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VCEDA grants boost Wise, Lee small businesses and tourism

Staff report • Jul 2, 2020 at 6:30 PM

LEBANON — Two small businesses in Wise and Lee counties and a downtown tourism project in St. Paul are among 13 projects selected for funding by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority.

VCEDA’s board of directors approved the $410,000 in grants Tuesday, according to VCEDA Executive Director Jonathan Belcher. St. Paul’s Industrial Development Authority will get up to $100,000 for the town’s overhaul of the old Lyric Theater. The grant increases funding for the Lyric project from various state and federal grants to almost $1.2 million.

The VCEDA grant will help with phase two of the Lyric project, which includes interior furniture and fixtures as well as other building improvements.

In Wise, Mercantile on Main, Inc., received a $10,000 seed capital grant for business startup costs, as did Pennington Gap-based Nana’s Country Kitchen LLC. Those businesses join nine others in Dickenson, Tazewell and Russell counties, Belcher said, and could result in 69 new jobs across the 11 businesses.

The VCEDA board also approved converting the outstanding balance of a 2015 $100,000 loan to the Scott County Economic Development Authority to a grant. That loan was applied to the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Duffield.

The terms of a $150,000 VCEDA loan to Breaks Interstate Park in Dickenson County and Kentucky have also been changed by the VCEDA board to allow the park to expand the recreational dock and buy more paddleboats.

The Virginia Coalfield Coalition’s 4G wireless expansion project received an extension on the first due date on a $1.5 million VCEDA loan to April 1, 2024. Wise County’s Industrial Development Authority also received a reamortization of the balance of a 2013 loan from VCEDA. Payments will be suspended until November, with a new 120-month payment schedule set up for final loan maturity in October 2030.

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