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Maintain Business Growth in W.Va.

Our business community in the Mountain State is growing. That trend needs to be maintained.

Statistics reported by West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner suggest the expansion has picked up steam during the past year or so.

During the year between Oct. 1, 2017 and the same date this fall, the state enjoyed a net gain of 5,907 businesses. A total of 81,807 were in operation this Oct. 1.

Here in the Northern Panhandle, growth also has been impressive. On Oct. 1, 2017, there were 5,765 enterprises doing business in Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Tyler and Wetzel counties. A year later, we had gained a net 440 businesses.

No single cause can take credit for the improvement. Tax reform at the federal level helped. General recovery from the “Great Recession” was a factor. Expansion of the energy industry in our region contributed.

So did state-level regulatory reform.

Here in the Mountain State, we can do little about federal policy. The economy in general is beyond our control. But what happens in Charleston is our business.

Gov. Jim Justice and state lawmakers already are in the process of planning for the regular 60-day session of the Legislature next year. Regulatory reform needs to stay on their radar, augmented, if possible, by tax improvements. Let’s keep the current trend going.

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