PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – Today U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) was joined by the Internet Association in Parkersburg where they met with small businesses and discussed the importance of the internet in expanding Parkersburg’s economy.

“Today’s tour showcased what the internet can do to grow, sustain and establish small businesses right here in West Virginia. Because of its reliable, high-speed internet service, Parkersburg has become an attractive destination for businesses to set up shop and expand their customer base beyond the Mountain State,” said Senator Capito. “Affordable internet is crucial to economic growth in West Virginia, and I will continue to urge the public and private sectors to work together and deploy this critical asset to more areas across our state.”

“Parkersburg exemplifies how the power of the internet can help small businesses grow and compete globally,” said Internet Association Senior Vice President, public policy and government affairs, Gina Woodworth. “When small business owners have internet platforms, global markets, and a high-speed connection at their fingertips, they can reach new customers faster and more efficiently than ever before. Internet-enabled commerce is the key to our future economic success.”

Senator Capito and the Internet Association met with four small businesses in Parkersburg that use the internet to connect with customers, grow their businesses, and utilize the city’s high-speed broadband connections.

The first stop on the Parkersburg tour was The Coffee Bar, which uses social media platforms to expand its online presence and sells t-shirts, mugs, and other goods on an e-commerce platform. The second stop was a ribbon cutting that welcomed Netranom to downtown Parkersburg. Netranom, an IT support company, recently opened an office in Parkersburg to take advantage of the high-speed internet in the city. Next, the tour visited the Schrader Youth Ballet Company, which, like The Coffee Bar, uses social media platforms to advertise its dance classes, recitals, camps, and other community events. The visit concluded at the recently-opened Parkersburg Brewing Company, which was able to grow its business, as well as a strong local following, using social media without spending a penny on traditional advertising. The money it saved on advertising allowed Parkersburg Brewing Co. to divert more money to investing in its business.

Today’s tour builds on Senator Capito’s Capito Connect Plan and her work to bring affordable, high-speed internet to homes, businesses and classrooms throughout West Virginia.