VCEDA Awards Seed Capital Matching Grant to Healios Health Center in Wise County

VCEDA recently awarded a seed capital matching grant to Healios Health Center in Wise. Pictured are Dr. Starla Kiser, right, and Clinic Manager/Health Coach Heather Cole. The new business is implementing a new direct primary medical care model unique to the area.

For Starla Kiser, opening her own medical practice has been a long-held dream, ever since the Dickenson County native was in medical school at Harvard. That dream came true in December 2017 as she opened Healios Health Center in Wise, Va., and began to implement a new direct primary care model unique to the area.

She was assisted in April when she applied for and received a $10,000 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) seed capital matching grant for the business which is located in the Wise industrial building.

Kiser noted that in her practice, she sees all ages — from infants to geriatrics — but unlike most medical clinics, the model she has implemented is one that seeks to make medical care more affordable, especially for those without insurance and for those with high-deductible insurance plans. Instead of paying by the doctor visit and by the test, Healios accepts monthly memberships. For a set monthly fee, patients who are members may see the doctor as often as needed during the month, have in-office diagnostic tests performed, minor procedures completed in the office and on top of that, 24/7 access to the doctor.

“Through our Seed Capital Matching Grant program, we were pleased to be able to assist Dr. Kiser with the funding she was seeking to continue to grow her new business.”

Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel

Read more about the Healios Health Center.

VCEDA Awards Seed Capital Matching Grant to Sweet Maggie’s Craft Bakery in Scott County

VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher, left, presents a ceremonial check representing the seed capital matching grant awarded to Sweet Maggie’s Craft Bakery in Gate City to Maggie Demory, center. At right is Tim Blankenbecler with the Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College, who assisted Demory in the development of her business plan and application for the grant.

VCEDA is helping Maggie Demory realize a dream of opening her own storefront bakery business through a seed capital matching grant. VCEDA awarded a $5,000 seed capital matching grant to Demory to help with the opening of Sweet Maggie’s Craft Bakery in Gate City, Va.

When Demory, of Gate City, got into the cake business, at first, it was more out of necessity than it was a plan to bake cakes for a living, but that changed when she saw that not only could she make and decorate cakes, but that she loved doing it.

After that first foray into the world of baking – a step she really first took, she recalls, when as a child she baked cakes with her grandmother — she began making and decorating cakes for others from her home kitchen on nights and weekends. She continued to hold a full-time job by day — not yet quite brave enough, she says, to leave the security of a regular paycheck. However, as her side business grew, she began to dream of having her own bakery business location and the sideline business became a full-fledged bakery earlier this year as she began renovating space in downtown Gate City to open Sweet Maggie’s Craft Bakery.

“VCEDA was pleased to be able to assist Sweet Maggie’s Craft Bakery in its planning to open a business storefront. The seed capital matching grant fund seeks to provide small businesses with the assistance they need to get things started and to create jobs.”

Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel

Read more about Sweet Maggie’s Craft Bakery.


VCEDA Awards Seed Capital Matching Grant to On-line Clothing Business IMPERFKT

IMPERFKT, an on-line clothing business based in Wise, Va., was the recipient of a recent VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Grant. Pictured, from left are IMPERFKT Owner Holly Kiser; IMPERFKT Model Meagan Caldwell; Wise County Industrial Development Authority Director Carl Snodgrass; and Small Business Development Center Director Tim Blankenbecler.

Holly Kiser, owner of IMPERFKT, a new fashion clothing line and screen printing design business located in Wise, Va., was one of the recipients of an up to $10,000 seed capital matching grant recently awarded by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA). Kiser, a native of this region, is the majority owner in the business she co-owns with her sisters, Starla and Amanda.

The online clothing business celebrates human imperfections and diversity and features designs which send a message. From changing the word “Depression” by removing a few letters to “Press On,” or changing “Disability” to “Ability,” or a simple phrase that says “IMPERFKT, Because Perfect is Boring,” there’s a message in the t-shirts and sweatshirts Kiser, a former model, designs.

“It’s all about being vulnerable and having the courage to admit your imperfections” Kiser says.

Kiser noted the VCEDA grant was what made it possible for her to move forward with the project. Equipment to do the printing was needed and has now arrived on site.

“Helping entrepreneurs such as Holly Kiser is what VCEDA’s Seed Capital Matching Fund is all about. If we can help people to start and grow new small businesses in our region, then that is going to help the economy of our region and create new jobs.”

Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel

Read more about IMPERFKT.


VCEDA Attends SelectUSA Summit on FDI

VCEDA recently attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit in National Harbor, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C. Manning the exhibit booth and attending breakout sesion were, from left, John Kilgore, Scott County Economic Development Authority executive director; Susan Copeland, VCEDA marketing coordinator; and Cathy St. Clair, VCEDA marketing ambassador.

VCEDA manned an exhibit booth and attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit in National Harbor, Md., a high-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment in the United States.The summit, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, brings together companies, economic development organizations and others working to facilitate business investment in the United States

VCEDA met with business representatives from Australia, the U. K., Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, India, Hungary, Slovenia, Belgium and more while at the three-day event.

VCEDA participated in conference workshop sessions and had a booth to promote the VCEDA region where they met with a number of companies and business representatives interested in learning more about opportunities for foreign direct investment in Virginia’s e-Region.

Speakers at this year’s summit included U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross; U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin; U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry; and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

During one of the plenary sessions, Southwest Virginia was recognized by CGI President Dave Henderson, who spoke about CGI initiatives and the successful location of their business in Lebanon, Va. Henderson spoke in part about the partnership CGI enjoyed in the region with state and local governments and local commissions.

Read more about VCEDA at SelectUSA.