HAYSI, VA – August 3, 2018 – Stepping into Haysi Supply Company on Main Street in downtown Haysi is a lot like stepping into the general store of times past. With merchandise ranging from hardware and camping supplies to feed and fishing gear, the well-stocked shelves provide everyday items, as well as those geared toward adventure tourism as that sector continues to expand in Dickenson County and surrounding areas.
The business, owned by Jason Deel, is the recent recipient of a $10,000 seed capital matching grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA). Haysi Supply was also recognized earlier this summer as the Dickenson County Chamber of Commerce new business of the year.
“I really put a lot of work into preparing my business plan,” Deel said. “When VCEDA announced it was one of the projects selected for a seed capital matching grant, it was a real affirmation and proof that someone else believed in me and my plan.”
“VCEDA was pleased to provide the funding to assist with Jason’s plans to grow Haysi Supply,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “His plan to add to the adventure tourism merchandise he offers at the store was something that also complements VCEDA’s past funding of a variety of adventure tourism offerings in Dickenson County and in the region.”
Deel bought the store building and its contents on 297 Main Street in downtown Haysi from Harold and Rebecca Fuller, of Clintwood, who previously operated the store as the Fuller Store. When Deel made the decision to purchase the building and the business, he did so with plans to expand the sporting goods merchandise and to make needed repairs to the building.
“There’s a lot of history that goes with the building,” Deel said. “The Fullers had operated it as the Fuller Store since 1969 and I opened the doors as Haysi Supply on December 1, 2017, without any lost time between when it was Fuller Store and when it became Haysi Supply.”
Deel said it has been his lifelong dream to be an entrepreneur and to own and operate his own business and he added, the VCEDA seed capital grant is in part what made it all possible.
“I’ll always remember coming to this store growing up when it was the Fuller Store,” Deel recalled. “My family always stopped here. As a kid, all my Tonka toys for Christmas came from right here.”
When he learned the Fullers were ready to retire, he approached them about buying the business and within months, the deal was sealed. Deel developed his business plan, began working on financing and dived head-long into becoming a business owner.
Since he opened the business as Haysi Supply, he has stocked more adventure-related merchandise and beefed up the hardware section to offer roofing supplies and a drop-ship service which allows customers to order metal and lumber and get them delivered to the store for pick-up. A well-stocked fishing gear section is already in the works and camping supplies are growing as well.
Currently, he has exceeded his initial employment projections with two full-time and one part-time employee working at the store – one more part-time employee than initially projected. His business plan calls for him to have four full-time employees within four years.
Monday mornings and Saturday afternoons are the store’s busiest times, he said.
With a big shipment of sporting goods equipment on the way and plans to sell Spearhead Trails permits in the not too distant future, Deel is looking at ways to continue to grow the business with merchandise geared toward the area’s growing adventure tourism offerings.
He keeps his finger on the pulse of those plans through his membership in the Dickenson Chamber, Haysi Kiwanis, the Haysi Partners, the Ridge Runners ATV Club and he also serves on the 29th Judicial Circuit Court-Appointed Special Advocate Board and the Big Sandy Soil and Water Conservation District Board. Being involved in the community is something he said is important.
“Owning my own business has always been a dream of mine,” Deel said. “Now, the dream is real and the store is open. I look forward to continuing to grow the store to meet the needs of the community here now, as well as to be able to provide for the needs of visitors who will come in the future.”
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, 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.