By Taylor Boyd
Patrick officials are currently working to obtain funding and start construction on the proposed Patrick County Business Development and Recovery Center at the intersection of Slusher Street and Rye Cove Road.
Sean Adkins, Director of the Economic Development Authority (EDA), said the authority is currently working on an application to Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in hopes of securing an estimated $2.4 million that would be used to start renovation on the building after a request for proposals (RFP) is sent out to construction companies and a firm is chosen.
“From what I am told, the max amount you can get will just be for the construction. So, we would like to do it on one fell swoop, but we might have to do it in phases,” he said.
A request for American Rescue Plan Act (APRA) funds from the county’s ARPA Committee was also submitted to secure additional funds for the project.
“The biggest thing we’re waiting on now is to see what we can get from ARPA funds,” he said.
Adkins said the 16,000-square-foot building with a basement will potentially include a café/market area, a daycare, small office spaces, and a larger business area for an organization to operate. Its anticipated opening date is June 2023.
The EDA also is already looking for tenants for when the center is complete.
“We’ve actually already talked to a few organizations about being tenants on day one, when things are ready. It’s exciting to have that interest already,” he said.
Total Action for Progress (TAP) is among the organizations to express interest. TAP helps families and individuals achieve personal and economic independence through employment, education, healthy environments, and affordable housing.
“They’ve debated that interest because they want to make a presence here in general, and they want to do some youth entrepreneurship programs and potentially a remote loan fund for small businesses,” Adkins said.
The EDA also plans to have at least one staff member that would have business assistance experience in the center to help mentor and feed the small and early-stage entrepreneurs.
Adkins said the authority is looking for one strong tenant for the business assistance side of the center. “So, if we could have a tenant in here that gave business assistance, tax help, and all that, it would kind of also check the boxes of being around for smaller companies,” he said.
The group is also looking for smaller companies that would need more of a collaborative-style workspace than a legitimate brick and mortar office space.
“So, some of those companies that just kind of need the coaching and just a place, kind of like an address, where they can come and collaborate and meet, but are not necessarily big enough where they are going to need to rent 2,000 square feet for their organization,” he said.
Businesses or individuals that are interested in leasing the future space can contact Adkins via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (276) 692-4490.