On this Thanksgiving week, we want to simply say we are thankful for you! And we have a lot to be thankful for this week. From the backroads to connectivity, and a solar car built by high school students, it’s been a great week.
There are no leftovers here. So let’s dive right in.
Backroads of Appalachia awarded $1 million ARC grant
Erik Hubbard is certainly one of a kind.
A few years ago, Erik started talking about motorsports tourism. It was something new. Some scratched their heads at the thought of sportscars, motorcyclists, and other enthusiasts winding through the mountains of Eastern Kentucky (check out this video of Erik doing just that) and spending money.
They’ve done just that. And then some.
The work of Erik and Backroads of Appalachia, a nonprofit Erik founded, was rewarded this week when Congressman Hal Rogers announced a $1 million grant for the organization. The grant was through the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Funds will be used to scale marketing efforts across Appalachia and beyond. Backroads of Appalachia have created several routes throughout Eastern Kentucky, specifically built for motorcycles, dual sport adventure cyclists, and car clubs. They’ve also worked with communities to create hill climbs, obstacle courses, and rallies. Some of the rallies have garnered national attention.
Check out WYMT’s coverage of the announcement.
Want to learn how your community can make the most of adventure tourism? Download our Essential Guide to Adventure Tourism.
The guide provides steps to take the new big and bold step.
- Creating a bulletproof tourism plan
- Leveraging local entrepreneurs and small businesses
- Building destination packages
- Launching effective marketing and measuring success
Breathitt and Leslie counties benefit from ReConnect funding
Breathitt and Leslie counties will get access to better – and faster – internet. This is thanks to a $24 million grant and loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect program provided to Thacker-Grigsby Telephone Company.
The new fiber network will serve about 4,500 people, 39 businesses, and 27 farms.
Does your community need internet or faster speeds? It starts with planning. That’s why we have created the Manual for Writing and Winning Broadband Funding. In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn:
- How to navigate regulatory context and partnerships
- How to evaluate possible funding sources and their parameters
- How to identify actionable funding opportunities
- How to prepare and submit competitive grant proposals
Some Holler Pride in the form of a solar car
Interesting header, huh?
Students from Johnson Central High School have coined the name Holler Pride to its solar-powered unveiled this week. This is part of the high school’s engineering pathway and Eagle X Solar Race Team.
This group of students made their pitch about the idea at the Speed Pitch Competition during the 2022 SOAR Summit, presented by Appalachian Wireless and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
The students plan to enter endurance speedway races with the Solar Car. WYMT dives a little deeper into the project here.
We are committed to supporting youth entrepreneurship across the region. That’s why we launched the Youth Entrepreneurship Program Plan.
It contains an easy-to-follow action plan that will help you:
- Understand why youth entrepreneurship is essential.
- Tweak existing lesson plans with entrepreneurship in mind.
- Develop new lesson plans geared towards mindset and skills development.
- Create entrepreneurship events.
- Advocate for student resources.
Holiday Gift Guide
Earlier this week, we released our first Holiday Gift Guide. This was put together by our SOAR Innovation team, powered by KY Innovation. It is your guide to:
- Gifts for men
- Gifts for women
- Gifts for children and students
- Stocking Stuffers
All at a click.
Our Innovation team works with those wishing to start or grow an existing business. We do that through FREE direct services:
- Business Planning
- Website Services
- eCommerce Implementation
- Google Services
- Digital Media Services
Want to learn more? Download our Complete Guide to Entrepreneurship and a member of our team will schedule a time to chat.
EKY Gala nominations
The first-ever EKY Gala, presented by Kentucky Power, is coming together. It’s set for January 26 at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg.
We have nominations open for 14 special awards that will be given out as part of the event. We’ve received nearly 200 nominations. Have we heard from you?
Check out our complete list of awards and how you can make a nomination.
Also, join us for a night of networking and celebrating Appalachia Kentucky.