West Virginia report highlights economic changes

PARKERSBURG — The West Virginia secretary of state released a report emphasizing economic growth and new business development.

The report, available through the business statistics database on the West Virginia secretary of state website, spanned from August 2018 through July 2019. According to the report, all 55 counties experienced growth in terms of business registration, with the entire state experiencing total growth of 13.16 percent.

“West Virginia is continuing to see an increase in new businesses from one month to the next,” Secretary of State Mac Warner said. “This is positive news and important to the growth of our economy.”

Summers County led the state in growth, totaling 15.86 percent over a nearly 12-month period. This equates to nearly 20 percent of businesses in Summers County being newly registered.

Locally, Wood County experienced growth of 4.77 percent, welcoming 281 new business registrations and entities to the area.

“I am excited for our area and people are working really hard together for this growth,” said Wood County Commissioner Jimmy Colombo. “We want to do what we can as elected officials to help local businesses get established, from helping with registration to having entrepreneurship classes and accountants available.”

According to Colombo, Wood County has great potential and this pattern of steady growth is predicted to continue. A prime example of this success is seen through the recent announced development of new stores at Grand Central Mall in Vienna, such as Pet Smart and Ross, and several million dollars in investment for the mall as a whole.

Other nearby counties had positive numbers to showcase as well: Ritchie County acquired 29 new registrations with a total growth of 5.11 percent; Wirt County acquired 12 new registrations with a total growth of 7.27 percent; Doddridge County acquired 27 new businesses with total growth of 8.52 percent; Pleasants County acquired 15 new businesses with total growth of 5.13 percent; Tyler County acquired 19 new businesses with total growth of 5.03 percent; and Jackson County acquired 124 new businesses with total growth of 9.54 percent.