As part of an ongoing effort to help small business owners in West Virginia, House of Delegates leaders have introduced legislation creating the West Virginia Small Business Emergency Act to provide immediate financial assistance in times of emergency.
“We have witnessed first-hand how damaging an emergency such as this water crisis can be to small businesses, many of which remain closed six days into this State of Emergency, ” said Delegate Doug Skaff, chairman of the House Small Business, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development Committee. “We want to create a mechanism that allows the state to offer immediate financial help to small businesses, so owners can take care of looming expenses despite being forced to close for a period of time.”
House Bill 4175 was introduced today in the House of Delegates and referred to the House Small Business, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development Committee, which will take up the legislation during its first meeting at 2 p.m. today.
“This is precisely why the creation of the House Small Business, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development Committee was a top priority for me in my first session as Speaker,” House Speaker Tim Miley said. “Small businesses are the backbone of West Virginia, and this committee stands ready to respond to their needs.”
The legislation allows the governor to provide immediate emergency financial assistance – such as a grant or a no-interest loan – to small businesses located in the areas under a State of Emergency.
“A lot of small businesses during certain times of the year will have cash flow problems, so an event like this water crisis can be devastating,” Miley said. “This will provide a safety net to help them pay their bills and stay in businesses.”
The legislation is the result of discussions by Speaker Miley, House Finance Chairman Brent Boggs, House Majority Leader Harry Keith White and Chairman Skaff.
Audio of the House Small Business, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development Committee meeting at 2 p.m. today in the House Finance Committee Room ,will be streamed on the Legislature’s Live Page: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/live.cfm.