LEBANON, VA – JUNE 30, 2020Fourteen new grants were awarded and other project changes were approved Tuesday by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority. The board also approved its business development plan for the coming fiscal year.

Members of the authority board met at the Russell County Government Center in Lebanon, marking the first meeting of the board in person since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The new grants approved included three for tourism-related projects in Tazewell and St. Paul; and 11 seed capital matching grants.

The grants approved were as follows:

  • An up to a $100,000 grant from the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund to the Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park, Inc. was approved to be used to finance building(s) construction, expansion and rehabilitation, the construction and development of new exhibits and other improvements. The grant is contingent upon the museum providing documentation to VCEDA of the approval of at least $100,000.00 in matching funds from source(s) other than VCEDA.
  • An up to a $100,000 grant from the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund to the Industrial Development Authority of the Town of Tazewell was approved to be used to help finance the purchase of real estate, site development, building construction, rehabilitation and improvements to assist with a yet-to-be announced short stay lodging project in downtown Tazewell projected to create at least seven jobs.
  • An up to a $100,000 grant from the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund to the Industrial Development Authority of the Town of St. Paul was approved to be used to finance building construction, rehabilitation and improvements, the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment and other improvements to assist with the Phase II redevelopment of the historic Lyric Theater in St. Paul which will create several new jobs.
  • Eleven seed capital matching grants in the amount of $10,000 each to new small businesses throughout the region. The new businesses are projected to create a combined total of 69 jobs. Seed Capital Matching Grants were awarded to Mercantile on Main, Inc. in Wise; Nana’s Country Kitchen, LLC in Pennington Gap; Lil’ Doc Hollow Hemp, LLC in Clintwood; Yates Recovery and Transport, LLC in Clinchco; Trailhead Country Kitchen LLC in Haysi; Appalachian Treasures LLC and The Grind Bluefield LLC in Bluefield; Professional Bookkeeping & Accounting Inc. in Tazewell; P & E Wholesale LLC in Honaker; and Adventure E-bikes, Inc. and Next Door Drug Pharmacy, PC, both located in Lebanon.

The board also gave its approval to the VCEDA business development plan for the coming fiscal year. As the VCEDA region changes, the marketing messages and activities to reach key audiences is revised and refined annually to be effective in promoting the coalfield region VCEDA markets as Southwest Virginia’s e-Region.

Central to the e-Region message is the focus the area has on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, entrepreneurship and existing industry.

The business development plan agreed to outlines key audiences and target industries as well as strategic action items and is designed to work in conjunction with VCEDA member localities’ economic development professionals and their activities in the region, as well as with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, site consultants and other lead generating sources.

VCEDA Executive Director Jonathan Belcher also reported on a new advertising campaign in Virginia Business magazine to promote the region as a great place to do business and create jobs.

Additional project activity by the VCEDA board on Tuesday included:

  • the approval of an amendment to an up to $150,000 loan previously awarded to the Breaks Interstate Park Commission to allow the use of some of the funds to add new paddleboats and to expand the dock area at the park.
  • the approval of documents needed by Polycap LLC to close on new market tax credit financing with People Inc.
  • the approval of a request from the Industrial Development Authority of Russell County to replace a $25,000 loan approved by VCEDA to the IDA in February for the TDEC project, with an up to $25,000 grant to the IDA from the VCEDA Coalfield Workforce Development and Training Fund to be used to assist with workforce development and training for the TDEC operation located in Lebanon.
  • the approval of a request from the Economic Development Authority (EDA) of Scott County to forgive and convert into a grant the outstanding balance on a $100,000 loan approved by VCEDA to the EDA in 2015 for the advanced manufacturing center of excellence at Duffield.
  • the approval of a request from the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Dickenson County, to forgive and convert into a grant the outstanding balance on a $1.004 million loan approved by VCEDA to the IDA in 2018 for the Red Onion water line project.
  • the approval of a request from the Industrial Development Authority of Dickenson County to extend the loan disbursement deadline on the SAIC project to a new loan disbursement deadline of May 11, 2021.
  • the approval of an agreement to extend the due date of the first monthly payment on the up to $1.5 million loan approved by VCEDA in December 2013 to the Virginia Coalfield Coalition, Inc. for a 4G wireless project to April 1, 2024, with the total number of monthly payments to remain the same. The loan agreement was also amended and modified to extend the loan disbursement deadline to April 1, 2024.
  • the approval of a request from the Industrial Development Authority of Wise County to amend and modify a 2013 loan agreement with the IDA concerning the Inn at Wise, to suspend the monthly payments due on the loan until November 15, 2020, to extend the final maturity date of the loan to October 15, 2030 and to re-amortize the outstanding balance of the loan as of November 15, 2020 for a new monthly payment schedule of 120 months beginning with the November 15, 2020 payment.
  • the approval of a request from the Southwest Regional Recreation Authority (SRRA) to forgive and convert into a grant the outstanding balance of the $220,000 loan approved to SRRA in 2015 for the Coal Canyon OHV trail system in Buchanan County.
  • the approval of a request from SRRA to forgive and convert into a grant the outstanding balance of a $100,000.00 loan approved to SRRA in 2015 for the Original Pocahontas OHV trail system in Tazewell County.
  • the approval of an agreement to amend and modify a 2016 loan agreement with the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority to defer a $250,000 loan payment to March 31, 2021 related to the up to $6 million loan made to the IDA for the purchase of property from the Appalachian School of Law.
  • the approval of a request from Tadano Mantis Corporation to forgive and convert into a grant the outstanding balance of a forgivable loan approved for Tadano Mantis Corporation in June 2014, due to the company having surpassed the private investment requirement and having made substantial progress toward the employment requirement outlined in the loan documents.

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.