VCEDA Helps Russell County Welcome JENNCHEM

VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher, center, recently presented Ernie McFaddin, chairman, Russell County IDA, left, and Katherine Patton, legal counsel, Russell County IDA, right, with a ceremonial check representing VCEDA’s commitment to the JENNCHEM project.

VCEDA assisted in the location of a new manufacturing operation in Russell County that will bring 40 new jobs within three years and 50 new jobs within five years and a $5 million investment.

JENNCHEM, LLC, an affiliate of JENNMAR Corporation, will establish a manufacturing operation for heavy duty conveyor systems in the former Teleflex facility in the Russell County Industrial Park in Lebanon.

In April, VCEDA approved an up to $1.5 million loan to the Russell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to be used in the acquisition, up-fit and equipping of the 103,000 sq ft facility more recently occupied by Clinch Mountain Flooring. This loan was closed June 30 in Lebanon.  JENNCHEM plans to invest $5 million in the operation that will manufacture conveyor systems primarily for the mining industry, as well as the transportation, automotive, electronics, construction and aviation industries. For more information, check VCEDA’s Facebook page or VCEDA’s website.

Essential Roots & Herbs in Lee County Receives Seed Capital Matching Grant

VCEDA presents a check from the Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund to Essential Roots & Herbs in Dryden. From left, are, Larry Mosley, Lee County Board of Supervisors and VCEDA board member; Lee Lipps, Essential Roots & Herbs; Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel; Latashia Carson, Essential Roots; and Tim Blankenbecler, executive director, Small Business Development Center, Mountain Empire Community College.

Essential Roots & Herbs, LLC in Lee County is one of the region’s newest businesses dealing with botanical products of nature, buying and selling some of the more than 400 medicinal plants that grow in the Appalachian region.

Established in April of this year as a wholesale botanicals company, Essential Roots & Herbs in Dryden, Va., is one of the five small businesses in the region that received a Seed Capital Matching Grant awarded by VCEDA in June. The dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $15,000 are designed for businesses three years and under with less than 10 full-time employees, and applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA.

Owner Latashia Carson worked with Tim Blankenbecler, director of Mountain Empire’s Small Business Development Center, to complete the application to VCEDA.

Located in a building that once housed a furniture store and a telecommunications office, Latashia and her fiance Lee Lipps operate as Certified Ginseng Dealers and buy from 150 diggers from throughout the region who bring their ginseng and other roots and herbs to be weighed and inspected for quality mostly during peak months September through December to supply Essential Roots & Herb’s contracts with medicinal companies.

“It is amazing that over 400 medicinal plants grow in the Appalachian region, more than in the Amazon, and 90 percent of those roots and herbs grow here in Lee County and surrounding Virginia counties and four Kentucky counties.”…. Latashia Carson, Owner of Essential Roots & Herbs

For more information and photos, see VCEDA’s Facebook page and VCEDA’s website.

Groundbreaking for New Shell Building in The Bluestone

In April, VCEDA closed on a $2.739 million loan to the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) for the construction of a 40,000 sq ft technology shell building in the park. Funds for the shell building project are coming from VCEDA’s Tazewell County account, and previously VCEDA provided a $2 million grant to the Tazewell County IDA for development of the park.

VCEDA Executive Director Jonathan Belcher and Tazewell County officials said they have already begun to market the new building which is slated to be complete by December.

“As we talk with potential prospects interested in the region, one question we hear often relates to the availability of existing buildings for location. Our inventory of available publicly controlled industrial buildings in the region has been decreasing for several years as those buildings are occupied, and we are pleased to assist in the construction of this building in Tazewell County’s Bluestone park,” said Belcher.