News

What's Happening in Tazewell County

Tazewell County Office of Economic Development

Press Release

August 10, 2017
Tazewell, Virginia
Reference:  Trina Health of Pounding Mill

Trina Health of Pounding Mill, LLC has recently opened, and is accepting patients, as a new and innovative diabetes treatment center in Tazewell County.  Trina Health is a private, for-profit Virginia company which acquired the rights to own and operate the clinic in the Tazewell County area utilizing a breakthrough technology from Trina Health, LLC, founded by G. Ford Gilbert, based in California.  The technology is known as “Artificial Pancreas Treatment” for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  This treatment is different than others because it reverses or prevents the comorbidities associated with diabetes.  Examples of common comorbidities associated with diabetes include neuropathy, non-healing wounds, kidney disease, retinopathy, heart disease, hypertension, hyperglycemic episodes, erectile dysfunction, chronic fatigue, muscle fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems.  This proprietary therapy has been proven to have extremely favorable results in addressing all of these life-altering complications associated with diabetes.

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) closed recently on up to a $400,000 loan to Trina Health of Pounding Mill, LLC through the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority’s VCEDA account.  Additionally a Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF) grant amounting to $90,000 was also secured as well as a TROF loan to the company amounting to $45,000.  Trina Health has agreed to locate or construct taxable assets in Tazewell County having an assessed value of at least $500,000.  The loan funds are being used to finance the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment and installation expenses, as well as facilities construction and up-fit, parking area improvements, paving and associated costs.

Trina has hired 8 full time employees with a vision of increasing to 21 within 5 years.  Staffing for the Tazewell County clinic includes positions for nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, a medical billing clerk and a receptionist/scheduler. 

The new center is located in 2,400-square-feet of space in an existing building located on U.S. Rt. 19/460 across from the Pounding Mill Wal-Mart.

The Tazewell County IDA, VCEDA and the Tobacco Commission are excited about the new treatment technology that will help many people with diabetes throughout our county and outlying areas.

For more information, contact Trina Health of Pounding Mill, LLC.

 

VCEDA presented a ceremonial check to Trina Health of Pounding Mill. On hand for the presentation were, from left, Curtis Gillespie, Tazewell County IDA; Doyle Rasnick, Tazewell County IDA; Darrell Addison, Tazewell County IDA; Dr. George Farrell III, medical director, Trina Health; John Chmara, project manager, Trina Health; and Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel.

Lebanon, VA (August 10, 2017) – The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) took part in the official announcement today of the opening of Trina Health of Pounding Mill, LLC. VCEDA recently closed on an up to $400,000 loan to the new company which is now operating an innovative diabetes treatment center in Tazewell County.

Funding for the loan is from Tazewell County’s VCEDA account. The new center is located in 2,400-square-feet of space in an existing building located on U.S. Rt. 19/460 across from the Pounding Mill Wal-Mart.

The loan funds are being used to finance the purchase of furniture, fixtures, and equipment and installation expenses, as well as facilities construction and up-fit, parking area improvements, paving and associated costs.

Trina Health of Pounding Mill, LLC is a private, for-profit Virginia company which acquired the rights to own and operate the clinic in the Tazewell County area utilizing a breakthrough technology from Trina Health, LLC, founded by G. Ford Gilbert, based in California.  The technology is known as “Artificial Pancreas Treatment” for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

“VCEDA is pleased to be able to assist Trina Health of Pounding Mill, which as it opened has already created much-needed new jobs in our area,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “VCEDA’s goal is to help create as many new jobs as possible in our region, and this is one example of how we are working toward doing that.”

Staffing for the Tazewell County clinic includes positions for nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, a medical billing person and a receptionist/scheduler. 

The group’s loan application called for phased in employment starting at eight full-time and two part-time employees within a year; 15 full-time and two part-time employees within two years; and 21 full-time and two part-time employees within five years.

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About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and 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 Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education and emerging technologies. 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.

 

Press Release

July 24, 2017
Tazewell, Virginia
Reference:  Bluestone Business and Technology Park

 

The Bluestone Business and Technology Park is moving forward with the construction of 40,000 sq. ft. shell building.  A groundbreaking ceremony for the building was held Friday, the 21st to officially kick off this project.  The building is being constructed by the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority to help draw new businesses to the park.  Companies or entrepreneurial individuals want to talk about a building and how quickly they can occupy it instead of waiting one to two years to plan and build a new one.  The new shell building can be completed awaiting a company and the build-out can be done to the buyer or lessee's requirements.  "We have lost several opportunities just because we did not have a building ready to occupy in a reasonable time", said Mike Thompson, Economic Development Director for Tazewell County. "This building will allow us to market the park to a variety of companies and will provide a better avenue when a tenant is obtained giving our citizens and our young people an opportunity to stay and work in our beautiful county."

The IDA is excited to break ground.  "The building should be constructed and ready for further build-out by end of December," said Rick Chitwood, Project Manager for Thompson-Litton who is heading the project. Thompson added, "we are now talking and will be reaching out to potential companies who can offer good paying jobs as we move forward."  "It is also imperative that we spread the word that The Bluestone is OPEN FOR BUSINESS.  We hope this will add to the excitement of what we feel is a more optimistic economy already emerging."  

Our Industrial Development Authority, our Board of Supervisors and our county staff are working hard for this new beginning.  The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) is also working with the IDA on the building and potential tenant candidates through their marketing program.  "The goal is to have a good tenant as quickly as possible," said Patricia Green, Tazewell County Administrator.  "We need everyone to get behind this initiative and drive to keep the momentum going.  We all have a responsibility to help Tazewell County grow."

VCEDA recently closed on a loan of up to $150,000 to Virginia Mountain Brewing LLC, doing business as Painted Peak Brewing Company in Tazewell. On hand for the ceremonial check presentation were, from left, J.W. Groseclose, Larry Blankenship, and David Blankenship, owners, Painted Peak Brewing Company; Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel; Pat Green, Tazewell County Administrator; Mike Thompson, Tazewell County Economic Development Director; and Eric Young, Tazewell County Attorney.

Lebanon, VA (July 31, 2017) — Up to 25 new jobs are expected to be coming to the region due in part to a loan of up to $150,000 by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to Virginia Mountain Brewing LLC, doing business as Painted Peak Brewing Company, of Tazewell, Va. VCEDA recently closed on the loan to the company at which time it was noted within five years, the new venture is anticipated to create up to 15 full-time and 10 part-time jobs. 

Painted Peak Brewing Company is a start-up craft brewing company which will produce craft beer products in the Town of Tazewell. David Blankenship, his father Larry D. Blankenship and J.W. Groseclose are the principals involved in the new company, which is also providing a significant private investment in the project.

“VCEDA is pleased to be able to assist in this project as it moves forward and ultimately provides additional needed jobs in our region,” said VCEDA Executive Director Jonathan Belcher, who also serves as the authority’s general counsel.

Phase One of the Painted Peak project included the acquisition of a 13,000-square-foot building located at 318 W. Main Street in the Town of Tazewell, which is to be the location of the brewing company, tap room and brew pub. It also includes engineering, planning and design for initial and long-term renovations; renovation of the building to prepare for the tap room; initial brewing equipment; and preparation for Phase Two which includes acquisition of large scale production equipment and canning and bottling capabilities. Phase Two is expected to take 12 to 18 months to complete.

 It is anticipated three full-time and five part-time employees will be hired within the first year. A total of 15 full-time and 10 part-time employees are expected to be employed within five years of the project start.

Funds for the VCEDA loan come from the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund and will be used to finance the purchase of equipment for the Main Street, Tazewell craft brewery.

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About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and 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 Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education and emerging technologies. 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.

Foxtail Orchards Cabins and Campground owner Matthew Ratliff and son, Andrew; father, Rusty; and mother, Debbie, pause for a photo on the steps leading to the first cabin built on the property, The Fox Den.

Lebanon, VA (July 21, 2017) — For Matthew Ratliff and his family, opening the Foxtail Orchards Cabins and Campground was an idea born one afternoon in 2014 while he was at the Tazewell County property on Rt. 16 that he and his wife, Amy, originally purchased on which to build a house. As Matthew, a former state trooper, saw motorcycle after motorcycle buzz by on the Back of the Dragon motorcycle route which runs through Tazewell County, the idea began to grow to use the property instead as a place to build cabins and to develop a campground to provide lodging for the motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts who frequent the area to ride the roads, as well as for others looking for a quiet getaway in the mountains.

He involved the rest of the family pretty quickly with Mom, Debbie, sitting down to write the business plan and Dad, Rusty, ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work to start building.  In the meantime, they all had day jobs – wife, Amy, worked at the prison as an adult basic education teacher; Rusty also worked at the prison doing building maintenance repair and teaching classes in carpentry and electrical; and Debbie spent and continues to spend much of her time looking after Matthew and Amy’s now almost two-year-old son, Andrew, and currently manages the bookkeeping, grant writing, public relations and housekeeping for the cabins and campground.

“It is truly a family business,” Matthew says.

Foxtail Orchards Cabins and Campground is one of the five small businesses in the region which recently received a Seed Capital Matching Grant awarded by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA). The dollar-for-dollar matching grants of up to $15,000 are designed for businesses three years and younger with less than 10 full-time employees. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA.

The VCEDA application was one of the funding sources Matthew and the family sought for the project.

“I am so appreciative for everything VCEDA has done,” Matthew says. “The VCEDA funding is what is making it possible for us to start construction on cabin two.”

Sitting at a picnic table in front of the cabin with the heat of the summer sun shaded by the canopy of trees and a light breeze, Matthew talks about building the first cabin and plans for additional growth.

“Cabin Cat,” a black and white neighbor cat who often visits the cabin and those who rent it, stretches lazily on a nearby picnic table as Matthew recalls the work of building the first cabin. He says he found out quickly what a lot of work there was to construction. Rusty has a contractor’s license and certifications in HVAC as well as electrical and Matthew is quick to point out there is nothing in the building spectrum that his father cannot do. His brother, Paul came in from Arizona and helped on the building of the first cabin as did his father-in-law, Ray Johnson. Together, they built it from the ground up.

“There really is nothing like building it for yourself,” Matthew says, describing the satisfaction he felt when the job was finished.

Matthew designed his own website for the business and also designed the logo which features – fittingly – an apple and a fox.

“The property has three well-defined orchards on it and 82 apple trees,” Matthew says of the reasoning for orchards in the name.

Of the rest of the name, he says it comes from long-time friend, Andrew Fox, for whom his son is named, and who like Matthew was a state trooper until he was killed in the line of duty in 2012. Matthew was with him when it happened and it was Fox who trained Matthew as he became a state trooper.

“This was one way to honor his memory,” Matthew says of his friend and former mentor and colleague.

The first cabin, named the “Fox Den,” contains photos of the late Andrew Fox, a Tazewell native, and his story.  The cabin features a Detroit Lions shower curtain in the bathroom, another tip of the hat to Fox’s favorite sports team and the blue and grey décor is a nod to Andrew’s state trooper colors.

As the other cabins are built, Matthew says he plans to honor other fallen law enforcement or military heroes who hailed from Tazewell. Cabin Two will be named after Brandon Asbury, a U.S. Army sergeant who was killed in Afghanistan; and Cabin Three will be named after Shawn Hess, a Tazewell County deputy killed in a crash. The families will be the ones to officially name those cabins and will serve as advisors on the décor.

The first cabin was officially opened in June 2016 and now has return visitors coming back to stay. In addition to those from out of town, Matthew says some “staycationers” have also made the cabin a place to visit.

Site clearing is underway for the second cabin and Matthew and the family also have plans for tent sites and two RV sites in the future.

“We are so appreciative of everything VCEDA has done and that others have done along the way to help us,” Matthew says.

For more information about Foxtail Orchards Cabins and Campgrounds, located just off Rt. 16 on 148 Macky Lane, Tazewell, interested persons may visit www.foxtailorchards.com, look them up on Facebook or call 276-200-4176.

VCEDA closed on the seed capital grant for the Foxtail Orchards Cabins and Campground last month. On hand for the ceremonial check presentation were, from left, Tazewell County Tourism Coordinator Megan Brown; Tazewell County Supervisor Mike Hymes; VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher; Foxtail Orchards Cabins and Campground Owner Matthew Ratliff; Tazewell County Administrator Pat Green; and Tazewell County Economic Development Director Mike Thompson.

 

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and 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 Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education and emerging technologies. 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.

 

VCEDA closed on a loan of up to $250,000 for the Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens Falls Mills Adult Day Care Facility project July 19 at the AASC offices at Wardell. On hand for the ceremonial check presentation were AASC managers and Tazewell County officials including, from left, Tazewell County Attorney Eric Young; Carolyn Counts; Tazewell County Administrator Pat Green; Northern District Supervisor Maggie Asbury; AASC Executive Director Regina Sayers; and VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher; and (back) Joe Ratliff, Leah Call, Beverly Lester, Mary Bowen Colley, Dedra Helbert, Brian Beck, Tazewell County Economic Development Director Mike Thompson and Linda Hayes.

Lebanon, VA (July 19, 2017) — Senior citizens and their families in Tazewell County will soon have another option when it comes to care due in part to a Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority loan to the Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens (AASC). VCEDA closed Wednesday on the loan of up to $250,000 to AASC to be used to finance building construction and costs for the development of an adult day care/multipurpose senior services facility in the Falls Mills area of Tazewell County.

VCEDA’s board of directors previously approved the loan amount for the new facility, utilizing funds from Tazewell County’s designated account.

AASC is a non-profit Virginia corporation serving the four-county area of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties.

“We are pleased to be able to assist in this project,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “It will provide options for care for elderly Southwest Virginia residents, while at the same time providing jobs for the staff who will be put in place to operate it and the programs it will offer.”

Initial projections call for the facility to provide employment for four full-time and 14 part-time employees within one year. Within five years, AASC projections call for employment to reach five full-time and 20 part-time employees.

Planning for the new facility began in 2011 when Tazewell County and AASC began discussions around need for industry and employment in the Falls Mills area. A planning grant from the state Community Development Block Grant program was received from which a preliminary architectural report, feasibility study and a business plan was created.

“The AASC Board of Directors, the staff and I are excited about this opportunity for this new partnership with VCEDA,” said AASC Executive Director Regina Sayers.  “This is a true collaborative effort with VCEDA, AASC, Tobacco Commission, DHCD, Appalachian Regional Commission, Tazewell County IDA, and the Shott Foundation, as well as others unmentioned.  The Falls Mills project will not only provide much needed services to our vulnerable seniors, but will also create economic development in a struggling community.”

The new building which will house the Adult Day Care Center is projected to be 8,277 square feet. The new center, when complete, will provide adult day services, nutrition programs for the community, care coordination and the services available through AASC’s Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).  A commercial kitchen is planned for the facility and a community garden is also being planned.

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About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and 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 Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education and emerging technologies. 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.