BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) — The eighth annual North Central West Virginia Business Summit made its return at the Bridgeport Conference Center on Tuesday, which gave leaders a chance to talk about projects going on throughout the region.

According to Tina Shaw, the president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, this summit “is a collaborative regional effort between four chambers of commerces, and we’ve been doing this for eight years now.”

The annual event is organized and hosted by the Harrison, Marion, and Preston County Chambers of Commerce in collaboration with the Morgantown Area Partnership. The organizations begin planning the summit in the early months of each year, to give them plenty of time to get everything in place.

The event brought in speakers to share updates on local projects and talk about new developments throughout the region.

“North central West Virginia is one of the fastest growing areas of the state, and we’re very blessed to be in this region right now,” Shaw said. “Every year, we have new developments, new-new emerging technologies that are happening in our region and so, the reason we do this event is to showcase the entire region and what’s happening in all of our counties and practically all of north central West Virginia.”

Shaw also said that this year, the organizers wanted to make energy a part of the summit’s focus. Therefore, they invited additional speakers to talk about some of the various energy initiatives happening throughout the state “that are creating jobs in the region.”

This year, the event also featured a retail panel. “Retail has taken a big boost in north central [West Virginia] with the Middletown Commons and things that are happening in Morgantown, and now Boscov’s just opened in the Meadowbrook Mall,” Shaw said.

As a result, the panel consisted of the owners of the Morgantown Mall, Boscov’s in Meadowbrook Mall, and the Middletown Commons. Shaw said that this panel discussion was “pretty exciting because it’s nice to see retail coming back in the region.”

Overall, Shaw said she feels that this event is the area’s way of showing regionalism “and the fact that we can step over county lines and we can work together, and what’s good for one county is good for the next county and the next county and the next county.”

Shaw said she feels that everyone benefits from this event and loves the collaboration that the four chambers have putting everything together.