INEZ, KY – Billy Adkins is not afraid to invest in Eastern Kentucky. In fact, doing so makes him proud and hopeful for his hometown.
The Martin County native has been buying and transforming businesses in the region for years. His latest is a vacant convenience store/gas station in the heart of Inez.
He opened Adkins Fastop in the center of town in January, after razing a vacant building on Main Street. In its place is a brand new facility offering local customers conveniences they didn’t have before. The business has been welcomed with open arms. It boasts the community’s first ICEE™ machine, fresh, locally made deli and breakfast sandwiches, a coffee bar and gas pumps with a chip reader, to ensure that customers’ payment information is safe.
The former coal miner turned entrepreneur has managed quite the transformation
himself over the last few decades. He began work in the coal mines right after high school, married his longtime sweetheart and spent the first 20 years of his career toiling in local mines. But when the mining jobs left the region, Adkins dug in and looked for new ways to raise his family and help his community.
The father and grandfather owns two restaurants and another Fastop in Pike County, in addition to other small businesses. To say he’s invested in the region is an understatement.
Adkins contacted Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corp. (SKED) to help finance his latest business venture. He had heard the nonprofit lender served his county and sought its help. Staff worked closely with him from the business’ beginning stages.
“Martin County is my home, Adkins said. “I refuse to give up on it. I tried for some time to get this business up and running,” he said. “The folks at SKED have been a lifesaver. They’ve worked with me through the challenges and given me some great advice and input on making this a success. They’re more than just a lender. They care about small business owners.”
“My other businesses are doing well,” he said. “I will give my all to make this one work too,” he said. “I guess it’s the coal miner in me that refuses to give up on this area. The people here deserve the best I can give them, and I really appreciate their support.”
To learn more about how SKED helps small business owners overcome obstacles and growing pains, visit: www.skedcorp.com.