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U.S. Senators Capito, Manchin announce Congressionally Directed Spending awards for WV National Guard Small Business Center

West Virginia Press Association

WASHINGTON, DC – On June 20, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (I-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $595,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for the West Virginia National Guard to establish a small business center in Charleston with a specific emphasis on food production and innovation. The space will include a test kitchen, recipe design spaces and offices for small business owners. This federal award is a Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) request the senators secured on behalf of West Virginia through the Fiscal Year 2024 funding bill.

This initiative includes 2024 James Beard Award winner and West Virginian Chef, Paul Smith, as a partner.

“I’m pleased the SBA is investing $595,000 to support the West Virginia National Guard’s creation of an innovative small business center in Charleston,” said Senator Manchin. “This funding will support our Veterans’ entrepreneurial endeavors, especially in food production, by creating space for a test kitchen, commercial offices and areas for local food brands to showcase their products. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue advocating for funding to support our nation’s Veterans as they enter their new lives as small business owners.”

“Our Patriot Guardens program serves as a catalyst assisting the veteran community in West Virginia to engage in modern agricultural and entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, Adjutant General. “The newly funded spaces will facilitate continued community engagement and accessibility, allowing for greater educational, financial, and business opportunities within our veteran population and beyond. We are incredibly thankful to Senator Manchin and all those who continue to support our Patriot Guardens program as it continues to mature and provide positive impact throughout the Mountain State.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee allows members of Congress to submit CDS requests, which provides an opportunity for state and local governments, non-profits, and other public entities to receive targeted funding for projects that bolster their communities and directly support West Virginians.

“I was proud to use my position on the Appropriations Committee to advocate for and secure this award to help grow businesses in the food services industry in West Virginia,” Senator Capito said. “By partnering with leaders in the state, this funding will help entrepreneurs start and expand their culinary businesses and continue the momentum our restaurant industry has already built. I am excited to see what Chef Paul Smith and his partners can do to cultivate new leaders in this industry and I am proud to support this effort.”

Award details listed below:

  • $595,000 SBA CDS award to the West Virginia National Guard Small Business Center (Charleston, W.Va.) to create a location for food manufacturing, community kitchen, test kitchen and culinary education. Partnering with Chef Paul Smith, New River Brands, and others, this space will allow for new food entrepreneurs to hone their recipes, develop new ones, and expand current production from a small home kitchen to a larger production space. Through this project, new products will be available to market inside and outside the state, current West Virginia brands can maintain their production levels while developing new products for market, and entrepreneurs can get the support needed to have success in small business start-up and management.

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