CHARLESTON – Governor Jim Justice and state economic development officials recently announced the launch of West Virginia BusinessLink, a new online platform where small business owners and entrepreneurs in West Virginia can find resources to support their success.
West Virginia BusinessLink was founded by the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, the Center for Small Business Development and the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.
“I am very proud that under the leadership of the Justice Government we are going to be able to provide a tool to truly help our small businesses and entrepreneurs across West Virginia,” said Mitch Carmichael, secretary of the State Department of Development. economic. . âOur state is home to an incredible community of small businesses and entrepreneurs, and these are huge economic engines. Making sure they have easy access to the support and assistance they need is a top priority. BusinessLink is the tool that makes this possible.
To use BusinessLink, business owners and entrepreneurs can visit wvbusinesslink.com, use the “Connect to Resources” box to find resources in a specific area, explore upcoming training and networking events in the calendar, and find useful information in the âSTART-UP, GROWTHâ section and the âFINANCINGâ tabs.
âBusinessLink is a virtual one-stop shop for state entrepreneurial resources,â said William J. âBillâ Woodrum, coordinator of the WV Entrepreneurship Network. âIf you own or plan to start a business, you can use BusinessLink as an interactive research tool to find the right assistance to solve your business problems. “
In the “Connect to Resources” box, website visitors can answer questions about their business and their needs. BusinessLink analyzes responses, searches the resource partner database, calculates best matches, and responds to the business owner with referrals.
BusinessLink is free and available 24/7. One-on-one appointments to discuss business needs can also be requested by calling 888-982-7232.
Services available from BusinessLink Resource Partners include the following:
â¢ Accelerators and incubators
â¢ Assistance to public contracts
â¢ Operations assistance
âCurrently, BusinessLink has a network of over 100 resource partners,â said Woodrum. âAnd we will continue to expand our list of resource partners. We invite nonprofit, government or educational organizations that serve entrepreneurs and mid-sized businesses to join as resource partners.
Agencies, organizations, and businesses providing services of interest to entrepreneurs in West Virginia can join the network of official resource partners within BusinessLink. The first step is to complete the online registration form at wvbusinesslink.com and describe the company’s services, the types of industries it serves, and its specialties. Membership is free and has the potential to increase connections with entrepreneurs and small business owners.
âWest Virginia BusinessLink was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Development Center used the funding from the CARES Act to create this resource in the hope that it will lead to a more vibrant and productive state economy that could easily bounce back from future recessions, âsaid Debra Martin, director of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center.
âFor some people, the pandemic provided a business opportunity and they decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship. Many companies have also turned to adopt new business models or to seek new opportunities arising from the pandemic, âsaid Martin. âBusinessLink is designed to connect business owners with resources that will help them meet the challenges of today, as well as the challenges that will inevitably come after that. It connects them with the right resources at the right time. Until now, it has been difficult and time consuming to determine which agencies and organizations are available to help small business owners and entrepreneurs. BusinessLink solves this problem and helps position these people and their businesses for long-term success.