State officials there chose recruitment.
"Put yourself in the place of the local mayor. Where would you rather
have your picture taken? At a groundbreaking for a 100-employee operation
or shaking hands with one of the two owners of a new business?" Waterhouse
Kentucky recently changed its approach and added a "Cabinet for the New
"I think you'll see more and more of that kind of focus because it's a
plants need a different knowledge base than people that are talking about
Wise criticized, as small-business advocates have in the past,
Underwood's tax reform plan, the super tax credit and the Capital Company
Underwood defended his tax reform package. It provides "simpler taxes"
and eases "the heaviest burden on manufacturing," he
Wise disagreed. "It unfairly shifts a lot of the tax burden from the
mining industry ... and shifts it to the kinds of industries we're trying
to develop - service and technology," he
The super tax credit forgives up to 80 percent of taxes for as long as
13 years for business owners who announce 50 to 1,000 new jobs. Grumbles
about the tax credit are not uncommon for staff at the Business &
Industrial Development Corp., said Bill Goode, president.
"We often hear that some of the incentive programs are geared toward
... for an existing company to add 250 new jobs, that's a lot," Goode
Sixty percent to 80 percent of new job growth comes from
existing companies, Goode
During fiscal year 2000, 169 companies
announced new investments in the state; 57 of those were out-of-state
companies, according to the West Virginia Development Office's annual
"Because we have so many small companies in West Virginia, to have a
big impact statewide, each one of those little companies has to add a
person, and that will be as big an impact as bringing in that one new
In his economic development plan posted on his campaign Web
opportunity for existing businesses as well as to attract new businesses."
Rick Clonch, a longtime coal company executive, recently started an
e-commerce exchange for the coal industry, ImixInc. com. In January,
Clonch opened an office in Charleston with one administrative assistant.
In the past six months, he's added 12 employees. By next year, he hopes to
hire another 30 people.
"I think there's a lack of venture capital that's in West Virginia, and
I think whatever can be done and whatever needs to be done - it'd be nice
to see things addressed in the next Legislature regarding the New
West Virginia has a venture capital program called the Capital Company
Act. Since 1987, more than $100 million of state money has been given to
investors who start venture funds. It is debatable whether that money has
produced the type of new job growth for which it was intended.
Wise said he wants to reform the Capital Company Act. He also wants to
high-risk business start-ups.
Underwood responded that Atlanta consultant Mac Holladay is conducting
an in-depth analysis of the state's incentive package and venture capital
office will revise its policies, he
Development office employees have been receptive, but unable to help
Clonch's start-up company. Clonch's biggest challenge is finding workers
"Maybe they [development officials] don't have the capacity because of the
structures of the laws and things of that nature," Clonch
"That's my impression. That their hands are tied and limited because of
the resources and the legislation," he
To contact staff writer Kelly Regan, use e-mail or call 348-5163.