NORTH TAZEWELL, VA — (JANUARY 30, 2020) – Providing quality automotive repair and maintenance services at an affordable price is Calvin Mitchell’s goal as he opens TP’s Auto Repair, also known as TP’s Home Remodeling Small Engine Repair LLC, in North Tazewell, Va. Mitchell’s business was the recent recipient of a $10,000 Seed Capital Matching grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA).
“Assisting entrepreneurs like Calvin Mitchell open their new businesses and grow employment in the region is the primary reason VCEDA established the Seed Capital Matching Grant program,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “TP’s Auto Repair projects three full-time and two part-time jobs within four years.”
The new business provides engine repair, brake repair, preventative maintenance, truck repair, exhaust system replacement and repair, wheel alignment, oil changes, battery checks and radiator repair. In addition to working on trucks and cars, Mitchell also works on ATVs and UTVs and will make trail calls.
Adding in the ATV service component, he said, is being done in recognition of the growing tourism economy in Tazewell County. Mitchell has more than 35 years of automotive repair and maintenance experience. He is currently a mechanic on a surface mine where he works on dozers and endloaders. Additionally, he operates a home remodeling business, focusing on complete home remodeling. Estimates are free.
“If it wasn’t for the VCEDA grant, I wouldn’t be able to get my business opened,” Mitchell said of the new garage. He said he has used the VCEDA funds for building improvements and equipment.
“I opened this business because I want to help and to give back to the community,” he said, adding a low pricing structure makes the services he provides affordable.
Currently, the business is open by appointment only, but Mitchell said he will be adding regular office hours for the garage soon. The garage is capable of accommodating up to three vehicles at a time.
“We want to provide the best quality service,” Mitchell said.
He added he also hopes to work with the Tazewell County School System’s automotive repair classes to provide experience for students there through part time jobs at the garage.
Mitchell worked with Margie Douglass, director of the Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College, in developing his application to VCEDA. The Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority also provided a letter of support for the seed capital grant application.
For additional information, or to contact Mitchell to set up a service appointment, interested persons may call 276.979.6097.
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.
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.