Greg Dutton, second from left, accepts a ceremonial check representing the seed capital matching grant funding approved for Misty Mountain Bit, LLC, from Jonathan Belcher, second from right, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. Also on hand for the presentation were Mitzi Sykes, left, Dickenson County Economic Development Director; left; and Tim Blankenbecler, right, of the Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College.

MCCLURE, VA — JULY 22, 2019 — When it comes to horses, Greg Dutton, of McClure, Va., knows a lot about them and what it takes to get them moving. The right bit can make the difference and the bits he manufactures and sells through Misty Mountain Bit LLC are already sold globally.

Pressure is used to control the horse‘s speed and direction of movement. But the bit used to do so is influenced by several factors, including the style of riding, the rider’s ability, the level of the horse’s training and the intended use of the horse.

Dutton manufactures several varieties of bits from his McClure location which he then sells online using his website, social media and from a mobile trailer he takes to various horse show events.

His new business was recently approved for a $10,000 seed capital matching grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA).

The business was established in February when Dutton purchased the equipment and inventory of Grissom Bits which its prior owner decided to sell.

“VCEDA was pleased to help Greg with a seed capital matching grant allowing him to continue to grow his new business,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “He is using the funds to complete construction of a shop near his home which he has indicated will allow him to produce larger amounts of product to meet demand and in the process to potentially hire additional employees.”

Dutton worked with Tim Blankenbecler, of the Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College, in the development of his business plan and application to VCEDA.

Misty Mountain Bit, LLC is currently the only American-made gaited horse bit company.

“The seed capital grant has allowed me to work on completing the shop,” Dutton said. “That will increase capacity and the ability to produce the bits as the business grows. Misty Mountain sells the bits all over the U.S. and in foreign countries too. We recently sold some bits in Israel and Pakistan.”

The bits made locally at his shop are designed from stainless steel rods. The only parts of the bit he does not make are the rope and chain in those bits which feature rope or chain.

Dutton, his wife, Amanda; their daughter, Alexa; and son, Blaine have competed in horse shows through the years. They currently have 16 horses.

“The right bit will change a horse,” Dutton said, noting bits make a difference in the performance of a horse – whether it’s a show horse or a work horse.

More information about the business may be found on the website at www.mistymountainbit.com or on the Misty Mountain Bit Facebook page.

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.vaceda.org  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.