OAKWOOD, VA – AUGUST 9, 2023 – The custom manufacture of ductwork and the added ability to serve both residential and commercial HVAC needs is something Tony Owens, of Air Repair, Inc., offers as a service in the four-county area of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties.
Air Repair, Inc. was a recent recipient of a $10,000 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Seed Capital Matching Grant.
“VCEDA was pleased to assist Air Repair, Inc. with a seed capital grant,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “While the business provides a number of HVAC-related services, the custom manufacture of ductwork is what made this application stand out in the seed capital review process. Air Repair, Inc., projects six full-time employees within three years.”
Owens opened Air Repair, Inc., in the spring of 2023 and since opening, he said, he has had plenty of work to do. Currently the business employs one other employee in addition to him. Owens brings 30 years of HVAC experience to the business.
“We did a lot of training to begin with,” Owens said, “but if it heats or cools, we’ll try to fix it if it isn’t working.”
In addition to doing his own ductwork in the sheet metal shop he established as a part of the new business, Owens has the ability to provide for the custom ductwork needs of other companies as well.
“When we first started, we had to order pre-fab ductwork, but we now have a man at the shop working on ductwork and we do that not only for our own jobs, but for others as well,” Owens said of the ability to manufacture the ductwork at his own business location.
Owens estimated 90 percent of all of his HVAC installations require sheet metal ductwork.
“Many of these jobs need custom-made pieces that can only be built in a custom sheet metal shop,” Owens said. “Being able to do all of our ductwork in-house increases our efficiency.”
Plans for the future include branching out into new services, to include the installation of whole house generators. Additionally, he plans to offer internships in association with the HVAC Certification provided through Southwest Virginia Community College.
“Getting the VCEDA seed capital funds has been an enormous help to me,” Owens said. “We will use the grant to purchase some bigger equipment which will help in the fabrication feed for the ductwork.”
Owens worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in developing his application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority.
“With the award of the Seed Capital Matching Fund grant to Air Repair, Inc., the company will be able to manufacture the ductwork for HVAC systems inhouse and will get the product to customers in a more timely, efficient manner, while utilizing local tradesmen,” said Margie Douglass, SBDC program manager at SWCC. “It will also fill a void for these types of services in Buchanan County and surrounding areas. The SBDC looks forward to seeing the growth and services that will result from the award of this grant and enjoyed working with Tony Owens to complete the application process.”
“I’m very happy to see Tony listed as a recipient of VCEDA’s Seed Capital Program,” said Matt Fields, Buchanan County IDA executive director. “This program has been instrumental in assisting new businesses get off the ground and in providing a direct benefit to their communities. Tony’s company will not only service and maintain the average HVAC unit, but will also be able to manufacture custom ductwork, which is a great plus. The Buchanan County IDA and I wish them nothing but success.”
Air Repair, Inc. is located at 8157 Garden Creek Road, Oakwood, Va., and may be reached by calling 276-312-3686.
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, within qualifying business categories, 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.