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SB Wednesday: details on week 10 of West Virginia’s comeback plan

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BLUEFIELD, W.Va (WVVA) - WVVA is helping to answer your questions about small business loans, unemployment, taxes, business reopening, and more. John O'Neal, Executive Director of the Mercer County Development Authority, is helping answer those questions.

On Tues., WV Gov. Jim Justice announced that we are in "Week 10" of his West Virginia Strong Comeback Plan. WVVA asked O'Neal: "what is the latest on the Governor's Reopening Plan?"

"The reopening of West Virginia continues at a steady pace. It is finally starting to feel like summer for parents and kids that enjoy their outdoor sports," said O'Neal.

"Youth league sports have resumed, with spectators permitted to attend and cheer on their kids. Youth summer camps, equestrian events, and outdoor motor sports are back on track as well," said O'Neal.

"This week additional summer events are back, with outdoor fairs and festivals eligible to begin. The Governor also authorized amusement parks to open, and for outdoor concerts to begin," said O'Neal.

"Even though it is finally starting to feel like summer, it is important to remember that all of these activities are subject to distancing and sanitation guidelines," said O Neal.

WVVA asked O'Neal "with so much of the state's economy getting back online, has there been any evidence yet of an economic recovery in West Virginia?"

"The West Virginia Comeback is moving forward at a strong pace now, and there is some recent good news. Consumer spending has returned to pre-pandemic levels, actually slightly higher than January," said O'Neal.

"While the federal government hasn't released their official numbers yet, private sector analysts are predicting that about 2.5 million new jobs were created nationally in the month of June, which is an historic number," said O'Neal.

WVVA asked O'Neal: "do you have any updated information on the status of employment in West Virginia?"

"We should receive the West Virginia June unemployment numbers soon. We expect good news to continue. We have had several consecutive weeks of improving employment in the Mountain State," said O'Neal.

"The latest report from Workforce WV indicates that in May, more than 23,000 West Virginians went back to work. Most analysts expect this positive employment trend to continue," said O'Neal.

For more information on the status of the economy, go here.

Melinda Zosh

Evening Anchor and Producer

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