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15 W.Va. Entreprenuers Win Total of $85,000 to Grow Local Businesses

courtesy Strong Mountain Communities
Blair Campbell's business The Pretty Penny Cafe was one of the winners of the Strong Mountain Communities Awards

Last week, dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs won cash awards from the Strong Mountain Communities program. 15 winners took home a total of $85,000 in seed capital for their West Virginia-based businesses.

The winners were announced at last week’s West Virginia Good Jobs conference. One of the top awards of $10,000 dollars was given to Joel McKinney of McDowell County for his business proposal to expand his farming business, Roadside Farms, to create a farmer’s market in downtown Welch. 

Other winners include The West Virginia Farmers’ Cooperative, the Pretty Penny café in Hillsboro, a kombucha manufacturer in Huntington, and Homeward Bound Books in Charleston.

The majority of the money came from businesses and donors in the form of conference sponsorships. A large portion of the final pot of money was contributed by the Appalachian Regional Commission. 

Strong Mountain Communities is a division of Coalfield Development Group. The mission of the program is to nurture job creation and economic development in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. 

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