Charleston, W.Va. - Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant today continued her work to help West Virginia small businesses and workers hit hard by the recent water crisis.
Secretary Tennant testified before the House Small Business, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development Committee in support of House Bill 4175, the West Virginia Small Business Emergency Act. Secretary Tennant pledged to make approval of emergency rules a top priority in the Secretary of State’s Office and move as swiftly as possible to get businesses the assistance they need. According to the legislation, emergency rules must be drafted to outline the process through which assistance would be distributed.
During her testimony, Secretary Tennant also highlighted Emergency Unemployment Assistance that is available to West Virginia under the Federal Disaster Declaration. Secretary Tennant sent this letter to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today urging his office to make the formal request for assistance as swiftly as possible in order to get workers the support they need.
“I spent days out on the water lines last week talking with folks and handing out water,” Secretary Tennant said. “I met employees at local restaurants like Arby’s and Shoney’s. Many of these folks are making ends meet on minimum wage salaries and tips. Even one day off of work can keep them from making their mortgage payment or paying their daycare bill. We have to act quickly to get these folks the support they need.”
Earlier this week, Secretary Tennant called on West Virginia American Water to provide water credits to small businesses to cover the necessary flushing process, ensuring that their water is safe to use. You can read more here.