The e-NC Authority will provide funding to help open more business telecenters in rural North Carolina counties.
e-NC, which was originally called the Rural Internet Access Authority, is using the “Business & Technology Telecenter” concept to help drive business use of the Internet across the state. The new centers will increase the number of facilities to six.
Organizers in Anson and Northampton counties will receive $400,000 each for the new centers once they have completed business plans, e-NC said.
e-NC and its parent organization, the NC Rural Economic Development Center, received $2 million in state funding from the North Carolina General Assembly for use in technology projects.
Each center includes high-speed Internet access and business and support services in an attempt to help startup companies or to launch new ones. They also offer public access areas for telecommuting purposes and for those needing online research for their jobs.
“Creating jobs in our most distressed areas is the work of North Carolina’s Business & Technology Telecenters,” said Oppie Jordan, who is the chairperson of e-NC. “The new telecenters in Anson and Northampton counties will increase technology and business support in those areas, bringing critical resources to entrepreneurs and small businesses.”
The Anson County telecenter was created through partnership between Anson County, the Anson County Technology Coalition, the City of Monroe, South Piedmont Community College, Union County, the Union County e-Communities Committee, and the Union County Chamber of Commerce.
Two centers will be opened, one in Wadesboro and the other in Monroe. Space, high-speed Internet access, utilities and other resources will be donated to the centers, the e-NC said.
The Northampton County effort will be operated by Halifax Community College, Northampton County government, and The Roanoke Center, a nonprofit economic and community development center supported and operated by the Roanoke Electric Cooperative.
Centers will be launched at Halifax Community College in Weldon and The Roanoke Center in Rich Square. Various services will be donated to each, including training and incubator space.
Using its own private funds, e-NC also committed additional funding to centers in Alleghany County ($50,000) and the Northeast Technology & Business Center in Martin