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Loans available for business owners, investors in downtown Erwin

By Richard Rourk

The Northeast Tennessee Economic Development Corporation (NETEDC) Downtown Erwin Loan Program is a financial opportunity for small business owners, property owners or investors to purchase or renovate a downtown property or to purchase fixed equipment for the direct purpose of business creation, expansion or renovation.

The program offers a low-interest loan of up to $25,000. This is a second position loan behind a bank loan for any existing or new business within the downtown Erwin district.

According to, NETEDC representative Ken Rea, the loan can be used for renovation costs above the bank loan. This micro loan for up to $25,000 could be used to cover renovation of buildings and financing for equipment loans. The terms of the loan is good for up to 15 years for buildings and up to five years for equipment.

Also, the borrower must keep a business account at one of the three participating banks, which are Bank of Tennessee, First Horizon and Mountain Commerce Bank.

According to Unicoi County Joint Economic Development Board Executive Director Tyler Engle, who works closely with the NETEDC, this loan program is a win-win for all parties.

“The great thing about this loan is it allows business owners to utilize their loan to the fullest,” Engle said. “We learn so much working with the NETEDC and the First Tennessee Development District. Loans like these are ‘revolving loans.’ That means that when ‘business A’ starts paying their loan back, ‘business B’ can then use that money.”

Engle acknowledged that this loan will help not only local businesses, but will help attract industry and housing to the area.

“Businesses look for the best quality of life when they look for places to relocate,” Engle explained. “Having a structurally sound and appealing downtown district is important for that quality of life. Contractors also look for a thriving surrounding area when they are looking to build. We are always looking for opportunities like these for both the Town of Erwin and the Town of Unicoi.”

For more information, please call 928-0224.