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Southern West Virginia business leaders discuss need for broadband with SBA official


The Herald-Dispatch

WAYNE, W.Va. — As part of a four-day visit to southern West Virginia, Michelle Christian, Mid-Atlantic regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), along with other state and local representatives, held roundtable discussions with local leaders in Huntington and Wayne on Tuesday regarding the expansion of broadband internet access to boost the local business industry.

“The No. 1 issue I’ve seen at these roundtables is there’s no internet in so many locations,” Christian said. “You’re not going to start there; nobody wants to start a business where there is no internet. Everybody has the internet right now except for many areas here in West Virginia, and that has to change.”

SBA representatives were joined in discussion by Aaron Sporck from the office of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., as well as Kris Warner, West Virginia state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Warner said the expansion of broadband is an urgent issue and one of the only remaining chances to keep young workers in the state.

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