Lee IDA Funds Local Entrepreneur Expansion

The Industrial Development Authority of Lee County today announced it has closed on a second round of financing for Bates Family Farms, LLC, a family farm business located just outside Jonesville. Bates Family Farms is best known for their line of goat’s milk soaps, lotions and body butters which are available in approximately 100 retail stores including Pennington Pharmacy, Heartwood, Natural Foods Market in Johnson City and Three Bears General Store in Pigeon Forge. They also grow both organic and conventional produce for sale in regional farmers markets as well as a local egg delivery service. Joseph and Shannon Bates are the owners and proprietors of the business. The proceeds from the loan will be used to expand their production capacity with the purchase of new equipment.

“We are excited about this second expansion by Bates Family Farms. With the agricultural history of Lee County, this project fits in beautifully with the area. Mr. and Mrs. Bates have impressed us with the quality of their products, their work ethic and their commitment to Lee County. We thank the Board of Supervisors for their assistance with this project,” stated Michael James, IDA Director.

“Bates Family Farms has been an exemplary member of the community. They source many products locally including all their labels and printing from Powell Valley News and their feed from Lee Farmers Co-Op. Customers from all over the region are buying and enjoying Bates Family Farms products,” added Greg Edwards, IDA Chairman.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of the IDA and the Board of Supervisors as we continue to expand our business. They have been great to work with and we look forward to expanding our operation and attending two large trade shows to attract new customers,” stated Joseph Bates, Principal of Bates Family Farms. “Our soaps, lotions and body butters are hand-crafted using my wife’s special recipe and our customers love them.”

The project was funded from the Lee County Economic Development Fund, which is jointly managed by the IDA and the Board of Supervisors. The Lee County Economic Development Fund was created by decree of the Lee County Board of Supervisors on October 18, 2011. The fund proceeds are to be used for the express purpose of economic development activities for Lee County. Any appropriation(s) from the fund require the approval of both the IDA Board of Directors and the Lee County Board of Supervisors.

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