Downtown Awarded Entrepreneur Grant

The Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development announced that the Crossroads Downtown Partnership will be awarded a $50,000 Tennessee Main Street Entrepreneur Grant.  ECD Commissioner Randy Boyd explained that these grants will be used to provide startup space and training for entrepreneurs to encourage business growth in established downtown commercial districts.

Barbara Garrow, Crossroads Program Director, explained that three space locations for the incubator program have been identified – one above All Celebrity Travel on the east end, one above Pink Pig Pottery in the center of Main Street, and a building at the end of the street, on the main level.  “This gets all parts of Main Street involved and helps identify its entire length as a cohesive unit,” Garrow said.  “We are really excited that property owners want to work with us.”

Garrow has assembled a team to assist in getting the project off the ground.  Jobe Leonard, former project manager at Hearthstone Log Homes in Dandridge has volunteered.  Also, the Crossroads Economic Vitality committee will be involved, as will the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, led by Joy O’Shay.

“The project will encourage businesses to locate downtown, and the SkyMart will become the driver for economic growth it was intended to be 50 years ago,” Garrow stated.   She went on to say that the project will address the “new economy” that is not necessarily industrial-based. “It is made up of more creative ideas that need to come to fruition; ideas for products and services that we haven’t yet thought of.”

In addition to Morristown, Commission Boyd announced that grants were awarded to the downtown commercial districts of Bristol, Cleveland, Columbia, Jackson and Savannah.  “Tennessee has become a great state for entrepreneurs and by creating a supportive and nurturing ecosystem, we can maintain our reputation as being a place that’s known for startup success,” Boyd said.  “We are excited to be able to assist communities that are actively working to attract investment, and I can’t wait to see the results of these projects.”



Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce * 825 W. First North Street * P.O. Box 9 * Morristown, TN 37815 * 423-586-6382 * 423-586-6576 fax