Frontier Communications and DISH Network are looking to help small cities and towns revitalize their areas with a competition called America’s Best Communities.
The contest gives 27 states, where Frontier provides internet connectivity services for residential and small businesses, a chance to compete for more than $10 million dollars to help bring their ideas from paper to a reality.
“America’s Best Communities contest is about opportunities,” said Mark Jeffries, Vice President and General Manager for Frontier Communications Southwest Territory. “Frontier believes that rural America is the next set of emerging markets and we’re fired up.
“We’re excited to provide this opportunity. So far we have over 100 communities that have applied for this program and Show Low, Arizona is one of them,” Jeffries continued.
According to a Frontier and DISH press release, the contest will help address the need for growth by identifying and investing in innovative ideas that small cities and towns can use to build and sustain their local economies.
The America’s Best Communities contest, which is spread over three years, is looking for areas with populations of 9,500 to 80,000 to apply and those with less people are encouraged to collaborate with adjacent communities to become eligible.
“The initial level will be for the first 50 communities that make the cut from an unbiased, unpartisan panel of experts in the industry that look at business development, community development and quality of life,” Jeffries said.
The next level will trim those 50 communities to 15 and then eventually three communities will be awarded the grand prize money.
The town of Show Low is looking to bring a conference center to the area.
“I’ve been very fortunate to be part of the board and part of this core group because I have such a love for the mountains as everyone else does,” said Mary Anne Lanner. “We want to make sure what we’re doing is creating something for future generations.”
Lanner along with other community leaders are rallying residents in the White Mountains to understand the importance of having a conference center.
“It’s not only going to put us on the map, but allow us to be facilitators of people that are in the metropolitan areas,” Lanner said. “The more metropolitan people who know what the rural areas face, the better off we all are.”
While not everyone can win, Jeffries said submitting an idea puts small cities and towns ahead of the game.
“Whether they win or don’t, it’s going to spur a catalyst in the local economies because people are going to grab a vision,” Jeffries said.