Middlesboro Main Street receives mini-grant

Published 9:48 am Monday, July 30, 2018

Recently, Middlesboro Main Street was one of five local organizations in an Eastern Kentucky community to receive a mini-grant to initiate growth in their downtown areas.

Middlesboro Main Street (recently rebranded from Discover Downtown Middlesboro) has been working with the community to spearhead numerous projects to help stimulate growth of the downtown area and the community as a whole. Recent examples include the rapidly expanding Levitt AMP Middlesboro Music Series, the annual Wing Fling and various clean-up initiatives.

The grant was awarded by CEDIK (Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky). They awarded grants to Harlan, Hazard, Tri Cities and Whitesburg in addition to Middlesboro. This grant process is part of the Promise Zone Downtown Revitalization POWER grant, which is through the Appalachian Regional Commission.

According to an article published at cedikkentucky.wordpress.com, Middlesboro Main Street and its partner Bell County Tourism are receiving funds that will buoy the costs that come with the purchase and installation of “community centric message boards” that will be found in high-traffic spots downtown.

The purpose of these spots is to offer clear, centralized locations to pick up and learn about all upcoming events and places to visit for both the community and visitors to the areas.

Sandi Curd, The Promise Zone Coordinator for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and member of the grant review panel, stated “Our downtowns are the heart of our communities and culture. I am so proud of the creative work and citizen engagement these communities have put forth for celebrating what makes their city unique, vibrant and wonderful.”

Emily Ayers, director of Main Street Middlesboro stated “In many cases, when community organizations are hosting an event getting the word out is one of the most difficult things to do. This struggle is for the hosting organization as well as community members who might like to attend.

“We are hoping that having a Community Board will help both parties in getting the word out and will be a place to go for those looking for something to do as well as those needing to let people know what is going on.”