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Tomblin encourages small business shoppers

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is encouraging shoppers to shop small this weekend. 

He asked shoppers to take part in the nationwide "Small Business Saturday" campaign as an excelled way to support local businesses across the state.

"Local merchants provide important jobs, goods and services," Tomblin said. "West Virginia's small businesses play a vital role in our state and local economies."

"I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to support small businesses on Nov. 30."

Several weeks ago, Tim Miley, speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, announced he and his leadership team would pursue a work group focusing on small businesses throughout the state. Miley said his goal was to make the group a standing committee for next year's legislative session.

According to the West Virginia Development Office, small businesses represent 96 percent of all employers in the state. They employ over 53 percent of the state's private-sector labor force. The West Virginia Small Business Development Center, in the last three years, has helped businesses create and retain more than 3,500 jobs.

Miley said he hopes, with the help of his team, to go throughout different parts of the state to host discussion forums help those in the state who have a passion for either creating or maintaining their small business.

Two other development office programs, Main Street West Virginia and West Virginia ON TRAC, work year-round with communities throughout the state to promote hometown stories.

Accredited Main Street and ON TRAC communities include: Charleston's east and west ends, Fairmont and Mannington, Kingwood, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Philippi, Point Pleasant, Ripley, Ronceverte and White Sulphur Springs, Belington, Beverly and Elkins, Madison, Parkersburg, Parsons, Charles Town, Romney, Rowlesburg, Shinnston, Sutton, Wheeling, Marlinton and Kenova.

All 26 of the above listed communities will have retailers participating in the small business event. For more information visit www.wvcommerce.org.