GATE CITY, VA – OCTOBER 31, 2022 – When the Grain Bin Market, LLC opened earlier this year, Tina Shipley, owner, wanted the new business to have a certain look to make it unique. As the pieces to a grain bin were shipped in from Kentucky and put together, she achieved just that.
The 3290 Wadlow Gap Road location offers home décor items.
Grain Bin Market, LLC was a recent recipient of a $10,000 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Seed Capital Matching Grant.
“The Grain Bin Market, LLC had a unique twist to opening a store and market to attract both locals and tourists in its decision to reconstruct an old grain bin on site and use it as the store location,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “The new business projects two full-time employees and five part-time employees within five years.”
“We brought the grain bin in out of Kentucky in pieces,” Shipley said. “It sat beside our garage until we got it put together. It was like putting a big puzzle together. It came to us color coded and took us about four days to get it put together.”
Shipley recalls the construction process well.
“We rented a boom truck to get it put up and I bet there were a million bolts,” she quipped.
When it was all said and done, however, the new business had a unique look.
“Operating from an old grain bin lends well to the agricultural region surrounding Scott County and is a visual draw by the road to entice those travelling through to stop,” Shipley said.
“The VCEDA grant made a big difference for us,” Shipley said. “We didn’t even know it existed until we started the process, but when I found out we could apply, it was huge.”
Looking to the future, Shipley said the Grain Bin is looking to continue to host some live music events and food trucks from time to time and is considering offering Christmas trees and wreaths as the holiday season approaches. In October, an old-fashioned apple butter making event was held and some 109 pints of the sweet stuff were prepared.
Shipley worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) in developing her application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Scott County Economic Development Authority.
“Mountain Empire’s Small Business Development Center enjoyed working with Tina to see her dream come to life. The VCEDA Seed Capital Fund allowed Tina the ability to complete her project. We continue to enjoy stopping by the Grain Bin and seeing the progress it has made. The SBDC appreciates the opportunity to be a part of their success,” said Becki O’Quinn-Purdie, SBDC director at MECC.
The business is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It may be found on Facebook at The Grain Bin Market and may be reached by phone at 423-360-8272.
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.