LEBANON, VA – July 1, 2022 – Loan documents closing on an up to a $200,000 loan from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to the Russell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) were recently finalized. The funds will be used to finance additional renovations and improvements at the former Acme building in Lebanon for its new tenant which will bring with it up to 35 full-time jobs within five years.

“The IDA has been working with Bates Family Farm, LLC, which is expanding its operations and is interested in use of the building to develop a manufacturing/processing plant,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “We are pleased to assist the IDA with the funding needed to meet the new tenant’s upfit needs for the building.”

Bates Family Farm first re-located to Russell County in 2019 and not only raises goats, but is also a manufacturer of goat milk lotions and soaps.

In June of 2021, the VCEDA board approved an up to $500,000 loan request from the IDA to assist with the purchase and renovation of the former Acme building. The building, which is approximately 41,602 square feet, was constructed around 1980. The site is approximately 2.19 acres. The property has public water and sewer and natural gas is nearby. 

The IDA has continued to work with the Bates Family Farm, LLC to expand into the building. Once upfits to the property are completed, the business will occupy the entire building and begin processing its products from that location.

The loan from VCEDA to the IDA will provide the funds needed to complete the renovations and improvements to the property.

“This is a great example of how a small business can grow into a nationally recognized company,” said Russell County IDA Chairman Ernie McFaddin. “We are excited to see the growth of this business and this new facility will allow for additional growth in the future. The funding provided by VCEDA will fuel the continued growth of this company; we are grateful to have them as a partner on this project.”

“Bates Family Farm is excited with the upcoming growth of its business and is extremely thankful for the assistance provided by Ernie McFaddin and the Russell County IDA,” said Joseph Bates. “With this growth, we not only intend to create jobs, but we are also excited with all the additional business that we will bring to the local economy.”

He continued, “Over the next year we will be hiring for positions on the farm, secretarial, shipping and managerial positions as the business continues to expand. We will also be expanding the products that we manufacture to include other health and beauty products and dairy to include goat milk, yogurt and cheese products to be sold throughout the United States.”

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.