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Local Business and Tourism Goals Benefit From Ninth District Development Financing, Inc. Loan Fund

December 31, 2012

Abingdon, Virginia – Ninth District Development Financing Inc. (NDDF) helps retailer develop niche in local tourism market.

Light’s at Stone Mill, which began in Washington County, Virginia, as a farm and feed supply store 72 years ago, is poised to become Abingdon Virginia’s newest tourism attraction.  Light’s has a history of successfully evolving to meet the changing retail needs of Abingdon and the surrounding communities.  In 2004, recognizing an opportunity to expand their business and broaden their appeal beyond their core commercial agricultural customers, the owners built a new 12,000 square foot retail store in Abingdon, Light’s at Stone Mill, and began offering clothing, pet supplies, wild bird items and giftables. Now, with expansion capital from Ninth District Development Financing’s loan fund, Light’s at Stone Mill will help Abingdon further its tourism destination goals by becoming Abingdon’s “general store.” 

“Ninth District Development Financing provides affordable working capital and fixed asset financing for projects that develop and enhance tourism, create jobs and expand economic development,” states Rob Goldsmith, President and CEO of People Incorporated, the organization that manages the fund. “This strategy strengthens tourism efforts throughout the Ninth Congressional District in Virginia and supports Southwest Virginia’s branding initiative as a tourism destination.”

Seeking expansion capital, the owners of Light’s at Stone Mill were referred by the Virginia Tourism Commission to NDDF as a source of affordable funding. The expansion will create one new job, and 12 jobs will be retained. Light’s at Stone Mill plans to  redesign their store showroom, update their brand through increased marketing, and expand and update their inventory to complement a general store theme, providing tourists with a unique and authentic shopping experience.  Together with other Abingdon businesses and neighboring tourism venue Heartwood - Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway, located within a mile of the store, Light’s at Stone Mill will enhance each tourist’s visit as they experience the history, cultural heritage and attractions of Abingdon and surrounding Washington County, Virginia. 

About Ninth District Development Financing Inc
Ninth District Development Financing, Inc. serves the Ninth Congressional District including: the counties of Alleghany, Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, Wythe; the western portion of both Henry and Roanoke counties; and the cities of Bristol, Galax, Martinsville, Norton, Radford and Salem.  In the years since its inception, Ninth District Development Financing Inc has remained true to its goal to enhance the development of travel destinations that are authentic and which add diversity to tourist experiences in the Ninth Congressional District of Virginia. Ensuring the creation of new job opportunities in the Ninth Congressional District is the highest priority of the Ninth District Development Financing Inc fund.  Since 1995, this project has been responsible for the deployment of $4.2 million and the creation/retention of 312 jobs. For more information about Ninth District Development Financing Inc, please contact Mr. Ernie Maddy at (276) 619-2265 or visit the website at www.nddf.org .

About People Incorporated of Virginia
People Incorporated is a non-profit Community Action Agency and Community Development Corporation committed to providing opportunities for people to reach their goals in order to enhance their lives, families, and communities. People Incorporated develops programs and strategies that are designed to move people and communities into the economic mainstream. In 2011, People Incorporated provided services to nearly 7,400 clients and generated an economic impact of over $164 million in communities throughout Virginia. For more information about People Incorporated’s programs and services contact the Abingdon office at 276-623-9000 or visit us at www.peopleinc.net .