The Times West Virginian

Opinion

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.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads