BLUEFIELD, VA – SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 — After purchasing a piece of property on Virginia Avenue in Bluefield and the 2,000-square-foot building that is situated on it, Bill Haver began to see the pieces fall into places for his new business, Appalachian Treasures LLC .
The new business, which plans to open later this fall, is the recipient of a recent Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) $10,000 seed capital matching grant.
“VCEDA was pleased to assist Appalachian Treasures LLC with a seed capital matching grant,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “Under their business model, the reach of this grant may also benefit up to 20 other small business entrepreneurs by providing retail venues for local artisans, crafters, antique dealers and others. Initially, Appalachian Treasures projects one full-time job and one-part-time job.”
Haver, owner of Appalachian Treasures, noted renovation work inside the new space to establish vendor spaces is nearing completion and vendors are now being sought. Floor space rental is available under a monthly retail space agreement. In turn, Appalachian Treasures will provide the sales and support staff to take care of customers visiting the business.
“We’re placing emphasis on local, handmade items with quality craftsmanship,” Haver said, noting items are being screened in advance for quality before being accepted to be offered for sale at Appalachian Treasures.
“We’re looking at homemade furniture, crafts, jewelry and things like that – Appalachian treasures,” Haver said. “Appalachian Treasures is not a flea market. It will feature local products handcrafted by local people and other antiques.”
He added that in addition to offering vendor spaces, the business will also take some items by consignment.
The VCEDA seed capital matching grant, he said, has been important to him in the start-up of the new business. Renovation work, the construction of vendor booths and shelving and the purchase of a Quickbooks point of sale system are among the items he plans to use the grant toward.
“As we open later this fall, in addition to the store, we will also offer items for sale online, through Facebook, the Marketplace, eBay and on Craig’s List,” Haver said. “We have already been doing that on a limited basis through those outlets while renovations have been ongoing with the building.”
Prior to applying for the VCEDA grant, Haver said he took part in the Tazewell County Business Challenge and while he did not win it, he added he learned much through it.
Haver worked with Margie Douglass at the Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College in the development of his application to VCEDA. The Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority provided a letter of support for the project.
Appalachian Treasures LLC is located at 2348 Virginia Avenue in Bluefield and may be reached at 276-322-7153 or through its Facebook Page.
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.