Grants for New Businesses
Outdoor recreation, drone photography, coffee shops, fitness centers, restaurants, pharmacies and other professional services businesses are among the variety of 100+ new small businesses helped to get started and grow through the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Seed Capital Matching Fund.
Recognizing the role that small business and entrepreneurs play in communities, VCEDA created this fund to provide a source of matching grant funds to assist new, start-up, and emerging small businesses located within Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and to attract other small businesses from outside the region to locate here. The e-Region includes the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Tazewell, Lee, Scott and Wise, and the City of Norton.
Access to seed capital can be a problem for small businesses, creating barriers for entry into the economy. VCEDA encourages small business growth within the region and the Seed Capital Matching Fund will further help VCEDA meet the purposes for which it was created to enhance the economy of the seven counties and one city in the e-Region.
The applicant must have dollar-for–dollar matching funds from one or more other sources in at least an amount sufficient to match funds requested from VCEDA. No applicant can be approved for more than $10,000 under this program.
The for-profit business should be no older than one (1) year from the date of application, and the applicant must state an intent to create, or already operate, the business within the region.
The small business should have less than ten (10) full-time employees at the time of application. The applicant must intend to create or retain at least one (1) full-time job within the region within one (1) year from the date of application.
How to Apply
Subject to the availability of funds, VCEDA typically considers applications for the Seed Capital Matching Fund program twice per year. Applicants are to begin the process by contacting and working through the applicable Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for their area (Mountain Empire Community College and Southwest Virginia Community College.) The SBDC will then help coordinate the request with VCEDA.
Virginia Tech Study
According to a 2021 Virginia Tech study, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority’s Seed Capital Matching Fund program has had a very high return on investment and has created and retained 300 jobs in the three years the program has existed.
To view and download the Virginia Tech VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund study.
Click on the photos to read about Nash Creamery and Valley Animal Clinic, two new businesses that were created with the assistance of the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund.
Read about the variety of businesses helped by this matching grant program here.
For more information on upcoming application deadlines, and to begin the process:
To apply for funding under the Seed Capital Matching Fund program, an eligible applicant must complete an application form, with all documentation required by VCEDA, including proof of the matching funds from one or more other sources in at least an amount sufficient to match funds requested from VCEDA on a dollar for dollar basis.
Applicants also are required to obtain a letter or resolution of support for their application from the county industrial authority of the county in which their project is located (or from the Norton Industrial Development Authority for businesses in the City of Norton).
Applications that are not submitted through the SBDC office will not be considered.
SBDC at Southwest Virginia Community College
SBDC at Mountain Empire Community College