The local economy is on the rise and according to some leading experts, small businesses are leading the effort. On March 29, the Charleston Area Alliance hosted its annual Charleston Business Showcase. The event is the premier venue for raising a company’s visibility, making new connections and forging relationships with clients and community leaders.
Presented by the Alliance and Frontier Communications, the event is held in conjunction with the Alliance’s monthly Business After Hours and hosted at the Charleston Marriott Town Center. Demonstrating their belief in the future and commitment to our community, more than 30 regional businesses highlighted their products and services to 200 plus attendees.
At the event, optimism about the economy was a central issue that was discussed. West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Keith Burdette kicked off the event with a speech laden with positive economic news. Burdette reported that thousands of jobs are being created in the state and how drops in the state’s business franchise and corporate net income taxes are helping the effort.
Plenty of positive economic news came from businesses participating in the showcase and the event’s attendees. Terradon Communications Group (TCG), a local company that provides high-end technology website solutions, hired three new employees in the past four weeks, bringing its total number of employees to 16. The hires were made after the company received a Workforce Training Grant from the Governor’s Guaranteed Workforce Program via the WV Development Office.
“The market appears to be recovering and as a result we have seen an overall increase in business which has opened the opportunity for us to hire additional staff,” said TCG President Brent Pauley. “We are hoping the trend will continue and we will be able add more staff in the coming months.”
T-Graphics, a local producer of screen printed and embroidered clothing, is also going through an economic upswing. Claudette Hudson-Rider, the company’s president, said sales volume grew throughout most of 2011 and the company ended the year up 6 percent from 2010.
So far in 2012, the company has seen double digit growth through the first quarter of the year.
”I am confident that 2012 will prove a return of overall sales to pre-recession levels,” Hudson-Rider said.
She added that because of the recent economic upswing, T-Graphics has rewarded its employees.
“It’s always a team effort from start to finish at T-Graphics and to thank the employees for a wonderful first quarter they received a bonus in their most recent paycheck,” Hudson-Rider said. “It’s my way of saying thank you for their increased efforts to create the double digit growth that we are currently experiencing.”
The 2012 Charleston Business Showcase was an exciting event filled with dozens of exhibitors and hundreds of visitors featuring the best and brightest of small businesses in the Kanawha Valley.
Dennis Bloss, area general manager for Frontier Communications, said the company was proud to sponsor the Showcase.
“Frontier is thrilled to be able to support the Charleston Area Alliance in showcasing our local businesses,” Bloss said. “Business is alive and well in Charleston and Frontier is proud to provide the tools and services needed to help these entrepreneur’s grow their businesses to new levels of success.”
Thanks to all of our 2012 exhibitors for their participation
Appalachian Children’s Chorus
Charleston Marriott Town Center
ContactPointe IT Services
Employers Innovative Network
Express Employment Professionals
Greater WV Better Business Bureau
Honeybaked Ham Co. + Cafe
Imagine This Banners
Just Beneath the Surface
Kanawha City Coin Laundry
Kanawha County Public Library
Marshall University Career Services
Ramada Inn Downtown
Ramsey Insurance Agency
Securitas Security Services
West Virginia Power
WV Small Business Development Center