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Posts filed under 'In the News'

BELFOR is an Alliance ‘Success Story’

belfor_logoWithin one hour of contacting the Charleston Area Alliance, BELFOR, a world leader in disaster recovery and property restoration, was well on its way to finding the perfect place to locate its newest branch in Charleston.

“BELFOR is a global company. We operate in all 50 states in the U.S., but we did not have a physical presence in West Virginia. It was just a logical choice with the business we were doing to look into expanding there,” said Danny Carter, a BELFOR representative tasked with opening a Charleston branch.

Mike Aeiker, Alliance vice president of real estate services, was happy to provide his expertise.

“Within an hour of our introduction, Danny Carter and I were looking at four possible locations that fit the company’s request for space and needs,” Aeiker said.

It didn’t take long before BELFOR chose to lease a 5,000-square-foot commercial site in Big Chimney.

“If we were designing the building, we couldn’t have set it up any better,” said Rob Bonham, BELFOR’s Charleston general manager.

Throughout the acquisition process, the Alliance provided support and local expertise to BELFOR representatives.

“The Alliance has been incredible. They helped us by not only finding this property, but they helped to guide us through the ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony. They even provided office space for us to have meetings before we had our own office space,” Bonham said.

After months of hard work, BELFOR’s one and only office in West Virginia was revealed in a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 20, 2014.

Leading in restoration and repair, BELFOR restores fire, water and storm damage in businesses and homes across the globe. Ranging from book and document recovery to mold remediation, BELFOR assists commercial and private customers to overcome the consequences of damage quickly and cost-effectively.

With a 35 year history in the business, BELFOR currently employs more than 3,800 people in over 80 locations across the United States.

Its Charleston location provides 10 jobs to local residents, and Bonham said they are always looking for additional, talented employees.

Carter added, “We think it’s going to be a great operation for us.”

To learn more about BELFOR visit www.belfor.com or call their Charleston office at 304-935-4840. – See more at: http://www.charlestonareaalliance.org/economic-development/success-stories/#sthash.egoA03qT.dpuf

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admin in Announcements,In the News on September 23 2014 » 0 comments

Local entrepreneur wins instant cash capital at ‘Thrive’

ThriveLogoThanks to the Charleston Area Alliance, one young entrepreneur now has cash capital for her startup business.

Katie Rugeley, owner of The Initialed Life LLC, defeated seven other businesses earlier this week at “Thrive,” the Alliance’s annual crowdfunding event.

Last month, a blind panel selected eight Kanawha Valley-based entrepreneurs, with five or fewer employees, out of a pool of applicants.

These entrepreneurs each worked with Robinson Creative to produce pitch videos to promote their business and need for crowd funds.

To attend and participate in “Thrive,” community members paid $20 a ticket. In return, they received beverages and food, but more importantly, they got to vote for the entrepreneur that they wanted to support.

The entrepreneur with the most votes received $20 times the number of attendees as cash capital to invest in their business.

Rugeley was the night’s top vote getter. She won $4,200 in cash capital for her business, which specializes in custom monogrammed and embroidered items.

Click HERE to view Rugeley’s pitch video.

With the money, Rugeley plans to buy a second commercial embroidery machine, which will help double her output.

The Alliance is proud to help entrepreneurs earn seed capital for their businesses.

“Thrive” is a program of the Charleston Area Alliance and part of the Innovation driver of its Vision 2030 initiative.

Project partners include Generation Charleston, the Alliance’s young professionals group, Blue Creek Gas Company, Terrell Ellis & Associates, WV Jobs Investment Trust Board, BB&T and Industrial Bolting.

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admin in Announcements,In the News,THRIVE on September 19 2014 » 0 comments

AlignHR shares its ‘Incubator Story’

2-3-10 004As the president of DeemHR, a company focused on human resources solutions for companies, Bernie Deem worked from an office in her home. It was specifically designed for the purpose of meeting her business needs.

But Deem wanted change in her professional life.

She merged her business with WesMar HR Consulting, owned and operated by Sharon Boyce Werdebaugh. They both partnered with Zach Abraham and formed a new company: AlignHR.

With a new company, the group needed some new digs.

Deem said that a home office wouldn’t accommodate the needs of a growing organization like AlignHR.

“When we started discussing AlignHR, I knew that my home office was woefully inadequate for the plans we had,” Deem said. “While my previous clients had been comfortable with the home office arrangement, new clients needed to have a completely different impression of the company.”

The team were very mindful of costs associated with office space. Deem said they needed a new office that would be attractive to clients, but easy on their wallets.

The Alliance’s small business incubator was the perfect fit.

Located at 1116 Smith Street, the incubator offers an affordable office and warehouse environment, along with the guidance and consulting necessary to make sure startups or expanding businesses succeed.

“While keeping our overhead reasonable was a prime motivator, the incubator provided other benefits that just can’t be met when working from home,” Deem said.

“The atmosphere itself gives the message that we are serious business people and having the mail room is enormously convenient for when we’re all on the road.  We don’t have to be on premise to receive packages and that too has been convenient.”

“I also love the free and easy parking,” Deem added. “Because I work some weekends, I love the feeling of being safe because of all the security.”

Abraham said that AlignHR is very happy with its new office.

“We selected the Alliance business incubator space because of amenities like shared conference rooms and the ability to work with other small business professionals,” Abraham said. “The incubator is important in supporting small business growth.”

The operation of the small business incubator is just one of the Alliance’s many efforts in promoting entrepreneurship and creating jobs in the Kanawha Valley region of West Virginia.

Stay tuned for future e-blasts highlighting other successful businesses in our incubator.

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admin in Announcements,In the News on April 03 2014 » 0 comments

Alliance announces new West Virginia Water Sustainability Institute

sinkwaterOn January 9, a chemical leak at Freedom Industries disrupted the lives of 300,000 of our neighbors, including our 600 members and their 40,000 employees. As we emerge from this incident, we are also presented with the opportunity to create a brighter and stronger future for our region.

While no one can undo what happened a month ago, we do have the power to determine which path we take forward. Water is a critical natural resource and West Virginia is blessed with abundant water supplies. However, we must ensure that those supplies remain clean and plentiful.

To that end, the Charleston Area Alliance, along with several regional partners, is working to create a center of innovation for water cleanliness and sustainability at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston.

The mission of the new “West Virginia Water Sustainability Institute” is to develop and commercialize innovative technologies to maintain, improve and protect water supplies throughout West Virginia.

Examples of the work of the institute would include:

  • Commercializing technologies that reduce hazards to fresh water sources
  • Commercializing technologies for rapid identification of water contamination
  • Developing custom solutions to water quality and quantity issues
  • Testing and evaluating technologies that maintain the integrity of the entire water distribution system
  • Providing independent assessments and reviews of potential hazards, technologies, contingency plans, and related water quality issues

While certainly timely, the seeds of this project were planted three years ago with the launch of “Vision 2030,” the Alliance’s 20-year economic development plan. Developed with the input of more than 400 business and community leaders, and engaged citizens, Vision 2030 is a roadmap to an empowered future for the Kanawha Valley. It identifies seven key “drivers” that will provide the foundation for a tomorrow that honors the triple bottom line and brings opportunity and prosperity for all.

The work on Vision 2030 was prophetic. Toffler and Associates, a world-class futurist consultancy, provided input and guidance on the plan and focused us on the mega-trend that is clean water.
Abundant, clean water will present one of the biggest challenges to not only our region, but the entire planet. In fact, by 2025 it is expected that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in water suppressed areas.

In response, Vision 2030 includes a number of water-related strategic goals, including harnessing our research assets, such as the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC), to develop solutions that will make our community cleaner, help industry innovate and create the technologies that support high-value jobs and capital investments right here at home.

We’ve come a long way but have far to go to transform Vision 2030 into a reality. We must all come together to fix any gaps that created the current situation but not miss a step in our advance towards a future that brings promise and prosperity.

Over the course of the coming months, the Alliance, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Chemical Alliance Zone, the West Virginia Regional Technology Park, West Virginia State University, Marshall University, Marshall University Research Corporation, MATRIC and others will be working with government leaders, private supporters and the business community to make this “vision” a reality.

The West Virginia Water Sustainability Institute will develop and commercialize technologies that can be deployed around the world, creating Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) jobs in the Kanawha Valley.

Protecting our own citizens is paramount — creating a better regional economy while accomplishing that goal is smart.

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admin in Announcements,In the News on February 27 2014 » 0 comments

Use Alliance member businesses this Valentine’s Day

heartsValentine’s Day is upon us and Charleston Area Alliance member businesses are ready to help with your professional and personal needs.

From caterers to florists to live entertainment, the Alliance represents a broad range of vendors and professional service providers who can assist you, your company and your family with all facets of your holiday.

We encourage you to support the businesses that are supporting Charleston and our region through their membership in the Alliance.

Our 600 members represent 40,000 employees who collectively are creating jobs, enhancing our community, investing in people – and making a wide investment in their own success.

Turn to them first for your holiday entertaining needs and help build a brighter tomorrow! (For a complete member directory, go to: www.CharlestonAreaAlliance.org)

RESTAURANTS AND CATERERS:

AVI Food Systems Inc.
Adelphia Sports Bar
Bar 101
Bridge Road Bistro
Buffalo Wild Wings Charleston
Marriott Town Center

Chick-fil-A
Chop House
Distinctive
Gourmet

Embassy Suites
Fifth Quarter
First Watch Restaurant/Chelken, Inc.
Golden Corral Restaurant 
Hardings Family Restaurant
Honey Baked Ham Co. 
Fazio’s Restaurant
Kroger
Little Caesar’s Pizza 
Longhorn
Steakhouse

Ms.
Groovy’s Cafe and Catering

Meticulous
Paterno’s at the Park
Pies & Pints
Quarrier Diner
Ramada Charleston Downtown
Red Carpet Lounge
South Hills Market & Cafe
The Liquor Company 
Tidewater Grill
West Virginia Power Catering
Wine Shop at Capitol Market

SPECIAL EVENT VENUES AND HOTELS:

Berry Hills Country Club 
Best Western Charleston Plaza
Brass Pineapple Bed & Breakfast
Capitol Conference Center
Charleston Capitol Hotel
Charleston Civic Center
Charleston Marriott Town Center
Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences
Comfort Inn
Country Inn & Suites-Charleston
Country Inn & Suites – Elkview
Edgewood Country Club
Embassy Suites Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton
Habitat for Humanity John L Dickinson Homeowner Education & Community Center
Hampton Inn-Charleston 
Hampton Inn-Southridge
Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Cross Lanes
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites – Charleston West
Mardi Gras Casino and Resort
Residence Inn by Marriott 
Sleep Inn
Snowshoe Resort Management Inc.
University of Charleston
Waterfront Place Hotel
West Virginia State University 
Wingate by Wyndham – Charleston
Woman’s Club of Charleston

FLORISTS:

Charleston
Cut Flower

Winter
Floral & Antiques, LLC

Young
Floral Company

PERFORMING ARTS & ENTERTAINERS:

Appalachian Children’s Chorus, Inc.
Charleston
Ballet

Clay
Center for the Arts & Sciences

Pennington
Project Band

West
Virginia Symphony Orchestra

SPECIALTY ITEMS AND PRINTERS:

Champion
Output Source Group

Charleston
Blueprint, Inc.

CROWNMAX,
Inc.

Dunbar
Printing & Graphics, LLC

Image
By Design

Morgantown
Printing

Systematic
Copier Corporation

TGraphics

PHOTOGRAPHERS:

Greg
Henshall Photography

Stacy
Jarrell Photography

White
Oak Photography

SHOPPING AND RETAIL:

Art
Emporium

Calvin
Broyles Jewelers

Chet
Lowther Studio

Contemporary
Galleries of WV

Delfine’s
Jewelry

Gallery
Eleven

Green’s
Feed & Seed

House
of Luxe

Ivor’s
Trunk

Mattress
Warehouse – MacCorkle

Mattress
Warehouse – Riverwalk

Mission
Savvy

Modern
by Design

Office
Depot

One
Stop

Savvy
Chic Boutique & Consignment

Sodaro’s
Electronic Sales & Service

Stray
Dog Antiques

Taylor
Books

The
Purple Moon

Tony
the Tailor

To see a full list of Charleston Area Alliance members, alphabetically or
by category, click HERE.

 

 

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admin in Announcements,In the News on February 10 2014 » 0 comments

SBA and United Way helping to get “Back to Business, Charlie West”

backinbizCWVcroppedDuring the recent water situation, many businesses and employees may have faced financial hardships.

Now the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) and the United Way of Central West Virginia are offering tools to help these individuals recoup lost income and revenue.

The SBA responded to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s request for assistance and is offering Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes.

The loans are intended to help businesses meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the water situation.

For more information and application rules, please click HERE.

The United Way is managing the West Virginia Emergency Fund, which will assist affected residents who suffered from lost wages and reduction of work hours as a result of the water situation.

Persons who make $13.46 per hour or less than $28,000 per year and lost wages as a result of the water issue are eligible to apply for this one-time assistance.

For more information on the WV Emergency Fund, click HERE.

To date, the fund has grown to over $80,000.

The Charleston Area Alliance will continue to notify businesses and residents of any financial assistance or other programs, as a result of the recent situation, through our “Back to Business Charlie West” campaign.

For more information, search for the hashtag #BacktoBizCWV on social media.

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admin in Announcements,In the News on January 31 2014 » 0 comments

Alliance proud to sponsor Restaurant Week Jan.27-Feb. 1

cwv-rest-week-logo-vert-hashtagThe Charleston Area Alliance is proud to be one of the sponsors for Charleston Restaurant Week, which will be held Jan. 27-Feb. 1.

The event will feature eight participating restaurants offering special three-course menus for only $30.

Restaurant Week is modeled after similar events in other cities. It’s a great opportunity to dine at some of Charleston’s finest restaurants for one low price.

Some Alliance members will be featured attractions during Restaurant Week including:

Bridge Road Bistro
Ichiban/Bar 101
Paterno’s at the Park
South Hills Market and Cafe

For a full lineup of restaurants and other event information, click HERE. On social media, get updates by following the hashtag #CWVRestWeek.

Restaurant Week provides a great opportunity to try a new spot or enjoy a nice meal at an old favorite.

The Alliance hopes you will attend this exciting new event and support the local restaurant industry.

Back to Business Charlie West

As water is restored to the Charleston area, residents and businesses are demonstrating the great resiliency for which West Virginians are known by picking up right where they left off. Businesses are reopening, people are going back to work and children will soon be back in school.

The Charleston Area Alliance encourages all businesses and residents to let the world know that nothing can keep us down by participating in the “Back to Business Charlie West” campaign.

Businesses should use the following Twitter hashtag to let their followers know that they have reopened: #BacktoBizCWV. Workers can let their friends know they’re back on the job with the same hashtag. Shoppers and diners can express their appreciation for businesses impacted by the water crisis using the hashtag.

Stickers and printed posters will be available at the Alliance offices in the next few days. Individuals are invited to display the same flyers in their windows at home.

Click HERE to download a PDF version of the logo.

Another campaign is ongoing to support restaurant workers affected by the water spill crisis. For more information on the “Turn Up the Tips” campaign, please click HERE.

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admin in Announcements,Events,In the News on January 15 2014 » 0 comments

Alliance launches “Back to Business Charlie West” campaign

backinbizCWVcroppedAs water is restored to the Charleston area, residents and businesses are demonstrating the great resiliency and for which West Virginians are known by picking up right where they left off. Businesses are reopening, people are going back to work and children will soon be back in school.

The Charleston Area Alliance encourages all businesses and residents to let the world know that nothing can keep us down by participating in a “Back to Business Charlie West” campaign.  The campaign features a logo, media outreach, Facebook, Twitter and other social media communications, and upcoming educational forums to help companies get back to business.

We invite businesses, whether they were closed or not, to display the attached flyer in their windows as a sign of solidarity with their community.  Stickers and printed posters will be available at the Alliance offices in the next few days.  Individuals are invited to display the same flyers in their windows at home.

Click HERE to download a PDF version of the logo.

Businesses should use the following Twitter hashtag to let their followers know that they have reopened: #BacktoBizCWV. Workers can let their friends know they’re back on the job with the same hashtag.  Shoppers and diners can express their appreciation for businesses impacted by the water crisis using the hashtag.

“When things can look their worst, West Virginians are at their best.  We couldn’t be prouder of our community, and as the region’s economic and community development organization, as well as the largest regional chamber of commerce in West Virginia, we’re committed to helping our businesses and people get back to work,” said Alliance President/CEO Matt Ballard.

 

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admin in Announcements,In the News on January 14 2014 » 0 comments

Flushing instructions from WV American Water

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admin in Announcements,In the News on January 13 2014 » 0 comments

Alliance statement on WV State of Emergency

ALLIANCEThe Charleston Area Alliance salutes the federal, state and local officials and agencies, along with businesses, our utilities, non-profits and individuals, working around the clock to keep our communities and citizens safe during this challenging time. The current situation has caused many businesses to close, and owners and employees are experiencing uncertainty.

As the region’s economic, business and community development organization, as well as the largest regional chamber of commerce in West Virginia, we affirm our role as a partner and advocate for our business members and the community as a whole.

We continue to monitor the situation and in the days ahead, we will explore the need for educational sessions and informational resources to help our region get back to business.

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admin in Announcements,In the News on January 12 2014 » 0 comments