The West Virginia Community Development Hub will receive $46,000 for its community economic development efforts in Boone and Lincoln counties. Focusing specifically on Madison and Hamlin, the project will work on the “diversified growth” of the towns by helping small businesses and encouraging sustainability. This is the second year the project received funding from GKVF, and the money will go toward supporting community teams that help service local entrepreneurs, as they work on developing ideas.
Offering networking opportunities can provide businesses and communities with resources they didn’t even know they had.
The Harrison County Chamber of Commerce hosted its a monthly ‘Business @ Breakfast’ as a way to provide local business owners a chance to communicate and learn about resources in our area. Friday’s event featured a panel on community development. Leaders said they are many types of community development activities happening all over Harrison County.
“From recreation, you have the Robinson Grand renovation going on in downtown Clarksburg, you have the Bridgeport Recreation Complex, you have the Rail Trails through Salem and Shinnston,” said Kathy Wagner, president of the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce.
‘Business @ Breakfast’ events are held the first Friday of every month and is at the Courtyard Marriott in White Oaks. May will be Small Business Awareness month and will feature small businesses.
The City of Madison is bringing roller skating back to the Madison Civic Center and the public support has been strong for the initiative.
Steve Byus, the city’s emergency management coordinator, said deputy director Brandy Conrad presented the idea.
“We were brainstorming and looking for new events and ways to help pay for the Madison Civic Center and she mentioned that as a possibility and we just ran with it,” he said. “The community response has been really positive and the feedback from social media has been good.”
Roller skating at the civic center was at peek popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, but surprisingly to organizers there has been a response from adults as well as local youth.
There’s a national storyline about West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania, and it goes something like this: As the steel and coal industries fade, small towns are dying out. But for the past twenty years, some entrepreneurs have quietly been working on a different narrative, one that harnesses the natural beauty in these areas to build the economy.
About 10 years ago, after being downsized from a job in computer sales, Rod Darby wanted control of his career. He drew up a business plan for a pub and restaurant in West Newton, a small Pennsylvania town along the still-developing Great Allegheny Passage. The GAP bike trail, as its known, stretches 150 miles, from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland. Darby shopped his pub idea around.
The National Coal Heritage Area (NCHA) is one of 49 nationally designated heritage areas in the Unites States. It represents a part of the growing effort of the National Park Service to develop resource protection initiatives for areas of national importance that rely on partnerships and private ownership rather than the traditional methods of federally owned parklands. The mission of the National Coal Heritage Area is to preserve, protect, and interprety lands, structures, and communities associated with the coal mining heritage of southern West Virginia.
An increased role of agriculture in West Virginia could serve as a solution to the state’s economic diversity problem, officials said Monday during an agriculture subcommittee meeting on Senate Bill 375, relating to farmers markets.
The bill would transfer rules and regulations of farmers markets from the Department of Health and Human Resources to the Department of Agriculture. It would also change permitting processes for vendors and markets.
Crescent Gallagher, director of communications and legislative liaison for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, said the department wants to see small farmers grow their operations.
“That would happen best under the department of agriculture, where the expertise exists, where the issues are better understood,” he said. “We want to reduce burdens and regulations on the farmers.
Andrea Duke gets her pawpaws the way many do. She forages for them.
She and her mother were at Fort Boreman Park in Parkersburg last year picking “West Virginia bananas” when she thought of a new recipe.
Duke used her bounty to make pulp, added cinnamon and sugar, and called it “pawpaw butter.”
Now the product is a favorite in her line of small batch jams and jellies made from locally grown and harvested fruits. Her Parkersburg-based company is cleverly named “In A Jam!”
The Community Leadership Academy (CLA) helps emerging and established leaders develop their leadership skills.
The academy provides community leaders with a solid foundation in public organizational and financial management. Topics emphasize enhancing personal leadership skills and providing an understanding of current, complex issues affecting communities.
The academy unites community leaders, elected officials, economic developers, Chambers of Commerce, business owners and civic-minded residents of West Virginia and nearby states.
BY STEPHANIE TYREE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE HUB
The Hub is joining together with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to host a workshop on April 4 to support WV projects that have received federal POWER funding, as well as project teams that are considering applying for funding before the May 1 deadline.
All across the state we see projects that are building a stronger diversified economy for West Virginia.
ARC POWER funding has supported many of these projects with grants over the past two years. These projects range from building beekeeping collaboratives, to developing entrepreneurial ecosystems in local towns, to supporting business development along the Hatfield-McCoy trail and dozens of others. What they all have in common is a big vision of what a stronger economy looks like for West Virginia, and public and private investment that is helping to make that vision a reality.
Every quarter, The Hub works with our partners to convene a workshop for POWER grantees to help project leads tackle continuing challenges they are having in their projects, to connect with other projects in their sectors, and to connect projects that are working in the same county or region. The goal of these workshops is to help your project achieve the highest level of success possible.
This upcoming workshop will have two primary focuses.
First, participants will be getting connected with grantees that work in the same geographic region to understand what projects are in progress across the multiple sectors supported by POWER funding. Grantees will be encouraged to connect with other projects happening nearby, to share resources and to learn how each project is placed within the larger pipeline of diverse rural economic development. Significant time will be provided for project sharing, networking and resource and support needs identification.
Second, the workshop will provide space for participants who are planning on applying for a POWER grant in 2018 to see how their grant project fits in with current WV projects, to find potential new partners, and to think about how they can frame their project as an essential element of the economic diversification pipeline in West Virginia.
2018 POWER grants will be highly competitive – particularly for grants based in West Virginia as our state has received a significant portion of the federal funding. How can you make the case that limited federal resources should go here instead of to another state that has received less funding in previous years?
Join us on April 4th to help take your current project to the next level or to help build a stronger proposal for a new project – or both!
Space is limited. RSVP here by March 30th.
The Opportunity Zones Program is a new community development program established by Congress as a result of Public Law 115-97, also known as the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
The Opportunity Zones Program gives each state’s Governor the authority to designate Opportunity Zones, or areas of populations that are eligible to receive private investments through Opportunity Funds. While the designation does not guarantee private sector investment, it does make it eligible under Federal guidelines. The program is designed to drive long lasting investments into rural and low-income urban communities in every U.S. state and territory.