BECKLEY, W.Va. (Jan. 2, 2020) – The New Year is starting well for the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA), as U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced today in a press release the award of a $708,300 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The grant will support the expansion of the WV Hive entrepreneur and business assistance program to promote business development, job creation, job retention, and private investment in Southern West Virginia.
WV Hive Network director Judy Moore said the federal grant will greatly expand entrepreneur and business assistance programs it offers. “We are so excited about this new award and are looking forward to continuing and enhancing our services provided to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Hive service area. It will also allow us to expand services, including the opening of a business hub in downtown Beckley.” Moore added that the project is in a federal Opportunity Zone and is expected to generate $3 million in private investment and matched with $177,367 in local funds.
“NRGRDA is incredibly grateful to the US EDA as well as Senators Capito and Manchin for their continued support of our WV Hive initiative, said Joe Brouse, NRGRDA executive director. “The expansion of the Hive to downtown Beckley will allow a dedicated, front-facing resource to businesses and entrepreneurs looking to grow and thrive in the New River Gorge Region.”
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming added, “Southern West Virginia has struggled with the decline of the coal sector and the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, and WV Hive provides much needed economic stability. We are pleased to support the expansion of the WV Hive program, and the Opportunity Zone designation will help attract new private investment to Southern West Virginia.”
This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) program, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.
In early August 2019, EDA‘s Regional Innovations Strategies program granted $194,672 for the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority to support the Country Roads Angel Network (CRAN). CRAN is an initiative that provides capital investment for early-stage businesses and an educational component designed to spur entrepreneurism and drive economic growth in West Virginia.
Press Release on Grant Announcement by Sen. Joe Manchin:
Press Release on EDA Award by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito:
About the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (https://nrgrda.org/about-us/): The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA) stimulates the regional economy through business expansion and retention efforts, including an extensive portfolio of financial services, the management of sites for new companies locating to our region, and serving as a point of access for local service providers which offer a variety of technical assistance for business owners. Our Business Support Program is a proactive, recruitment, retention and expansion strategy designed to identify and address the needs, challenges and opportunities of new and existing business in our region. The goal of the program is to provide information, services and tools to business and industry to support expansion and to create new jobs and investment. As a committed partner of the small business owner, it is our charge to coordinate efforts in cooperation with our network of economic development partners to work to address the specific needs of a company in the areas of finance, employee and labor resources, environmental permitting, zoning, state and local taxes, existing government programs, training, media coverage and various other professional services as deemed appropriate and/or necessary. We administer loan programs structured to support a larger funding package. Our extensive economic development partner network consists of federal, state and local business service providers, including chambers of commerce, business and community leaders, workforce training organizations, schools, colleges and universities and government agencies and other partner agencies and representatives as needed.
About the U.S. Economic Development
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.