Rahall Meets with Regional Farmers’ Co-op on Expanding Business

From a Rep. Nick Rahall Release

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – During a visit to Huntington’s Southern States Cooperative, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) encouraged continued community support for the local outlet and discussed plans by the West Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to assist the Cooperative in meeting changing market conditions.


“Southern States fulfills important needs in our regional economy.  I have asked our local SBDC team to look into how they might assist the Cooperative to meet the challenges of a shifting market so that Southern States can keep on serving the needs of local farmers and gardeners,”  said Rahall.  “First and foremost, Southern States employees possess an unsurpassed wealth of knowledge and expertise that have long assisted patrons in boosting their productivity and ultimately our economic bottom line.   And since its Huntington location serves patrons throughout the region, losing this store would force long-time customers to travel much greater distances for the products upon which they rely.”


Amber Wilson and Steve Johnson with Huntington’s SBDC have developed a five-pronged business assistance plan to help the local Southern States Cooperative increase sales through community support and new marketing efforts.  By diversifying Southern States’ product line and employing industry profiles to help project future sales growth, SBDC representatives hope to enhance the Cooperative’s financial outlook.


“Pairing SBDC’s technical financial expertise with Southern State’s substantial agricultural expertise is the type of teamwork needed to reenergize our economy these days,” said Rahall.  “SBDC has put together some sensible goals, using proven business tools that can build positive results.    This type of expertise and data compiled by the public sector offers multiple benefits to the private sector and which is why I strongly support investment in this type of human infrastructure that strengthens business growth and job creation.”


Rahall has consistently defended federal funding for the U. S. Small Business Administration and its many programs to assist West Virginia business and industry through the current budgetary fights in the Nation’s Capital.   He fought to stave off the adverse financial effects of sequester-related budget cuts in SBA’s programs. As well, Congressman Rahall has long rejected proposals to do away with agencies like the SBA, recognizing their value to small businesses striving to compete in today’s global marketplace.


“As a former small businessman, I understand the dynamics of competition.   With the threat of foreign competitors growing each day, simply keeping pace with current market needs isn’t enough.  Today, American businesses must continually outpace the competition on every level.  SBA and its solutions are tremendous assets in which the American People have invested.  We should not shortchange the Nation’s economy and West Virginia’s families and jobs by cutting the programs that have proven themselves.”       

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