Small WV locally-owned businesses share tips - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Small WV locally-owned businesses share tips for being successful

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In an effort to help encourage jobs and economic development, WV House Speaker Tim Miley (D-Harrison) announced he plans on creating new House committees and a statewide listening tour.

At a press conference in the state Capitol, Miley said the committee would travel around the state to get ideas from business leaders, communities and educators in order to learn what makes small businesses thrive and pass laws to ensure others can do the same.

According to the West Virginia Small Business Administration's latest report, in 2010 there were approximately 30 million businesses.  Bob Anderson, a member of the South Charleston Chamber of Commerce, said there have been over 100 new businesses in the past two years.  

However, opening a business can be challenging especially if it's a small, locally owned one. According to the West Virginia SBA office, about half of all new businesses survive five years or more. Only a third of new businesses survive ten years or more.

Taylor Books, located on Capital Street in downtown Charleston, is one of those successful locally-owned businesses.  For 18 years, the independent bookstore has expanded to include a coffee shop, café, and art gallery.

Ann Saville, the store's owner, says her secret for success was her careful planning.

"It has to be something that has done well elsewhere, that we don't have and that people would want," she said. "You can't expect it to be exactly what you planned. And I think the key there is to be flexible."

Another lesson she learned when she first opened up her bookstore was business takes time to develop. She said when she first opened Taylor Books' doors business was slow. A trend Rob Walton initially saw at his new store, Twisted Antiques and Oddities in South Charleston.

"It's very challenging. Just getting the doors open was a challenge. Getting everything in and set up was a challenge," said Walton.

He opened his store five months ago

"It's been sort of a roller coaster so far. It's had its ups and downs. But it's getting established and it's doing pretty well," said Walton.  

However, Walton said he has some suggestions for lawmakers on this potential jobs committee.

Giving "a small business loan or just something, some kind of incentive out there for it" could be helpful, he said.

"Small business grants would be enormously useful to help you get going. Grants not loans, so you don't have to worry about paying it back," said Saville.

Saville's bookstore is doing so well she opened another business — Charleston Brewing Company.