Business Development Corporation sees more investment
HANCOCK COUNTY, W. Va. — Another local entity is investing more money into the Business Development Corporation. The investment paints a bigger picture of the growth going on in the northern panhandle.
“Anything that we do from spending tax payer money, we evaluate to make sure we’re getting the biggest bang for our buck,” said Weirton City Manager Travis Blosser.
Two major oil and gas manufacturers opening up shop in Weirton would be one example.
“These employers are now paving the way for these small business owners to decide, you know what? This is my opportunity to get into this market as well and take a risk,” Blosser said.
The trickledown effect those employers have had on the Weirton economy has city officials optimistic.
“We expect that 2018 is going to pay huge dividends for us,” Blosser said.
Which is why council members voted unanimously Monday to invest roughly $28,000 into the Business Development Corporation, but they aren’t stopping there.
“Putting our staffing level component at the table of whatever we need to do, wherever we need to be at, whatever meetings we need to be at, we’ll be there,” Blosser said.
BDC Executive Director Pat Ford described what role Weirton is playing in this time.
“Are you an active member, or are you a passive member? The city of Weirton has not only been an active (member), but a very aggressive investment partner,” Ford said.
Ford said the city is putting its money where its mouth is, and it’s because of the work the two entities have been able to accomplish together.
“Hancock County was actually in the top three highest percentage increases in business openings in the state of West Virginia,” Ford said. “All you have to do is just drive around the city of Weirton, and you can see the results of this partnership, of this collaboration and this unified approach to economic development.”
The money may be coming from Weirton, but Ford said it will felt all over
“People who invest in the BDC aren’t investing in just their little corner of the panhandle,” Ford said. “They are investing in the future of the Northern panhandle of West Virginia.”