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 v.m.karickhoff@wv.gov.

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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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Low Cost Office Space Available at the Braxton Technology Center’s Central WV Innovator

One small office is available for rent at the Central WV Innovator small business incubator located at the Braxton Technology Center.  To be an eligible tenant a business must either be brand new or moving from a home office in order to take the next step toward growth.  Only technology oriented businesses, or service businesses with a technology component will be accepted.  Rent is $150 per month and includes all utilities, high speed internet access, use of the conference room, and access to management support and health benefits through the WV High Technology Consortium.  For more information contact Terrell Ellis at (304) 765-5900.

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Looking for Working Capital for Your Business?

In an unusual but welcome effort, the Wyoming County EDA is offering a statewide loan program that is designed to assist existing businesses with their working capital needs.  Refinancing existing debt is an eligible expense.  Applicants must have been in business for at least three years in order to qualify for a loan.  Loans up to $15,000 are offered are at the prime rate (currently 3.25%) for a fixed term of six years.  This program is offered for a limited time and applications will be expedited.  There is a $35 application fee and $200 closing cost.  For more information, contact Steve Clark at (304) 732-6707 or steve.clark.wvsu@gmail.com.

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Braxton County Development Authority and WVHTC Foundation announce opening of central West Virginia business incubator

The Braxton County Development Authority (BCDA) and the West Virginia High Technology Consortium (WVHTC) Foundation have announced the opening of the Central West Virginia Innovator, a small technology business incubator designed to support the growth and development of the technology sector in central West Virginia. The facility will also link rural technology-related entrepreneurs with the resources of the North Central West Virginia Innovator, an incubator facility managed by the WVHTC Foundation in the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont.

The BCDA has entered into a unique partnership with the WVHTC Foundation to operate the incubator, which will house up to seven companies. These companies are eligible to receive a broad array of services that will be provided on a continuing basis including assistance with business planning, market analysis, marketing, management, raising capital, product development, intellectual property, operations, human resources, regulatory issues, accounting and finance, legal, information management systems, administrative and strategic alliances. In addition, tenants at the Central West Virginia Innovator will only pay $150 per month for office space, a deeply discounted rate for a facility of this type, and will have access to a conference room, computers, copier and other types of business support systems.

“This project is part of our continuing efforts to diversify the economy here in Braxton County,” said BCDA President John Jordan. “With our designation by the state as a research and technology zone, we can now offer technology companies many reasons to locate here including tax incentives, management assistance and financial support.”

In August 2006, the BCDA completed construction of the 30,000-square-foot Braxton Technology Center in Flatwoods, a facility intended to house technology-related companies. The BCDA and WVHTC Foundation acknowledged that the partnership emphasizes the need to diversify the state’s economic base by working toward the growth of 21st century jobs — those that are technology-based and rooted in communities that provide an excellent quality of life.

“Strengthening the economy with a diverse market is a mandatory component for any economic development initiative,” said James L. Estep, president and CEO, WVHTC Foundation. “The WVHTC Foundation is very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the BCDA in pursuit of this important economic development goal. I believe the establishment of the Flatwoods incubator demonstrates an insightful and proactive move on the part of the BCDA. While it is only a piece of the economic development puzzle and will take time to produce results, it is nonetheless a key component and investment.” The project was recently awarded a $175,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for both operations and capital improvements. The Benedum Foundation supports the use of technology to assist in the community and economic development of West Virginia communities. In addition, USDA awarded the project $95,000 through its Rural Business Enterprise grant program to assist in the build-out of the space in order keep rents affordable for the tenants.

Other tenants in the facility include the Triune Group, a software development firm, and the Rural Emergency Trauma Institute, which will operate a statewide trauma coordination communications center.

For additional information about the incubator and the Braxton Technology Center, contact the BCDA at 1-866-832-3535 or at info@braxtoncountywv.org.

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New Business Welcomed!

BCDA is pleased to welcome a new business to the community. TAGGART Global, LLC (formerly Sedgman USA, LLC) is an international design, engineering and construction company with expertise in turnkey design, supply, construction and commissioning of coal processing plants and material handling systems. TAGGART provides a full range of design, engineering, project management, construction and contract operation services to the worldwide mining and power generation sectors. TAGGART is a US-based company headquartered in Pittsburgh, USA with offices in China, Brazil and Russia. Since 1993 TAGGART group companies have undertaken and successfully completed a wide range of turnkey coal processing and material handling projects for the world’s leading coal producers as well as for small and medium sized companies. As of June 1, Taggart has opened an office in Gassaway at 624 Elk Street. Headed by Billy Tyo, the office will include 5 engineers and 1 draftsman. This is a great addition to the county’s economy! The BCDA has also recruited the newly formed Centralized Hospital and Emergency Medical Triage and Coordination Center (CHEMTAC). This center will be housed on the third floor of the Braxton Technology Center and will create 38 new high paying jobs. This 24/7 operation will be a centralized resources center to coordinate and manage the resources necessary for efficient, effective, and accurate triage, transfer, and treatment of the seriously injured or ill patients in the state. The importance of this project cannot be overstated. Besides providing numerous high quality jobs, many lives will be saved and morbidity reduced. The center will provide improvement in the overall coordination and delivery of medical care at all levels to the citizens of West Virginia. Construction on the space is starting immediately with occupancy to take place October 1, 2008.

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