CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is asking holiday shoppers in his state to add something extra to their lists this year — Small Business Saturday.
The nationwide event takes place on Nov. 28 and is a great way to support local businesses across West Virginia.
“West Virginians work hard, and we take pride in what we do and what we make,” Tomblin said. “West Virginia small businesses produce a wide range of goods that make great holiday gifts, including Fiesta dinnerware, collegiate apparel, fishing sinkers, marbles, sandals, saunas, artisan salt, hand-blown glass and much more. These businesses play a vital role in our state and local economies, and I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to support small businesses on Nov. 28.”
According to the West Virginia Development Office, small businesses represent 96 percent of all employers in the state and employ more than half of the state’s private-sector labor force. Last year, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center assisted 272 clients in starting 66 new businesses, creating and retaining over 250 jobs and accessing nearly $20 million in capital for business growth.
Two other Development Office programs, Main Street West Virginia and West Virginia ON TRAC, work year round with communities throughout the state to promote hometown stores and boost local economies. Accredited Main Street and ON TRAC communities include:
• Charleston East End and Charleston West Side, both in Kanawha County;
• Fairmont and Mannington, both in Marion County;
• Kingwood, Preston County;
• Martinsburg, Berkley County;
• Morgantown, Monongalia County;
• Philippi, Barbour County;
• Point Pleasant, Mason County;
• Ripley, Jackson County;
• Ronceverte ,Greenbrier County;
• Belington, Barbour County;
• Beverly and Elkins, both in Randolph County;
• Parkersburg, Wood County;
• Parsons, Tucker County;
• Charles Town, Jefferson County;
• Romney, Hampshire County;
• Rowlesburg, Preston County;
• Shinnston, Harrison County;
• Sutton, Braxton County;
• Wheeling, Ohio County;
• Marlinton, Pocahontas County; and
• Kenova, Wayne County.
All 24 communities will have retailers participating in the event. For more information about the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, Main Street West Virginia or West Virginia ON TRAC, visit www.wvcommerce.org.