Charleston, W.Va. - Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant took action today to help West Virginia small businesses and workers hit hard by the water emergency impacting nine West Virginia Counties. Tennant has been visiting with folks and helping hand out water since Friday at distribution centers including at Riverside High School and the Charleston Fire Station on the city’s East End.
Secretary Tennant is calling on West Virginia American Water Company to provide small businesses with water credits to cover the cost of flushing – comparable to the company’s plans to provide credits to residential customers.
Secretary Tennant, herself a small business owner before being elected Secretary of State, is also urging legislative leaders to include relief not only for businesses but also the workers they employ in the Small Business Relief Fund legislation being debated this week. Tennant said she is supportive of that legislation.
“More than 96 percent of West Virginia’s economy depends on small businesses, and we’ve got to take action to support the business owners who support our state,” Secretary Tennant said. “And, of course, the success of our businesses depends on the hard-working West Virginians they employ. I’ve visited with many of our workers out on the water lines, and I know that even one day out of work can keep them from making rent or paying their bills - especially our restaurant employees making ends meet on minimum wage and tips. I’m calling on American Water and our legislature to do right by our businesses and workers, and get folks the support they need.”
As Secretary of State, Tennant has helped small businesses by lowering late filing fees for annual reports and made it easier to file important paperwork on time.
Click here to read the letter sent to WVAW President Jeff McIntyre
Click here to read the letter sent to West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler
Click here to read the letter sent to West Virginia House Speaker Tim Miley