RICHLANDS, VA – NOVEMBER 02, 2021 – Boutique-style children’s clothing and unique home décor are among the products customers visiting Pinkway will find in the new retail store which opened recently in Richlands. Owner Connie Allen is now working to add a bakery within the store, with the bakery set to open later this month.

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

“VCEDA’s seed capital matching grant program is designed to assist entrepreneurs in pursuing the implementation of their small business plans and in the process creating jobs in the e-Region,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “The VCEDA grant to Pinkway is assisting with both.”

Allen noted Pinkway used the seed capital grant to purchase flooring for the bakery section of the store and for roof repairs on the store building located at 2431 Front Street in Richlands.

“It was a blessing to have the grant to be able to do this,” Allen said. “It is helping to make a much nicer facility.”

Allen’s sister, Tammy McConnell, is managing the store.

Pinkway sells clothing for infants and for children up to sizes 10 and 12 for boys and girls. Monogram services are available to personalize clothing and other items. Allen noted the store also has plans to offer home decorating services and design of children’s clothing as it continues to grow.

“We strive to make Pinkway a place for people to find unique gifts, clothing for the little ones and home accessories to make each room in their home inviting, relaxing and beautiful,” Allen said.

As the business grows, Allen said she hopes to use some of the additional space available in the 7,500-square-foot building as an event space to be offered for rent for birthday parties, business meetings and other social gatherings.

The shop is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and may be reached through its Facebook page or by calling the store at 276-210-2101. A website is under development and eventually will allow customers the ability to purchase online.

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

“The Small Business Development Center at SWCC was excited to learn that Pinkway was awarded a Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority’s Seed Capital Matching Fund grant,” said Misty Bandy, SWCC SBDC business advisor. “Pinkway is sure to please customers in the area with their line of boutique style children’s clothing and unique home décor and gifts.”

Bandy noted the staff at the SBDC “was happy to provide assistance to owner, Connie Allen, as she took on this new adventure. The staff also looks forward to continuing to offer support and counseling to the business that will lead to growth in the future.”

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. or

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.