The Braxton County Development Authority (BCDA) is seeking statements of qualifications from planning and design firms to develop a master plan for proposed improvements at Sutton Lake in central West Virginia.  The lake and surrounding 18,000 acres is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The BCDA is proposing to lease over 300 acres of waterfront property from the Corps.  While the vast majority of the 300+ acres is undeveloped, there is currently an operating marina, picnic areas, parking and a small primitive campground that is included in the proposed project site. The BCDA is proposing to greatly enhance the recreational value and economic impact of this land by facilitating an expansion of the marina and the development of cabins, additional camping facilities and related recreational amenities.

Design RFQ Link:

Note:  Proposals must be submitted no later than 4:00 PM on December 5, 2011 and must be received in hard copy. Faxed and/or emailed proposals will not be accepted.

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Updated List of Businesses Participating in Job Fair

Days Hotel, Flatwoods Factory Outlet Stores, Pampered Chef, Sutton Lake Marina, Central WV Aging Services, Cafe Cimino

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Braxton County Businesses Hold Job Fair Seeking Employees

In search of employees, businesses in Braxton County are holding a job fair on April 16 from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM at the Convention and Visitors Bureau in the Flatwoods Outlet Mall. According to John Skidmore, Vice-President of Skidmore Development, “We are always looking for good employees to fill the many positions within our company. The job fair is a great way for residents of central West Virginia to come to one location to find out what kinds of employment opportunities are available. Last year we hired several people that came to the fair.” According to Terrell Ellis, Executive Director for the Braxton County Development Authority, another event sponsor, “The idea for the job fair came from several meetings held within the county where area businesses identified the need to expand the area from which they draw their employees. As the tourism season comes upon us, our hotels, lodges, retail stores, restaurants, and others serving the traveling public are always looking to supplement their workforce.”

It is expected that other types of businesses including health care, banking, and other services will also be represented at the fair.

Anyone attending the fair should bring a resume if they have one, and dress as they would when going to a job interview.

To get an updated list of businesses participating in the job fair, go to For more information, contact Tammy Dickens at (304) 765-6533.

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Trail Development in the Planning Stage

For many years there has been discussion about how to better utilize the Elk River for tourism and economic development.  Recently the Braxton County CVB participated in submitting an application to have the Elk River, from its headwaters to Charleston declared a Water Trail.  Such designation makes potential funding available to improve access points to the river and promote its recreational use.  The Braxton County Development Authority is sponsoring a complementary effort to explore how the former rail line from Sutton to Gassaway could be used as a hiking and biking trail.  Preliminary design work has been undertaken between Route 4 at Gassaway to Route 19/40  at Sutton, WV. This covers a length of approximately 5.8 miles.

The proposed trail would consist of  developing a 10 foot wide walkway along the old railroad grade by regrading the existing roadbed and constructing a 10 foot wide gravel walkway. The walkway would cross two (2) old railroad bridges, which are currently being used for foot traffic that can be re-planked with hand rails installed. Bollards can be installed at the road crossings and end of walkways to prohibit 4 wheeler accesses.

This proposed trail will result in: 1) more people coming to the county to hike, bike, and with better access, use the river to fish and recreate; 2) development and expansion of small businesses to support the increased number of visitors using the river including outfitters, restaurants, and convenience stores.

All of this directly compliments the BCDA’s strategic plan goal to develop and market the county as a tourism destination by expanding recreational amenities.

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SBA Publishes New Small Business Resource Guide

Hot off the press is the new 2011 SBA West Virginia Small Business Resource Guide.  This publication offers a wealth of information on federal, state, and local programs that are available to help businesses.  The number and type of programs is very impressive.  The section on how to get started in business includes information on how to do a self assessment to make sure you are suited to be an entrepreneur, resources to assist in the business planning process, evaluating franchise opportunities, how to develop your organizational structure, and regulatory issues.  The section on financing is very comprehensive with not only traditional SBA lending resources, but a focus on international trade, exports, and bonding.  If government contracting is a mystery to you, there is a whole section devoted to resources that can guide and assist you in that area.  The print version of the guide will be available in January of 2011.  An electronic version can be found here.

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Mountain CAP of WV Announces New Loan Fund for Businesses

If you are looking to expand your business or start a new one, Mountain CAP has a new loan program that offers loans of up to $50,000 with fixed rates that are 2% below the Wall Street Journal Prime Interest Rate (not to fall below 5.5%).  Mountain CAP also provides technical assistance to local business owners in both a group and individual setting.  Group classes include business plan creation, cash flow projections, filing with the State, packaging loan applications and promoting an existing business.  Individual technical assistance covers a variety of topics depending upon the needs of the entrepreneur.  Mountain CAP has a number of programs designed to assist families and businesses in Upshur, Braxton, Webster and Greenbrier Counties.  For more information on the loan program and technical assistance, contact Laura Meadows, Business Loan Counselor at or call at 304-472-6808 Ext. 202.

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Advertising Partnerships Available

If you are interested in promoting your business to tourists and you want to target your advertising dollars to a particular segment of the travel population, you may want to check out the advertising cooperative opportunities that are available through the Division of Tourism.  Businesses can advertise in publications that contain West Virginia editorial and bump up their value by having their ads placed near the WV articles, their web sites linked to the magazine, and e-mail leads generated.  Learn More

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Changes at the SBA Result in Good Things for Small Business

On September 27, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act which provides critical resources to help small businesses grow and add jobs.  The following is a summary of the benefits of the program.  It is not all inclusive.  For a more complete list of benefits click here.  The new law puts more capital into the hands of entrepreneurs by extending the SBA 90% loan guarantee and reduced fees through December 31.  Higher loan limits are in place for most businesses going from $2 million up to $5 million.  The law expands the number of businesses eligible to receive SBA assistance by increasing the net worth guidelines to $15 million and average net income guidelines to $5 million.  SBA Express loans can be processed now up to $1 million.  For more information contact Vickie Karickhoff, Business Analyst for the Pierpont Community & Technical College SBDC in Buckhannon at (304) 439-1290 or

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Doing Business with the State of WV

If you have ever wondered how you can get information on state contracts that are being bid out, then here is the information you need.  Please go to this web site for an overview of the state purchasing process.  You will find bid requests for everything from mine site reclamation to building construction, and from printing services to pest control and extermination.  This is a good opportunity for area businesses to expand their markets!

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Gilmer Braxton Research Zone Awarded $200,000 for Broadband Expansion

Thanks to Delegate Brent Boggs, the GB Research Zone has been awarded $200,000 from the state to expand access to broadband services in the two county area.  In Braxton County, service is being planned for the communities of Tanner and Troy in Gilmer County, and Tesla in Braxton County.  It will be 12 months before work is complete on this project.  Residents and businesses in these areas will be able to subscribe to wireless service provided by Micrologic in Buckhannon.  Residents and businesses that are located around the Flatwoods interchange currently have access to this affordable service.  For additional information, contact Micrologic at (304) 472-4596.

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