CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced three funding awards from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Small Business Administration (SBA) for the Greenbrier Valley County Economic Development Corporation (GVEDC), the Wellsburg Urban Renewal Authority, and BridgeValley Community and Technical College.

These awards, which were secured through Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) requests made by Senator Capito in Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24), will help support business incubation, economic revitalization efforts, and education programs.

“I was proud to use my position on the Appropriations Committee to advocate for and secure these awards that will help build on the activities and growth we are seeing at BridgeValley, in Wellsburg, and in Greenbrier County,” Senator Capito said. “Equipping our educators with better tools and resources has the potential to produce better workers and small business owners with a clear path to reach their full potential. I was also proud to deliver funding that will help West Virginia small businesses overcome barriers to entry to give them the opportunity to build and grow here in our state, especially in the northern panhandle and the growing area around the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.”

Individual award details listed below:

  • $819,000 SBA CDS award to the Greenbrier Valley County Economic Development Corporation (Maxwelton, W.Va.) for the Greenbrier EDC Commercialization Center, a 40,000-square-foot space to be used as an incubator space to help provide small businesses, specifically manufacturing companies, with a place to grow. With the organization and its partners’ expertise, on-site trainings and advising will be offered to complement the space in support of true incubation. GVEDC anticipates serving up to eight businesses within the first year with the goal of retaining existing and creating new jobs. The goal of this incubator is for each business to outgrow the space to continue opening incubator opportunities for new businesses in the area.
  • $750,000 SBA CDS award to the Wellsburg Urban Renewal Authority (Wellsburg, W.Va.) to incentivize small business enterprises to launch and grow new commercial and retail activities in revitalized downtown structures in Wellsburg. Grant funding will be used for replacement of failing roofs, management of problematic water runoff, stabilization of floors, replacement of failing electric, plumbing, and HVAC systems, as well as ADA and fire code compliance upgrades. This project will rehabilitate three connected buildings totaling 21,000 square feet on Wellsburg Town Square to enable new investment, mixed-use economic development, and job creation by small businesses. These three adjacent and connected buildings known as the “Bell Buildings” are on the National Register for Historic Places and located in the center of downtown, across from City Hall and also across from the Wellsburg Museum & Cultural Center. Wellsburg plans to reuse these structures for mixed-use retail, commercial, and tourism businesses.
  • $167,000 SBA CDS award to BridgeValley Community and Technical College (South Charleston, W.Va.) for Stackable Business Credentials at BridgeValley CTC. These include Certificate of Science (CAS) in Entrepreneurship, as well as Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degrees in Accounting and Bookkeeping, Business Administration, and Healthcare Management. With the addition of two more faculty members, updating the curricula to embed industry certifications at various points throughout the student's progress, and targeted marketing for recruitment, the Division would have the capacity to produce more employable students, a better-qualified worker, and more graduates with industry credentials. Also, high school students enrolled in Dual Credit courses which are tied into industry credentials would be eligible to take the certification exams. This would make them more employable after and during high school as well as allowing them to earn college credit towards a degree. 

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