LEBANON, VA – JUNE 21, 2024 – Grants totaling $840,000, including  $10,000 each for nine seed capital projects in the region, were approved Thursday by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) during a meeting of the board in Lebanon, VA.

A resolution honoring VCEDA Funds Administrator Jean Jordan and recognizing her with gratitude for her 33 years of service to VCEDA was also approved. Jordan, who is the longest serving member of the VCEDA staff, will be retiring effective June 30.

The board also recognized retiring board members Maggie Asbury, Becky Coleman, Rhonda Sluss and Larry Mosley for their service to the board and presented each of them with certificates of recognition.

VCEDA Funds Administrator Jean Jordan, left, is pictured with Board Members Tim Stuller, center and Roger Rife, right, earlier this year at a meeting of the VCEDA board. At Thursday’s meeting, a resolution recognizing Jordan with gratitude for her 33 years of service to VCEDA was approved. Jordan, who is the longest serving member of the VCEDA staff, will be retiring effective June 30.

In other business, VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher gave board members an update on activity since the last meeting, noting that has primarily focused on processing of applications including seed capital applications, attendance at various outreach events and other marketing activities and assisting the Virginia Coalfields Expressway Authority.

He noted staff members are currently working around 27 active projects with the most activity in manufacturing and seed capital areas.

Belcher also gave an update on year-to-date activity in 2024 which has seen VCEDA represented at 18 outreach marketing events throughout the United States; and the approval of two loans and one grant for $2.9 million in new VCEDA funding. He added those numbers would increase after the approvals given for funding at Thursday’s meeting.

He also noted that year-to-date in 2024, VCEDA has closed one loan and 11 grants totaling $2.84 million for a projected 260 new full-time and 85 part-time jobs, representing $21.85 million in private investment.

At Thursday’s meeting, the largest grant approved was to the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority. An up to a $500,000 grant to be used to finance utilities installations and extensions, other improvements, and costs to serve an approximately 57-acre medical campus owned by and being developed by Buchanan General Hospital and Coalfields Health Foundation at Southern Gap.

Additional grants approved were as follows:

  • An up to $200,000 grant was approved for the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority to be used to finance building construction, renovation and rehabilitation, the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment and other improvements for the Haysi Trails Center in Dickenson County. The grant is being funded from the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund (from up to $200,000 transferred into the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund from the VCEDA Dickenson County Account); and
  • An up to $50,000 grant to the Napoleon Hill Foundation from the VCEDA Coalfield Workforce Development and Training Fund to be used for workforce development and training to assist with the continued development and implementation of an online interactive course in entrepreneurial skills for high school students in the VCEDA region.

The board also approved seed capital matching fund grants of $10,000 each for nine small businesses  including  Shaka Latte LLC, Russell County; The Roasted Bean of VA, LLC and Mason Dixon Brothers LLC, Tazewell County; Jones-Hurst Designs LLC and Shortt Family Farms, LLC, Wise County; Jordan’s Pumpkin Patch and Smith Property Maintenance, LLC, Dickenson County; and Real Deal Curb Appeal LLC; and Stone Mountain Yogurt, LLC, Lee County.

In other business, the board agreed to appropriate $200,000 from the VCEDA Regional Account to be used to fund the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund for Fiscal Year 2025, with a limit of $50,000 per applicant for Fiscal Year 2025.

The board also agreed to appropriate $250,000 from the VCEDA Regional Account to fund the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund for Fiscal Year 2025, with a semi-annual application deadline of October 16, 2024 and April 16, 2025. Seed Capital applications will continue to be considered in FY2025 under the following business categories until further notice: information technology, manufacturing, energy, creative tourism and construction-related trades.

The board agreed to carry over the remaining available balance of $62,500 for the VCEDA Coalfield Jobs Investment Project (CJIP) for an additional fiscal year into FY2025 and to appropriate an additional $250,000 from the VCEDA Coalfield Workforce Development and Training Fund for the CJIP for FY2025 , bringing the total available in that fund to $312,500.

The board also approved the FY2025 Business Development Plan which will see the Authority continue with a wide variety of marketing and business development outreach initiatives and events to continue to promote the region for new business development. The board also reviewed and approved an amendment to its project policies which will allow the county industrial development authorities and the Norton Industrial Development Authority to apply for a limited amount of funds for site development and infrastructure to support new housing development in the region.

In other business, the board agreed to extend the maturity date of two promissory notes for the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority on the Council Manufacturing Facility in Buchanan County to June 7, 2034; agreed to extend the loan disbursement deadline for the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority on an inpatient substance abuse rehabilitation facility to May 23, 2025; agreed to extend the grant disbursement deadline for the Scott County Economic Development Authority (EDA) for the Tempur Sealy expansion to June 17, 2025; agreed to extend the maturity date of the loan from VCEDA to the Scott County EDA related to the e-Corridor Regional Park/Southwest project to May 14, 2034; agreed to extend the loan closing deadline for the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority for a meat processing facility to June 11, 2025; approved an extension of the loan closing deadline for Project Jonah to June 30, 2025; and approved a request from the Wise County Industrial Development Authority to consent to the IDA’s temporary lease of the Windswept Industrial Center in Wise for an as yet to be announced project.

Lastly, the board recognized the past work of Sandy Ratliff, a former VCEDA marketing director; and Cliff Daniels, a former member and former chairman of the VCEDA board of directors, and extended its condolences to the families of both Ratliff and Daniels following their recent deaths.

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.