3 businesses receive UKAN grants

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Commission approved grants for three eastern Kanawha County businesses during its meeting on Thursday.

The $10,000 grants are funded through the Upper Kanawha Valley Business Assistance Program, which launched back in March to fund economic development opportunities in the eastern part of the county.

The grant recipients include:

— Right Path Transportation Company of Montgomery, which will use the funding to start a non-emergency transportation company. The business will have up to seven sedans, a medical lift and a van to use. Business representatives said during the commission meeting they are looking to hire nine people.
— Mining Motors Inc. of Montgomery, which will use the funding to expand its operations to cover electric motors as well as coil manufacturing. The company is also looking to hire an additional two people, expanding its workforce to nine people.
— Heavenly Flavored Cupcakes and Cobblers in Rand, in which funding will be used to start the business.

Kimberly Walker Payne, the owner of Heavenly Flavored Cupcakes and Cobblers, began baking cupcakes a year ago following her mother’s death.

“We loved ‘Cupcake Wars’ on Food Network,” she said. “When she died, that’s when I started doing cupcakes.”

Payne began selling cupcakes in downtown Charleston six months ago, traveling to the transit mall and near Haddad Riverfront Park to sell her baked goods. She met Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango after a Live on the Levee concert while selling her cupcakes.

“I’m amazed, but not really,” she said of the grant. “I asked God for this and he answered my prayers. We have not because we ask not, so ask and they provide.”

Payne said she has plans to eventually open a cafeteria for Rand residents, but she’s more focused on having beef hot dogs and cobblers ready for her Friday trip to the transit mall.

“I call them my homeless homies,” she said of her patrons. “Because everybody’s just one check away from being homeless.”

Payne said she hopes to have her business open in October.