Grant for Predevelopment in Rhodhiss

As more and more trails are built across the state, studies show that a trail can be much more than just a health and recreation amenity. It can drive economic development. Beth Heile, president of the Burke River Trail Association, has found that to be true working on the Burke River Trail route through each small town in eastern Burke County. Heile has uncovered several potential projects for housing, retail, restaurants and outdoor recreation businesses.

Because of these opportunities, Heile was accepted into the Mountain BizWorks WNC Investment Framer Cohort 10 week coaching program to educate participants on how to take investment opportunities to the next level for financing. The program’s “final exam” was to pitch an investment project to classmates, instructors, investors and grantors with a 15 minute presentation on October 30. Heile found out on Thursday, November 30 at the Mountain BizWorks’ Year End Celebration her project, Rhodhiss Revitalization, had been voted by her cohorts to receive a $2500 grant for predevelopment work.

Mountain BizWorks envisions a thriving Western North Carolina in which small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs have access to the resources needed to make their dreams a reality—a region where collaboration, creativity, innovation, and investment generate opportunity and prosperity for all.

Burke River Trail Association is the non-profit that supports the planning, development and building of the Burke River Trail, which will generate economic activity, provide bike and pedestrian transportation, and improve citizen health in Burke County. Spanning 20 miles when completed, the trail will weave through the picturesque landscapes of eastern Burke County with natural surface, crushed cinder, and paved pathways leading into the vibrant downtowns of Drexel, Valdese, Rutherford College, Connelly Springs, Rhodhiss, Long View, and Hildebran.