LEBANON, VA – June 16, 2022 – Members of the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) board heard an update on recent activities during a meeting of the board, Thursday at the VCEDA staff office in Lebanon, Va. VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher noted that so far this year, there have been five new projects and expansion/retention projects announced, which are projected to create 173 full-time and 50 part-time jobs, with several additional projects pending announcement.

Belcher spoke briefly about the recent visit to the region by Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick and Virginia Economic Development Partnership representatives and their tour in the region; and updated board members on the Coalfields Expressway Authority work, which VCEDA assists with, including a recent Virginia Department of Transportation meeting in Abingdon at which the need for the Coalfields Expressway to further advance economic development in the region featured prominently in the discussion.

He concluded his executive director’s report by noting that to date this calendar year, including projects approved at Thursday’s meeting, the authority has approved 24 loans and grants amounting to more than $8 million in new funding and that project activity continues to be high, with 60 active projects. He also noted that to date, VCEDA has completed 12 outreach marketing events across the United States, as the effects on in-person travel due to the pandemic progressively improve.

In other business at Thursday’s meeting, an up to $400,000 loan was approved to be used to finance building construction, renovations and improvements to assist with an existing business expansion not yet announced.

Fourteen small businesses were approved for seed capital matching grants of $10,000 each with the exception of one business, which requested a lesser amount and was approved for that amount.

Businesses approved for the seed capital matching grant funding and the amounts at which they were approved were as follows:

  • Elite Motion Dance Company Inc., $10,000;
  • Far Fetched Grooming LLC, $10,000;
  • WM3 Enterprises LLC, $10,000;
  • Oma’s Haus LLC, $10,000;
  • One Step At A Time, LLC, $10,000;
  • Sweet Winks LLC, $10,000;
  • Whistle Pig Country Store, LLC, $10,000;
  • Lavish Hair Design, LLC, $10,000;
  • Grain Bin Market LLC, $10,000;
  • Adair Behavioral Services LLC, $10,000;
  • Ethics Hair Care LLC, $9,303.90;
  • The Happy Goat, LLC, $10,000;
  • Wright Way Repair LLC, $10,000; and
  • CRC Affordable Quality Lawn Care LLC, $10,000.

The board also agreed to extend the grant disbursement deadline for Haysi and Clintwood site development on a previously approved grant to June 1, 2023; approved amendments to loan documents for a project in Dickenson County not yet announced; and set the application deadlines for FY2023 for the Seed Capital Matching Fund for October 2022 and April 2023.

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.