JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Three cities in Northeast Tennessee will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in state grants to improve their downtown districts.

A release from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) states 17 communities across the state received Downtown Improvement Grants. The grants were awarded to organizations that best depicted their need for improvements and their own ability to effectively execute their plans to do so.

Among the 17 recipients named Thursday were Bristol, Elizabethton and Johnson City. Each of the three cities will receive $300,000 in Downtown Improvement Grants.

“We are excited that these 17 communities will benefit from the latest round of Downtown Improvement Grants and look forward to seeing how each city and town uses this opportunity for revitalization to create jobs and investment in their central business districts in the years to come,” TNECD Main Street Director Nancy Williams said in the release.

Governor Bill Lee also congratulated the recipients, stressing the importance of maintaining downtown districts.

“Tennessee’s downtown districts and main streets are the focal point of our communities, and these grants will help attract new business and promote tourism at the local level,” Lee said.