HONAKER, VA – DECEMBER 22, 2021 –  With the new year just around the corner and new year’s resolutions with it, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about a gym membership, according to Rey Perez, owner of Fitness Authority LLC, a new gym which opened earlier this year in Honaker.

Fitness Authority LLC is a recent recipient of a $6,500 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) seed capital matching grant.

“VCEDA was pleased to assist Fitness Authority LLC through the seed capital matching grant program as the new business began its endeavors to establish a gym facility in Honaker,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “Fitness Authority projects four full-time jobs and three part-time jobs within five years.”

The gym, located at 48 Commerce Drive, is equipped with a variety of commercial equipment from ellipticals and treadmills to full circuit training equipment, a free weights section and more. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, members receive a key fob to be able to visit the gym at their convenience – day or night. The gym is monitored by video around the clock.

In addition to offering the ability for members to work out as they wish, several classes are also offered. Personal one-on-one training sessions can also be set up upon request.

“We wanted to create a safe positive environment and create programs that would interest all ages from youth to seniors,” Perez said.

Memberships, which start at $30 per month for individuals, are also available for couples at $50 per month; for families of three at $75; and for families of four at $90 per month. Students, law enforcement, first responders and the military may join for $25 per month.

“The VCEDA grant helped me with being able to purchase some of the equipment,”  Perez said.

As the gym continues to grow and spring approaches, Perez is looking toward some outdoor fitness expansions and mini events he hopes to host in the community like paintball, obstacle courses, soccer and other fun family-oriented programs.

Perez worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in the development of his application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Russell County Industrial Development Authority.

“Rey Perez’s investment in the town of Honaker will not only provide jobs but will also provide residents with opportunities to improve health and quality of life,” said Margie Douglass, SBDC Program Manager at SWCC. “The Small Business Development Center at SWCC was pleased to assist Rey with preparing the VCEDA grant application, business plan and financial projections.   

“By working with the SBDC (a requirement for any applicant of the Seed Capital Matching Fund), small business owners are better prepared to apply for funding and better equipped to make their business a success,” Douglass added. “When a small business owner works with the SBDC, they receive guidance from experienced advisors and learn how to utilize available tools to evaluate their business and develop a formal plan of action.”

Fitness Authority may be found on Facebook at Fitness Authority Gym and may be reached at 276-698-6635.

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.