other community-oriented initiatives.
Applications are due December 31, 2017.  To learn more, please go to:
Reminder: EDA invites applications for construction and technical assistance projects that will advance economic development objectives
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) invites applicants to submit proposals and applications for construction and technical assistance projects that advance economic development.
EDA can support the construction of new public assets or the renovation of existing public assets that support job creation or job retention.
Additionally, EDA provides resources to help communities with technical assistance projects that help inform economic development decisions.
Proposals and Applications are accepted throughout the year.
To discuss potential projects and learn more, please contact Hillary Sherman at 404.730.3013 or

What is a food hub? 

The Isothermal Regional Economic Development Strategy identified Agriculture as one of three Target Industry Clusters.  Objectives within the Agriculture Target Industry Cluster include: 
  • Create and market a brand for agriculture in the Region
  • Build the Food Distribution System in the Region
  • Create an Agricultural Purchasing Cooperative
  • Increase Communication and Coordination of Food System Stakeholders throughout the Region
  • Build Connected Communities through Farm-to-table Initiative
These objectives and our Regional Economic Development Strategy as a whole support the development of food and health hubs throughout the Isothermal 4-county region.  

Thankfully, several groups in the region are currently discussion the need for local food hubs.  

So  what is a food hub?  It is risky to have too many? How should they operate?  This article from NC State Cooperative Extension may answer some of our questions!

On a related note: Rutherford Polk McDowell Health District is searching for a Rutherford County Food Systems Coordinator.

Downtown Marion New Year's Eve Celebration - Details Announced 

The Marion Rotary Club, City of Marion, Marion Business Association and other agencies are finalizing plans for the 9th Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration to take place in Downtown Marion on Sunday, December 31 from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. This year’s event will feature more activities and events than ever.

There is no need to go out of town, as you can celebrate the New Year in Downtown Marion.

The New Year’s Eve Celebration is sponsored by the Marion Rotary Club with assistance from the Marion Business Association, City of Marion, McDowell County and the McDowell Arts Council.

The event has many corporate sponsors this year. This year’s Signature Sponsors are Mr. Bob’s Donuts, CarePartners Foundation and Steve Jones Sells Homes. Platinum Level Sponsors are the McDowell Chamber of Commerce and the Marion Rotary Club Past Presidents. The Gold Level Sponsor is Asheville Savings Bank. Silver Level Sponsors include the Crooked Door Coffee House, Realty 1, WBRM Radio, Johnson Price Sprinkle PA, Sharon L. Parker PA and GEM Constructors.

As in past years, the New Year’s Eve Celebration will feature food and craft vendors, many downtown food and beverage establishments and businesses that are open, a scavenger hunt with cash prizes, DJ Doug McCraw playing music on the Courthouse lawn, a costume contest with prizes, a gold nugget raffle and the dropping of a replica gold nugget at Midnight into Mr. Bob’s 10 foot giant donut.

This year’s event will feature wagon rides instead of carriage rides for a small fee. Returning to this year’s event will be the Resolution Run 5K, a sparkler display after the gold nugget drop, a beer and wine garden and miniature train rides.

To sign up for the 5K, which begins at 8:30 p.m. at the City Stage (the old gazebo location) on Main Street, you can visit The entry fee for the 5K is $30. The 5K will be limited to the first 100 entrants. All entrants will receive a shirt and finisher medal. Prizes will be awarded to the overall top three male finishes and the overall top three female finishers. Proceeds from the 5K will go to benefit McDowell Mission Ministries.

The Marion Rotary Club is inviting interested churches, non-profit groups, businesses and individuals to sell crafts or food and non-alcoholic drink items on Main Street during the New Year’s Eve Celebration. A craft vendor space can be obtained for $10.00 and a food or beverage vendor space can be reserved for $20.00. Please contact Bob Boyette at 652-3551 or Freddie Killough or Lou Godfrey at 652-2215 to register as a vendor.

With new and improved activities and more retail and food and beverage businesses open Downtown, this year’s New Year’s Eve Celebration will be better than ever and have fun for the entire family. Please make plans to join the fun on Main Street on New Year’s Eve and invite family and friends to come out and enjoy a great evening.

For further information, please contact Marion Business Association Events Coordinator Lou Godfrey at 652-2215 or or City Manager Bob Boyette at 652-3551 or
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Isothermal Planning and Development Commission
111 West Court Street Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Phone: (828) 287-2281
Fax: (828) 287-2735

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Isothermal Planning and Development Commission · 111 West Court Street · Post Office Box 841 · Rutherfordton, NC 28139 · USA

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