CHARLESTON, W.Va. - With the first week of May each year being the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “National Small Business Week” it is a great time to celebrate and recognize those who represent the backbone of our local, state, and national economies.
Originally proclaimed in 1963, National Small Business Week recognizes small business owners, entrepreneurs and advocates for small business. The federal government estimates that small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. every year.
The West Virginia Secretary of State is charged with the responsibility to manage the registration of all entities operating and conducting business in the state. Secretary of State Mac Warner indicated that as of today there are a total of 97,867 for-profit entities operating in the state. There are an additional 10,596 non-profit organizations in good standing and registered to operate in West Virginia.
The Secretary of State’s Business & Licensing Division oversees the annual registration of all 108,000 entities doing business in the state. In addition, several specific kinds of entities are required by law to file special registration with the state. Those include:
• 40,191 Notary Publics
• 37,368 Persons Who Perform Marriages
• 329 Athletic Agents
• 350 Private Investigators & Security Guard Firms
• 4,087 Charitable Organizations
“Businesses licensed by or registered with our office employ more 1.2 million West Virginians. Most of those are employed by small businesses,” Warner said. “It is only fitting that we take this time each year to recognize how important small businesses truly are to our economy.
On Wednesday, Warner will attend the SBA’s “National Small Business Week” awards luncheon for the West Virginia District. The luncheon will be held at the West Virginia High Technology Foundation in Fairmont. Similar events are being held throughout the country as the SBA recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners.
In Fairmont, Warner will present certificates of congratulations to West Virginia regional and district honorees for 2018 being recognized by the SBA. This year’s honorees include:
Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year
Arria Hines - Allegheny Science & Technology Corporation
Nominated by: Lani MacRae, DOE
Small Business Subcontractor of the Year
Jayachandra (Jay) Reddy - NextGen Federal Systems, LLC
Nominated by: Carl Wooden, Raytheon Company
Small Business Exporter of the Year
Paul Diserio - American Muscle Docks & Fabrication, LLC
Nominated by: Sharon Stratton, SBDC
Small Business Person of the Year
Douglas Tate - Alpha Technologies, Inc.
Nominated by: Terry Cyfers, SBDC
Family-Owned Small Business of the Year
Cason & Bill Edwards - RKE Corporation
St. Marys, WV
Nominated by: Jody Murphy, Pleasants Area Chamber of Commerce & Marsa Myers, SBDC
Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year
Michael Paul McKechnie - Mountain View Solar
Berkeley Springs, WV
Nominated by: Mary Hott, SBDC
Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year
Kimberly Baker - River and Rail Bakery
Nominated by: Amber Wilson, SBDC
Encore Entrepreneur of the Year
Crista & Roger Johnson - Screech Owl Brewing
Bruceton Mills, WV
Nominated by: Lindsey Teets, SBDC
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Aaron Harris - Aaron Harris Auction Services
Nominated by: Susannah Higgins, SBDC
West Virginia Small Business Champion of the Year
Christy Laxton - Wyoming County Economic Development Authority
Nominated by: Harold Patterson, SBDC
“The Small Business Administration is a vital resource for the West Virginia business community. The SBA is important to a strong, diverse and growing economy here in the Mountain State,” Warner said.
Earlier this year, Secretary Warner and Governor Jim Justice officially opened the West Virginia One Stop Business Center – the only four-agency single-location business licensing and registration center in the United States. The One Stop is housed in a stand-alone building at 1615 Washington Street East near the State Capitol. The Secretary of State’s Business & Licensing Division, the State Tax Department, the Division of Labor and Workforce West Virginia all have office staff in place at the One Stop.
To support the One Stop concept and with support of the Legislature, Warner also opened Business Hub satellite offices in Clarksburg and Martinsburg to make it more convenient for business owners and entrepreneurs.
The Legislature also approved legislation requested by Warner to offer expedited services for the immediate needs of the business community. Rather than the typical 5-7 day turnaround for most registration and licensing, companies can now request 1-hour, 2-hour and 24-hour services for an additional fee. Fees generated from the requests for expedited services are used to fund the operation of the One Stop.