Miley to make committee on small business ownership - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

WV House of Delegates to make committee on small business ownership

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Tim Miley, speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, said Wednesday afternoon he and his leadership team would pursue a work group with the intent of it becoming a standing committee for next year's legislative term.

In his first press conference since becoming speaker, Miley said the group will travel the state to host panel discussions about how to create small businesses in the state. He said the group would encourage growth and encourage entrepreneurship for the Mountain State. He said lawmakers would talk to small business owners in order for them to learn from those who have paved the pathway to success.

The standing committee would come from the minor committee: Energy, Industry and Labor of Small Business and Economic Development.

"Their stories can inspire others to follow in their footsteps and their insights help us create an environment that encourages small businesses to grow, improve and innovate," Miley said. "We will work collaboratively with people at the local level, to hear from as many successful small businesses and entrepreneurs as possible to determine what hurdles they might have faced that we, as a legislative body, can remove to allow small businesses to flourish."

The bipartisan work group hopes to meet in different parts of the state by early December 2013 through the end of 2014, hosting discussion forums and eventually making a permanent standing committee within the House of Delegates to consider legislation that affects small business growth.

"I think the backbone of growth in West Virginia is going to be small business ownership," Miley said. "It is an issue I feel passionate about pursing that will benefit the entire state."

Miley said he would appoint Delegate Doug Skaff, who owns and is the managing partner of Building and Remodeling Warehouse in Nitro, as chairman of the committee.

Skaff, who has filed pre-candidacy paperwork to run for state Senate, said it is an exciting time for the state.

"The single most important thing we're asked to do is to come down here and make West Virginia a better place," he said of being a lawmaker. "What better way, as policymakers, to learn how to do that than to talk to those successful men and women who have been out there."

Skaff said he is ecstatic to put partisanship aside and help those who want to be successful by using other examples and helping others become a successful business owner in the Mountain State.

"The bottom line here is it can be done in West Virginia," he said. "I think it's important that we go to all areas (of the state) as quickly as we can.

"We, as elected officials, will reach out — go into those communities, talk to them."

He said the business owners making a payroll everyday will be able to talk directly to the elected officials and what they can do as far as lawmaking goes to help them grow their business.

The breaking up of the committee would be out for vote during the legislative session and focus on entrepreneurship and small businesses, Miley added.