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New business preparing to open in Pennington Gap

Staff Report • Jun 6, 2014 at 11:01 PM

PENNINGTON GAP — The Industrial Development Authority of Lee County (IDA) on Friday closed on its financing for Cumberland Collision Center Inc. and Cumberland Automotive to bring jobs to Pennington Gap.

Cumberland Collision Center has been operating in Ewing for 17 years and is led by founder Ernie Helton. Cumberland recently entered into a lease for the former B-J Motors location in Pennington Gap and plans to open a second location there within the next few weeks with approximately 14 new jobs initially.

The financing provided by the IDA will be used to purchase auto repair and auto painting machinery and tools for the Pennington Gap location.The facility will sell used cars as well as offer a full spectrum of automotive services including body work, painting, detailing and repair.

"We are so excited to be assisting a longtime Lee County entrepreneur to open a new business in perhaps the most visible location in the entire county. My office has received numerous emails and phone calls over the last several weeks anticipating the opening of Cumberland Automotive. We thank the Board of Supervisors, the Town of Pennington Gap, the Pennington Gap IDA and the Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College for their assistance with this project as well. It has truly been a collaborative effort," IDA Director Michael James said in a prepared release.

The project was funded from the Lee County Economic Development Fund, which is jointly managed by the IDA and the Board of Supervisors. The Lee County Economic Development Fund was created by decree of the Lee County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 18, 2011. The fund proceeds are to be used for the express purpose of economic development activities for Lee County. Any appropriations from the fund require the approval of both the IDA Board of Directors and the Lee County Board of Supervisors.

"We anticipate a soft opening literally any day now and plan to have a large grand opening celebration in July once all our equipment has been delivered and installed," Helton said.

Cumberland Automotive is located at 42328 E. Morgan Ave. in Pennington Gap, directly across the street from McDonald's and Hardee's.

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