Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is asking holiday shoppers to add something extra to their lists: Small Business Saturday. The nationwide event takes place on Nov. 30, and is an excellent way to support local businesses across West Virginia, the governor said.
"Local merchants provide important jobs, goods and services," Gov. Tomblin said. "West Virginia's small businesses play a vital role in our state and local economies. Small business is big business in West Virginia, and I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to support small businesses on November 30."
According to the West Virginia Development Office, small businesses represent 96 percent of all employers in the state and employ 53.1 percent of the state's private-sector labor force. In the last three years, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, part of the West Virginia Development Office, has helped businesses create and retain more than 3,500 jobs.
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 and White Sulphur Springs, both in Greenbrier County;
* Belington, Barbour County;
* Beverly and Elkins, both in Randolph County;
* Madison, Boone 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 26 communities will have retailers participating in the event.