Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 18, 2013

Area leaders hold forum to discuss ways to help small businesses

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

ATHENS — State and local leaders met at Concord University today to discuss a new partnership program designed to help find development resources for small businesses in 10 local counties.

The Third District Accelerator Community Meeting was keynoted by U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., to bring together leaders from local counties as well as state and federal agencies to learn more about new opportunities and resources available to help local small businesses in the manufacturing and tourism communities grow and create jobs. Rahall said the partnership between Concord and Marshall Universities as well as state and federal programs designed to help small businesses will aid economic development in southern West Virginia.

“Teaching energetic public and private entrepreneurs how to fish for assistance and what direction to often looks like a dismal swamp of bureaucratic procedures and requirements can actually be the investment of a lifetime,” Rahall said. “If we build a strong sustainable infrastructure of grantsmanship in these counties we not only will keep returns on this investment growing for the taxpayer, we will increase the return on the federal investment in the EDA University Center.”

During the conference, city and county leaders met with representatives of Concord and Marshall Universities, the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), TechConnect West Virginia, Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF), the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA), the West Virginia Development Office, and West Virginia Small Businesses Development Center.