WISE, VA – JANUARY 27, 2021 — Unique and locally created items are among the goods found at Mercantile on Main Inc. at 215 E. Main Street, Suite B in Wise. Jessee and Ashley DeLoach decided to open the business to help local shop owners find a way to market their goods in an economical way.
Mercantile on Main Inc. is a recent recipient of a $10,000 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) seed capital matching grant.
“The Mercantile project is unique in several ways,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “In addition to creating the Mercantile itself, the business model provides spaces for other small businesses to grow under the same roof. The Mercantile projects one full time and one part-time job within a year which does not take into account the employment created for the other small businesses which also have the opportunity to thrive and grow in the Mercantile setting.”
Ashley DeLoach noted the idea for the Mercantile came after seeing so many small businesses close in the area due in part to the overhead costs of operating a business.
“Mercantile on Main is a modern day general store offering a one of a kind shopping experience featuring local artisans and purveyors,” the DeLoaches note on their website. “What began as a venture to fill a shopping void in downtown Wise and give those without a storefront a physical space to offer their goods, has quickly turned into not only a retail location, but a place for social gatherings by way of workshop sessions and a place where friendships have bloomed.”
The concept behind the new business is to be able to provide other small business owners with a brick and mortar location without the typical overhead found in that setting. “Shop owners” rent space and pay commission on sales to aid in the operating costs of the business. Additionally, other small businesses which don’t have a need for a full space, find a home for their items which are purchased at wholesale.
“The most important facet to the Mercantile is to be as localized and small business-focused as possible, as well as to bring unique items to the community that cannot be found elsewhere,” the DeLoaches noted.
In addition to shopping at its location on Main Street, the Mercantile on Main also offers online shopping options at https://wisemercantile.com. Interested persons may also find more about the business on Facebook. The shop is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Wise County Industrial Development Authority wrote a letter of support for the project. The DeLoaches worked with Tim Blankenbecler, of the Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College, on the development of their business plan and application to VCEDA.
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.
About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.