Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive diretor/general counsel, left, presents a ceremonial check for a Seed Capital Matching Grant to The Homestead on the Holston. From left, Linda Burkett and Kelsey Taylor, Homestead on the Holston; Tim Blankenbecler, director of the Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College; and John Kilgore, director of the Scott County Economic Development Authority

HILTONS, Va. – September 13, 2017 – The Homestead on the Holston, a new outdoor wedding and event venue in Scott County, is a young business that received a Seed Capital Matching Grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA).

The Homestead on the Holston, LLC was created by Linda Burkett in 2017, and is the sixth small business in the region to receive a Seed Capital Matching Grant awarded by VCEDA. The dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $15,000 are designed for businesses three years and under with less than 10 full-time employees, and applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA. Owner Linda Burkett worked with Tim Blankenbecler, director of Mountain Empire’s Small Business Development Center, to complete the application to VCEDA.

Linda and her daughter Kelsey Taylor operate The Homestead on the Holston, a log cabin structure that dates to 1796, situated on four acres along the Holston River in Hiltons, 6474 Bristol Highway (Highway 58).

“There are lots of wedding venues brides can choose from,” said Linda, “and we want to offer something unique to our region and something beautiful and work with our brides and cater to their budgets.”

Homestead on the Holston offers an outdoor ceremony only package in the gardens or on the lawn overlooking the Holston River, or an all inclusive package where Linda and Kelsey and their friend Jo Kilgore, who prepares all the food, take care of everything. All inclusive can include property rental from Saturday 9 Sunday noon, up to 125 guests, bride and groom dressing suites, custom florals, full reception with cocktail hour, overnight accommodations for 10, and Sunday brunch for overnight guests. Kelsey also is a professional photographer who offers this service for the weddings.

“I work with the brides and try to help them decide what they want within their budgets,” said Linda. One of her weddings this summer centered on an Alice in Wonderland theme, for example, complete with props and handmade decorations using teapots, a Cheshire cat cutout and writing on mirrors “for a through the looking glass feel.”

With her new business, the biggest expense was installing a caterer’s kitchen in the basement of the home, said Linda. Thanks to the seed capital grant from VCEDA, she said she will be able to make more improvements to the outdoor space walkways and purchase appliances for the catering kitchen.

“VCEDA is pleased to assist this small business located in Scott County,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel.  “VCEDA recognizes the important role that entrepreneurs and small businesses have in our regional economy, and the Seed Capital Matching Fund is one way that VCEDA is helping to support small businesses.”

For more information on The Homestead on the Holston, call: Linda Burkett 423-502-2908 or Kelsey Taylor 423-677-5022. Or email  For information on the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund, contact Tim Blankenbecler or Margie Douglass at the Small Business Development Centers located at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges.


About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and 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 Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education and emerging technologies. 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