Rutherfordton, N.C. was named 2016 “Outstanding Small Town of the Year” by the N.C. Rural Center in response to the town’s successful marketing and promotional efforts in 2015. With roughly 4,200 residents, Rutherfordton’s marketing initiatives included development of “A Minted Original” town brand, billboard campaign, marketing collateral, trail guides, street banners, two new websites, and new downtown signage.
Rutherfordton also focused on outdoor and heritage initiatives including the installation of the Purple Martin Greenway, Downtown Historic Walking Trail, and the Gold Mile – a commemorative walking trail dedicated to Rutherfordton’s legacy as the home of America’s one-dollar gold coin and part of a 30 county NC Gold Trail.
In the digital realm, the Town of Rutherfordton increased its social media presence to include 5,800 fans on Facebook and 800 on Twitter, plus nearly 700 Instagram followers.
Among other projects, Rutherfordton went the extra mile to also implement a branded recycling campaign and a monthly live music series called FUNC (Fridays UNplugged on Central).
The mission of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, Inc. (The Rural Center) is to develop, promote, and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians.  The center serves the state’s 80 rural counties, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources.