Appalachian Power awards grant funds to support local economic development efforts
Representatives with the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance accept an EDGE Grant from AEP/Appalachian Power's John Smolak.

CHARLESTON, W.Va., October 30, 2019 – A total of $125,000 was recently distributed among organizations to help support local economic development efforts ranging from site development and strategic planning to marketing. The funds were provided by Appalachian Power in the form of grants to government and nonprofits that oversee programs and initiatives tied to economic development.

Nine organizations in Virginia and West Virginia that submitted applications to Appalachian Power’s Economic Development Growth Enhancement (EDGE) program were awarded funding. The grant funds may be used for site development or to support marketing and promotion, or new business development and retention. The program is part of Appalachian Power's ongoing effort to promote local and regional programs that attract industry and support business expansion in the company’s service area.

“We enjoy a close working relationship with the local and regional economic development organizations in our service area,” said Brad Hall, Appalachian Power external affairs vice president. “The EDGE Grant program is an opportunity to express our support for the great work they are doing to bring about new jobs and investment.”

Appalachian Power launched its annual EDGE Grant program in 2014. “We’ve awarded more than $1 million in EDGE Grants since the program began,” said John Smolak, Appalachian Power economic and business development director. “Economic development is a team effort, and we view these funds as an investment in the communities we serve.”

Below is a list of the 2019 EDGE Grant recipients.

Virginia – Total $57,500

  • $16,500 to the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance for marketing materials and videos of the southern region and regional mega-sites;
  • $15,000 to the Roanoke County Economic Development Office for development of a new comprehensive community and economic development strategic plan;
  • $10,000 to the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance in support of a regional employer wage and benefit study to more fully understand competitive manufacturing advantages;
  • $8,500 for the Scott County Economic Development Authority to develop a new master plan for the Weber City Riverside Tech Business Park;
  • $7,500 to the Virginia's First Regional Industrial Facility Authority for marketing the New River Valley Commerce Park and joint marketing with the New River Valley Airport Authority.

West Virginia – Total $67,500

  • $17,500 to the Mercer County Development Authority for an online portal to connect job seekers with higher education institutions and employers;
  • $17,500 for the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority to develop/update a new marketing and promotional strategy via a new website and drone marketing;
  • $17,500 to the Greenbrier Valley Partnership for new product site development and 3D rendering of industrial park to market to manufacturing;
  • $15,000 to the Lincoln County Economic Development Authority for a new website redesign that is up-to-date and mobile responsive.

An eligible organization must be a nonprofit entity, such as a city or county economic development organization, or a regional economic development organization. The organization must be in Appalachian Power’s service area. For more information on the EDGE Grant program visit https://www.appalachianpower.com/info/economic/Grants.aspx.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is part of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric companies in the United States, which is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to customers. AEP’s more than 18,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 5,300 megawatts of renewable energy.


Teresa Hamilton Hall
Representatives with the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance accept an EDGE Grant from AEP/Appalachian Power's John Smolak.

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