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New series for small business professionals: ‘Advantage West Virginia’

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BLUEFIELD, W.Va (WVVA) - WVVA is helping to answer your questions about small business. The Executive Director of the Mercer County Economic Development Authority, John O’Neal, is helping answer questions every Wednesday on WVVA News at 5 p.m.

WVVA: This week we begin a new series for small business professionals called “Advantage West Virginia.” John, what is the focus of this series?

O'Neal: When considering whether to relocate a business, expand a business, or trying to start something from scratch, there are a number of factors that any business owner or entrepreneur must consider. Among these are affordability, location, business climate, quality of life, workforce, and education or training.

West Virginia has some advantages in these areas. Over the next few weeks we will consider these important factors, and hopefully we can provide some useful information that might encourage our business owners and entrepreneurs in their efforts to grow their business and provide good jobs for the people in our region.

WVVA: What is the first topic that we will discuss this Wednesday?

O'Neal: One of the most important factors a business owner must consider is the Cost of Doing Business. This will include the tax climate, utility costs, wages, and purchase or rental space costs. West Virginia is extremely competitive in these areas. In fact, CNBC, the business cable channel, ranked West Virginia as sixth best in the nation in their 2019 rankings of each state by the cost of business.

Not only does our state have a low cost for business owners, but West Virginia is among the lowest in the nation in cost of living for the residents. The cost of living in West Virginia is 16% lower than the national average. This is especially reflected in lower than average housing costs.

So whether a business owner is considering relocating, expanding, or starting a new business, the costs of business and the cost of living are significant advantages for considering West Virginia. More information on state by state comparisons for business can be found at

Viewers should tune in each Wednesday at 5 p.m. for this new series, Advantage West Virginia.

Melinda Zosh

Evening Anchor and Producer

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