In Murfreesboro, North Carolina, access to high-speed internet has revolutionized local business operations and communications for its nearly 3,000 residents. The internet enhances the way the local community lives and does business. It enables small businesses and local organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, public library, realtors, and restaurants to streamline business operations and boost community outreach.
Congressman G. K. Butterfield, Internet Association (IA) member companies, and representatives from IA traveled to Murfreesboro to learn about how the internet has impacted rural communities in North Carolina. Local organization and business leaders from the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce, Revelle Realty, Elizabeth S. Parker Memorial Library, and Tavern 125 all shared personal insights into how the internet helps their businesses, bolsters efficiency in the local economy, and strengthens community ties.
The Murfreesboro community and main street businesses are more connected to each other and the world than ever before because of the internet. Today’s crawl showcases how rural America can thrive in the 21st century information economy with affordable and accessible internet service. IA appreciates Rep. Butterfield’s leadership on working to close the connectivity gap for underserved communities.Sean Perryman, IA Director of Diversity and Inclusion
The internet helps Murfreesboro businesses and organizations create jobs, connect with consumers, and compete worldwide. IA’s Internet Community Crawls showcase the ways the internet drives economic growth and jobs in communities around the country. Watch what local businesses and their elected representatives had to say about the importance of the internet to their local economy in IA’s Connected video series.
Internet access has become increasingly essential for the success and expansion of our small businesses and for improved quality of life for our communities. Though high-speed internet has propelled the 21st-century economy forward, it hasn’t taken every American along with it.Congressman G. K. Butterfield
Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce
Our first Internet Community Crawl stop was at the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce. The community’s respected business association unites community stakeholders, business owners, and city officials to promote local business and economic growth. The Chamber focuses on issues relevant to the town’s future and uses social media platforms like Facebook to coordinate events, community partnerships, and local business communications. Executive Director Daryl Williams reflected upon the importance of the internet and highlighted the integral role it has played in cultivating interest in community events, such as the 34th Annual NC Watermelon Festival that took place just a few days before the crawl.
The Elizabeth S. Parker Memorial Library
We then stopped at the local public library where branch head Judy Hachey discussed the vital role the library plays in the community and beyond city lines. For years the library has served as an essential hub for those who don’t have access to the internet at home. Many residents of Murfreesboro and neighboring areas visit the Elizabeth S. Parker Memorial Library to use the internet for research, to apply for jobs, and to connect with friends and family on social media. The library also partners with the larger North Carolina public library system to offer digital collections of books and other resources people can access from anywhere with an internet connection.
The third stop was at Revelle Realty, where owner Elicia Revelle highlighted the importance of online platforms in promoting her realty business. The internet helps her connect with new home buyers and sellers, market available homes for an affordable cost, and boost her customer outreach efforts. Elicia said because of Revelle Realty’s online presence, she’s often the first stop when a buyer or seller is looking for a real estate agent in the area.
Our last stop was at Tavern 125, a local restaurant and bar frequented by the Murfreesboro community. Owner Keith Bradshaw spoke about the many ways the internet has transformed his local business. When you walk into the tavern you’ll see an internet-enabled point-of-sale and ticketing system and Tavern 125 employees rely on an online scheduling system to sign up for and trade shifts. The internet also helps Bradshaw find inspiration for new recipes, inform regulars of daily specials and menu updates, and promote the restaurant to out of towners in need of a meal.
Fun Fact: The internet economy adds nearly 157,000 jobs and more than $46.8 billion to North Carolina’s economy
Want to read more on the Murfreesboro Crawl? Check out coverage from The Hill, where Representative G. K. Butterfield and IA President & CEO Michael Beckerman co-authored a piece highlighting the importance of internet platforms in rural America.