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The Upshur County Commission at its April 28 meeting proclaimed May 1-7, 2022, as National Small Business Week locally. Pictured, from left, are commissioner Sam Nolte, Dr. Joseph Reed, B-U Chamber of Commerce executive director Tammy Reger, UCDA director Jennifer Bostian, commission president Kristie Tenney and commissioner Terry Cutright. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Commission allocates $5,000 ‘shot in the arm’ for 80th annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission voted to give the West Virginia Strawberry Festival $5,000 in support of the 80th annual berry extravaganza.

Commissioners received a request from West Virginia Strawberry Festival Board President Shane Jenkins to reconsider allocating the money from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act 2021 funding or from the general county budget.

Jenkins first appealed to the county for $5,000 in funding in January 2022, and the April 28 meeting agenda noted the commission had previously considered the request at its regularly scheduled Feb. 10, 2022, meeting. Although the commission allocated $5,000 in the 2022-2023 fiscal year during its budget session in March 2022, that money would only apply to the 2023 festival — not the 2022 festival – because the fiscal year does not end until June 30.

Commissioner Sam Nolte noted the commission thought it best to pull the money from the general county budget.

“I believe we give them $5,000 out of the [annual budget] almost every year,” Nolte said. “This is mainly because the festival hasn’t had any carnival revenue for the last two years, and they definitely needed a shot in the arm. This year, hopefully, we’ll get a big crowd and they’ll get back on our feet, but they need help.”

Nolte said the festival is a well-established week of fun for residents and visitors alike.

“At this point, that’s good for the community,” he said. “The Strawberry Festival is like a vacation to a lot of folks; they look forward to it every year, so it’ll be good for the community to get back to some normalcy and we’re happy to help.”

Prior to adjourning, the commission also took the following actions:

  • Approved a request from Greg Woody to hire Roberta Huffman as a full-time seasonal cook/supervisor at the Upshur County Youth Camp, starting May 2, 2022.
  • Approved a request from Donna Matthews to remain on the Upshur County Fire Board as a community representative for the first magisterial district.
  • Accepted the resignation of Carrie Wallace from the Upshur County Development Authority Board of Directors, effective April 30, 2022.
  • Proclaimed May 1-7, 2022 as National Small Business Week in Upshur County and encourage all government agencies, private organizations and citizens to shop locally to “build a stronger, more resilient community and nation.” That proclamation appears in full below:

PROCLAMATION — NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

WHEREAS, America’s strongest economic growth in almost 40 years has been driven by the resilience of our small businesses who, despite a world-wide pandemic, continue to pioneer innovative solutions to our country’s greatest challenges and create opportunities for families and workers; and

WHEREAS, from the storefront shops that anchor our historic Main Street, to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge to the small manufacturers driving our competitiveness on the global stage, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our nation’s promise; and

WHEREAS, when we support small business, we’re supporting our friends and neighbors, jobs are created, and the unique culture of our community is preserved; and

WHEREAS, because 32.5 million small businesses in America create nearly two thirds of the jobs in our economy, we cannot resolve ourselves to spur economic growth here, or throughout our nation, without discussing ways to support our entrepreneurs; and

WHEREAS, the City of Buckhannon has a long legacy of being known as a business-friendly municipality, and continues to support our small businesses by honoring a $1 million dollar exemption in our business and occupation tax;

WHEREAS, the President of the United States has proclaimed National Small Business Week every year since 1963 to highlight the programs and services available to entrepreneurs through the U.S. Small Business Administration and other government agencies; and

WHEREAS, the City of Buckhannon supports and joins in this national effort to help America’s small businesses do what they do best – grow their business, create jobs, and ensure that our local communities remain as vibrant tomorrow as they are today.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Upshur County Commission, in a regularly scheduled meeting April 28, 2022 hereby proclaims May 1-7, 2022 National Small Business Week in Upshur County and calls on government agencies, private organizations and citizens to shop locally to build a stronger, more resilient community and nation.

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