CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — By all accounts, it has been a banner year for West Virginia attracting new businesses to the state.
But will it continue? And what else needs to be done? We’ve been told by a number of sources that more economic development announcements are coming, and perhaps soon.
State leaders are assessing why they have had a record year for landing new businesses here. One reason cited was that the Legislature simply made it a top priority. So far, the new recruits include Nucor Steel, Green Power Motors, Berkshire Hathaway, Pure Watercraft, and more.
Officials believe there are two key factors: a willing workforce and project-ready properties.
“One real priority for most of us is now site development, making sure we’re spending enough resources to get build-ready sites. And that just doesn’t mean flat pieces of property. It means sits that have utilities available. It has water, sewer, broadband internet connectivity,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, (R) Clay.
And West Virginia is now operating with a billion-dollar budget surplus and that means more money is available to offer financial and tax incentives to out-of-state businesses to set up operations here.
Speaker Hanshaw told us that in business recruitment, there might be 10, 20, 30 other states competing against West Virginia. So, having the big surplus means we have more money to give incentives and be competitive.
Hanshaw will be one of our guests this weekend on “Inside West Virginia Politics.”