Follow along on our series of local businesses who have received a loan through the Northeast Tennessee Economic Development Corporation, a part of the First Tennessee Development District.
Located in the heart of Erwin, Tennessee, Erwin Outdoor Supply provides a much needed space and the atmosphere for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to relax, recharge, refuel, and restock. Known for Billy the Bigfoot in the store window, great supplies, and deep leather couches for weary hikers and campers alike, Erwin Outdoor Supply has hit their mark.
With local lender support through NETEDC, co-owner Brandy Bevins has brought her passion for her home town and the great outdoors to tourists from across the southeast and beyond. Bevins utilized funds through First Horizon, NETEDC, and owner capital to buy furniture, equipment, inventory and fixtures for the shop and bring her dream to life. This extra capital ensured that Erwin Outdoor Supply was in a strong position from day one, and also prepared for potential challenges down the road. We can all agree there was no greater unforeseen economic challenge than the global COVID-19 pandemic.
When COVID-19 hit the region, Erwin Outdoor Supply quickly pivoted. Bevin's vision of an open and welcoming store was well suited for social distancing and she shifted from in-store shopping to the option of curbside pick-up. Social media did the rest. As we saw, outdoor recreation was a boon for the region as much of the world outside Northeast Tennessee ground to a halt.
The location of Erwin Outdoor Supply also provides another benefit, as Unicoi County continues to embrace the growing economic benefit and emerging tourism possibilities that the Appalachian Trail, Nolichucky River and state and local parks and trails have to offer. "There are limitless opportunities for people to get out and enjoy," said Bevins, "with our location in the middle of town, we can partner with other businesses and help showcase what they have to offer."
Made possible by local lender support, Erwin and Unicoi County could not have found a better ambassador to the great outdoors. "We roll out that southern hospitality to all who come to Erwin Outdoor Supply," boasted Bevin, "we got into this business because we love our town and we love the outdoors." A visit to Brandy Bevins at Erwin Outdoor Supply will confirm to any visitor, her love and passion for both.
To learn more about the Northeast Tennessee Economic Development Corporation or for questions about the funding available to start, grow, or expand your business in Northeast Tennessee, visit www.netedc.org.