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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Braxton County Development Authority Receives Grants for Small Business Technology Incubator

The Braxton County Development Authority (BCDA) has been awarded a $95,000 USDA Rural Business Enterprise grant and a $75,000 Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation grant to assist with the development of a small business incubator for technology related companies at the Braxton Technology Center. Through the development of this small business incubator, the BCDA will provide the physical and organizational infrastructure to nurture and grow high quality jobs. The BCDA recognizes the need to diversify the county’s economic base by supporting the growth of 21st century jobs-those that are technology based, and rooted in communities that provide an excellent quality of life. According to the BCDA’s President, John Jordan, “This project is part of our continuing efforts to diversify the economy here in Braxton County. 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.” The BCDA has entered into a unique partnership with the West Virginia High Technology Foundation to operate the incubator. The incubator will house up to seven companies who are eligible to receive a broad array of services that will be provided by the Foundation on a continuing basis including assistance with business planning, market analysis, marketing plan, management, raising capital, product development, intellectual property, operations, human resources, regulatory issues, accounting and finance, legal, information management systems, administrative, and strategic alliances. Jim Estep, the President of the Foundation stated that “Strengthening the economy with diverse markets is a mandatory component for any economic development initiative. The High Tech 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 Benedum Foundation supports the use of technology to assist in the community and economic development of West Virginia communities. The Foundation believes that technology can help people and businesses access markets, suppliers and services that may be otherwise inaccessible, therefore opening new opportunities for improving the economy and quality of life for citizens. In August, 2006, the Braxton County Development Authority (BCDA) completed construction of the 30,000 square foot technology center in Flatwoods. The building, known as the Braxton Technology Center, is intended to house technology related companies and was developed as a means of attracting high quality jobs to the community. The Triune Group, a software development firm, is the facility’s anchor tenant. 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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Braxton County Schools Are Wired

Braxton County Schools recently completed a major project to connect all schools in the county with a high speed fiber optic network. With the completion of this project, the county school system will now greatly enhance its ability to offer a broad array of classes through distance learning and to provide every child with an even greater opportunity to explore our global society.

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BCDA to Develop Small Business Technology Incubator

The BCDA, in partnership with the WV High Technology Consortium Foundation, will develop a small business incubator for technology related companies. This project will be housed at the Braxton Technology Center and will be patterned after the Foundation’s Innovator project in Fairmont. Start up companies will take advantage of low overhead, and a broad array of technical and financial support in order to grow their businesses and gain a competitive edge. Staff from the Foundation will work with the incubator tenants on a regular basis to customize the support and delivery of services. The incubator will be open in late summer of 2007.

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Café Cimino To Expand

Café Cimino, one of the state’s premier gourmet restaurants, will expand this summer. The proprietors, Tim and Melody Urbanic, have purchased the P.J. Berry Estate in downtown Sutton (formerly known as Simplicity) and will provide both fine dining and guest lodging in 10 deluxe rooms. In addition, the Urbanics will reopen the former pub that was located on the site, calling it “Tavern on the Elk” and serve tapas and other small meals. This will be an exciting addition to Braxton County’s tourism attractions.

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Braxton County to Participate in State Scholars Initiative

Braxton County is one of just a few West Virginia counties to be selected for a program to encourage high school students to enroll in a rigorous curriculum to giving them a boost whether they go to college or go straight to work. First Lady Gayle Manchin announced that Braxton, Ohio, Wood and Monroe county school systems have been selected by the state Department of Education to participate in this initiative which is being led by the Education Alliance. To motivate students business leaders will visit classrooms to talk about the real world value of a challenging curriculum.

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Fairmont State Opens Branch at Braxton High School

In a ground breaking move, Fairmont State’s Pierpont Community and Technical College has partnered with the Braxton County school system to develop an Early College High School initiative. The facility, an addition to the existing high school, provides students an opportunity to earn an associates degree while earning their high school diploma. The center is also open in the evenings, allowing residents to take courses without driving to Fairmont. Patterned after the Gates Foundation’s initiative in urban areas, this is the first rural center in the country.

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