Cumberland Times-News

Local News

May 5, 2014

Hampshire County No. 1 in business growth in online map released by secretary of state

Information on economic conditions available on Tennant’s website

ROMNEY, W.Va. — An online map published on the West Virginia secretary of state’s website lists Hampshire County as ranking No. 1 in the state’s business industry growth from April 1 through May 1.

The Business Industry Growth shows Hampshire County as having 721 businesses, 15 new businesses and two closed businesses, therefore growing by 1.80 percent.

Tyler County is second on the list and Braxton County is listed as 55th.

“Hampshire didn’t have the most new business but it did have the highest percentage of growth,” Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said Monday.

Hampshire County Commission President Steve Slonaker said he didn’t know about the map but, “It’s certainly good news.”

“I always felt Hampshire County was a good place to live and to do business. I put 30 years of my time and business in this county.”

Slonaker said he thinks other entrepreneurs have decided to do the same by coming to Hampshire County.

BIG shows Hampshire County as growing by seven businesses in November.

The reason the growth is determined in percentage is that if it was done by sheer numbers, Kanawha would always be No. 1.

“This BIG map gives a different perspective, a more statewide view of new business information,” Tennant said.

 Tennant said the map can be used to compare similar counties or cities — what types of jobs have been created and why a business should consider locating in a specific area.

“These are great pieces of information. My priority is to help businesses. This map breaks down not only county and region information, it shows what kind of jobs and what type of businesses are opening,” Tennant said.

Users are able to search by business purpose such as coal mining, software publishers, sporting goods or grocery stores and see how many have registered in a particular county or city and their growth or decline.

That allows a prospective entrepreneur to research a particular region to decide where to open a business.

All the data on the BIG map can be broken down by county and  city, allowing the comparison of parts of a county or regions of the state. Go to wvsos.com, business and licensing, and scroll down to the business and industry BIG icon.

 “I am a small business owner. My priority is to help businesses come to the state,” Tennant said.

“We want business to succeed in West Virginia, and this is the newest and best tool to help them do that.”

Contact Marla Pisciotta at marlapisciotta@frontier.com.

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