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Bill helps local firms

By Staff | Oct 15, 2010

Eric White, owner of Blue River Clothing, displays all natural garments at his East German Street store. (Chronicle photo by Jennifer Wabnitz)

Shepherdstown residents enjoy a variety of small businesses – unique shops, restaurants, artists and journeymen. Operating a successful small business takes a combination of customers, timely products and ability.

On Sept. 23 the United States House passed the Small Business Jobs Bill. This bill will make $30 billion available to community banks to lend to small businesses, give relief from small business penalties and provide some tax cuts.

“Small businesses are the absolute lifeblood of West Virginia – they provide much needed jobs and keep our local economies and communities going strong,” said U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, in a press release.

The National Small Business Administration’s economic profile of West Virginia lists 123,422 small businesses, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the total West Virginia work force. National SBA’s administrator Karen Mills issued a press release that stated, “Passing this bill is a key step forward in making sure the small businesses have the resources they need to do what they do best – create jobs and drive the economic growth.”

Sen. Rockefeller added, “This bill is a major accomplishment – it will provide tangible relief for our state’s small business owners who have been struggling during these tough economic times.”

When local store owner Eric White was asked about the tough economy, he said, “All I need is a break in taxes and more customers.”

White and his wife opened Blue River Clothing at 123 East German St. almost three years ago. They have two part-time employees. They call themselves a lifestyle store. White likens it to shopping for organic groceries.

“You know it’s going to cost a little more, but it’s ultimately better for everybody.”

Their main product is natural fiber clothing. They also carry accessories: shoes, handbags and jewelry. Their house ware selection includes bamboo children utensils, stainless steel ice cube trays and much more. There really is something for everyone.

The National SBA states that small businesses drive the economy. White evaluated his cash flow and determined one thing.

“When a customer spends $100 at the Blue River Clothing store, $68 of those dollars stay right here in West Virginia.”

For more information about their store, visit www.blueriverclothing.com.