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Chamber Signs Contract

By Staff | Jan 19, 2011

Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Board President Don Riggenbach, center, signs a contract with Valley Ventures Chair and Founder Mike Stream, left, and Executive Director Lou Stein, right, for economic development planning services.

The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Board President Don Riggenbach met with Valley Ventures Chair and Founder Mike Stream and Lou Stein, executive director, to sign the contract to kick off the economic development planning process that will begin immediately in New Martinsville as the test site for Wetzel County.

Valley Ventures, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization formed and managed by a board of business and professional men and women. This innovative organization assists entrepreneurs and small business owners to start or expand their businesses throughout the Upper Ohio Valley region.

Valley Ventures provides businesses with critical hands-on technical assistance, financial resources, business education, and important business-to-business networking.

Valley Ventures also networks with existing private organizations and public agencies to provide additional business support for existing business programs in the region.

The chamber is also working on a grant that will hire a part-time economic developer to work along-side Stein to learn the process of developing master economic development plans which will then be replicated in the other municipalities throughout the county. “We are excited about this new endeavor and have high expectations that new businesses will be started or expanded and that the county will see an increase in jobs because of this project,” said Riggenbach.

Planning meetings will begin as early as this week and the process of developing the master plan will continue for the next several months. A public meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 31, 7 p.m., at the New Martinsville City Building. Residents are encouraged to attend to learn more about this exciting new program.

The current Valley Ventures service territory includes Jefferson County in Ohio, and Hancock, Brooke, and Ohio counties in West Virginia and now adding Wetzel County to its roster. This area represents a population of nearly 175,000 people and 4,400 businesses.

In the future, Valley Ventures anticipates growing the organization to include several more contiguous counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.