EPA grant to help business boom in downtown Bluefield

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BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — The City of Bluefield, West Virginia continues to see growth in business, especially downtown. But the crumbling infrastructure is causing that business boom to slow.

So a grant was applied for through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Jim Spencer, Executive Director of the Bluefield Economic Development Authority, said the grant is just one part of reviving the downtown area for further growth.

“The grant is for abatement of asbestos and lead paint, environmental concerns in the 300 to 400 block of the downtown,” said Spencer.

Spencer said this grant is just one part of the revitalization process.

“This will be the first step in getting them environmentally clean so we can do some things with that. And the JCPenney building, the former JCPenney building may be renovated. The goal is to create more space for businesses coming to Bluefield,” said Spencer.

After two national companies opened house in the middle of downtown, business interest soared.

“With Intuit and Alorica being in Bluefield has created a huge demand for others. We’ve seen new businesses open up in the downtown,” said Spencer.

Spencer said the EPA grant will be matched by a grant from a local foundation.

“It’s 452,000 dollars which will be matched by a grant from the Shott Foundation of 90,000 dollars,” said Spencer.

Five hundred forty two thousand dollars total. The project is slated to start September 1, 2021.

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