PRA receives boost from grant

Joe Toppe Staff Writer

November 7, 2013

PICKENS – In an effort to promote local businesses, the Pickens Revitalization Association will apply grant money to community development.

“The PRA is extremely grateful for this grant money as it will allow us to focus on business in our own community,” said Allison Fowler, executive director of the PRA. “We can give them promotion and bring to light the unique merchants and restaurants of this community.”

According to Fowler, the grant money will total $2,500 and will be used to aid local businesses with their marketing efforts.

“We plan to use this money for existing projects like Third Fridays and our Shop Local initiatives,” Fowler said. “We will do anything to encourage people to come downtown during normal business hours or after hours.”

Fowler said the money will be used for a variety of marketing related items and workshops.

“With the money we received, we will use most of it on promotions and advertising such as fliers and newspaper ads,” she said. “We are also interested in providing workshops for the local businesses.”

The grant money was supplied by the Duke Energy Foundation.

“The Duke Energy Foundation can provide a community with an excellent source of funding,” Fowler said. “They can help out any kind of project designed to enhance the local community, and they are invested in the communities they support. It is an easy application and it is online. You can submit everything to them and they conduct their review process to determine how much money the grant will cover, so this is definitely a source we plan to use in the future as we have certain projects or ideas that need funding or help.”

Fowler expects the PRA to pursue additional grant money for similar projects in 2014.

“This money comes at a great time in our current efforts to promote business in downtown Pickens,” Fowler said. “We are currently involved in the Entrepreneur Friendly Toolkit program and so as deliverables come out of that project, we will be able to apply for more money to cover those expenses as we help our businesses grow next year.”