TAZEWELL, VA – When Amber Hurley McCulley opened Clear Sight EyeCare earlier this year, her goal was to provide comprehensive eyecare services utilizing state-of-the-art technology and equipment to benefit residents in the region. With the assistance of a $6,500 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) seed capital matching grant, she has been able to grow her business, purchasing equipment she said she otherwise would have had to wait to add to her new practice.
“VCEDA was pleased to assist Clear Sight EyeCare in acquiring the equipment it wanted to add to augment its services,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “Clear Sight EyeCare projects five full time jobs within five years.”
The new clinic is located at 284 Ben Bolt Avenue and there, McCulley provides comprehensive vision and medical eyecare and offers full optical shop services featuring more than 500 pairs of glasses frames from which to choose, ranging from budget frames to designer frames. Contacts and sunglasses are also available.
McCulley noted Clear Sight offers eyecare services for the family -- for patients as young as six months old to those who are 100 or more in the geriatric community.
McCulley completed her undergraduate degree at Alice Lloyd College and is a graduate of the School of Optometry at the University of Alabama. Born and raised in nearby Buchanan County in the Hurley area, she has been a resident of Tazewell County for the past eight years.
“We officially opened the new clinic in June and we have been busy ever since,” McCulley said.
She said the VCEDA seed capital grant had assisted her in purchasing needed equipment, including a corneal topographer which measures the front of the eye and is a valuable tool in fitting hard contact lenses.
“The grant helped us to purchase technology and equipment needed to provide thorough exams for our patients,” McCulley said.
Clear Sight EyeCare is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The clinic may be reached by calling 276-385-1940. The clinic has a website at www.clearsightswva.com and a Facebook page and may also be reached at email@example.com.
McCulley worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in the development of her application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority.
“The Small Business Development Center team at Southwest Virginia Community College was pleased to assist Amber McCulley with developing a business plan and preparing the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund grant application,” said SBDC Program Manager Margie Douglass. “It’s very rewarding to know that Amber’s investment, coupled with the VCEDA grant, will provide a service in which residents in the Tazewell area will no longer have to travel out of town to obtain state-of-the-art eye care.”
Douglass noted the seed capital matching fund program not only provides funds for startup businesses in the VCEDA region, but also provides access to vital business resources. By working with the SBDC (a requirement for any applicant to the VCEDA seed capital program fund), business owners receive guidance from experienced advisors and learn how to utilize available tools to evaluate their business and develop a formal plan of action. As a result, Douglass noted, applicants are better prepared to apply for funding and better equipped to make their business a success.
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.vceda.us 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.