The Times West Virginian


January 17, 2014

Small businesses deserve help they need when struck by emergencies

You never know when an emergency will happen. You can’t always plan for that rainy day when you’ll have to shutter the doors of your business for an undetermined amount of time because of an issue outside of your control.

It could be a flood. It could be a major wind storm. It could be a chemical leak that contaminates the source of water, making it completely unusable for countless days.

The West Virginia State Legislature is on the verge of passing legislation to not only assist small business owners in the wake of the Freedom Industries leak that contaminated the Elk River and source water for nine counties, but help those affected in any emergency situation.

On Thursday, the House of Delegates unanimously passed House Bill 4175, the West Virginia Small Business Emergency Act. The bill now moves on to the Senate.

The new legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, allows the governor and the Division of Homeland Security, Department of Commerce and Department of Revenue to provide emergency financial assistance to small businesses when a state of emergency has been declared. This assistance could come in the form of grants or zero-interest loans.

“I have had people say to me quite specifically that without any assistance, they will not be able to reopen their business,” said Delegate Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, who represents many affected by last week’s spill. “That is a concern.”

Imagine a small restaurant, for example. The longer it stays closed, the more food must be discarded and repurchased, minus the income that should have been coming through sales.

Add on any expenses not covered by insurance, and a week could mean the difference between staying open for business or staying permanently closed.

If that restaurant closes, everyone from bus boys to head chefs must find new employment. And if the emergency affects a wide area, like the nine counties in the Elk River region, you could be looking at a major employment issue.

We think this bill is a good start. While it did not address the individual employees, lawmakers have vowed to take up that issue in the future.

We strongly encourage the Senate to pass it, too.

Today it is southern West Virginia. Tomorrow it could be North Central West Virginia. Small businesses, the ones who truly make up our state’s economy, deserve the help.

Text Only
  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

  • Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths

    Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
    A simple 57-cent item.
    That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.

    April 4, 2014

  • TextLimit app one more step in cutting down distracted driving

    Every day in the United States, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in vehicle accidents that involve distracted drivers.
    That statistic comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which goes on to say that 69 percent of U.S. drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 reported that they had talked on their cellphone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.

    April 3, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads