MARION — The Small Town of the Year Award for 2018 from the N.C. Rural Center was presented Friday morning during the 2018 Rural Assembly to Marion. The award criteria includes:
- creating citizen engagement, respect of values diversity, and strong partnerships
- promoting innovative economic development initiatives
- overcoming economic barriers and challenges
- building an economic future for all of its residents.
City Manager Bob Boyette, Marion Business Association Director Freddie Killough, Planning Director Heather Cotton, McDowell Chamber of Commerce Director Steve Bush and downtown business owner Rachel Withrow accepted the award in Raleigh.
The Growing Entreprenuers Marion (GEM) program was cited for its eight-class training session teaching the basics of owning and operating a small business. All aspects of starting a new business are included in the class including feasibility and financing topics. Marion now has a revolving loan program for small businesses.
A formal presentation of this award will be made at Tuesday’s Marion City Council meeting.