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Tazewell County celebrates ‘National Small Business Week’

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TAZEWELL COUNTY, Va. (WVVA) - May 2nd-8th is National Small Business Week, a week dedicated to supporting local shops in your area.

Leaders in Tazewell County said this year is extra important, as small businesses emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When you own a small business, you are there every day. You give it your life, and there's no 5 o'clock quitting time," Lori Stacy, Tazewell County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, said.

The COVID-19 pandemic delivered big financial hit to small businesses across the country...

"We kind of had to reinvent a little bit, do different business than we were used to because people weren't coming in at all," Melissa Mitchell, owner of Scrubs & Stuff, said.

Ultimately, the community stepped up in a time of need.

"It's thanks to the community. It's the only reason we're still here," Mitchell said. "That's the only reason we could be here today."

It's support that Andrew Blake Ray felt as he opened his business, Coaltown Taps, during the height of the pandemic last June.

"One thing that I'm proud of is the Richlands community and the Tazewell County community, because they have been supportive through the whole thing," he said. "Obviously, I think everyone kind of realized what was going on, and we were still able to work together, follow the pandemic guidelines and really make some magical things happen."

While the community support has been great, some small businesses are running into a new problem...

"You are seeing more 'for hire' signs in our community of Tazewell County and Mercer County than ever before," Charlie Stacy, with the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, said.

"Our biggest concern now, is finding help that will show up constantly," Aaron McGlothlin, owner of Grey River LLC, said. "But as far as work, we're so busy. We're probably two to three months out."

While many small businesses are emerging from the pandemic, leaders in Tazewell County said continued support is essential for small businesses to succeed, especially during National Small Business Week.

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Hannah Howard

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