West Virginia First is an initiative to connect local business owners all over the state, making them a support and resource for each other, so that their collective influence and decision-making power can be a force for healthy, local economies.
We organize monthly community get togethers (called Business Beats) for local business owners, host resource workshops and webinars, requested by participants, and we are working on a state, locally-owned business directory. In the first three Local Business Beats we raised over $150 for host businesses, gained 18 new member businesses and organizations, and helped to establish 8 new business relationships between participants.
We launched in 2014 and are currently working in Monongalia, Marion, Taylor, and Harrison Counties where we have over 45 participating businesses and organizations. Over the coming year we plan to more than double our membership base and grow the network of locally owned businesses to at least four additional West Virginia Counties.
When local business owners work together, they can learn from each other, share resources, promote each other’s businesses, even sell each other’s goods. They can create a local economy where money stays in the community instead of going to large out-of state corporations. They can promote a community spirit of cooperation and collaboration that makes people feel connected to the community and necessary parts of the whole system.
West Virginia First embraces local ownership, the beauty of the West Virginia landscape, the Appalachian culture, and the unmatched energy and pride of place all West Virginians possess in order to bring community visions to life.
You Are Invited
We seek to connect West Virginians that LOVE their communities and work from a place of generosity to improve the quality of life among all. Become a West Virginia First Business! If you’re a local business owner, entrepreneur, conscious consumer, or a West Virginian who loves their community, let us know! Contact Lauren Brennan, Director of WV First