CHARLESTON – The West Virginia House of Delegates on Wednesday passed two bills aimed at helping specific small businesses.

The bills came about, in part, because of an ongoing listening tour by the House Small Business, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development Committee.

House Bill 4039 contains several administrative rules for state agencies. Among them is a state Department of Agriculture rule regarding the inspection of poultry.

During both of the Listening Tour stops in Clarksburg and Huntington this month, farm owners spoke to the committee about a cap on poultry that was preventing them from expanding their businesses.

“It’s important that we hear directly from small business owners about legislation that is before us,” Committee Chairman Doug Skaff said. “These were issues I was unaware of, but now I am following closely, because I know they will have an immediate positive effect on several small businesses.

Skaff said that after the Clarksburg meeting, he checked on the progress of the rule, and when a farmer mentioned the limit at the next Listening Tour stop in Huntington, he updated him on the bill’s status.

“I did not realize this state requirement existed, but am pleased that a changed is needed because these farmers want to expand their businesses,” Skaff said. “I found it very encouraging.”

Another bill introduced by House Speaker Tim Miley and fellow Harrison County Delegates Ron Fragale and Richard Iaquinta is House Bill 4416, which is meant to add certified professional estimator (CPE) services to the professional services exempt from the sales tax.

“I created the Small Business, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development Committee for this very purpose,” Miley said in a press release. “We want to hear meet these small business owners and learn about how state government may be hindering their progress and how we can help businesses be successful.

“Most of these stories will never garner headlines in the press, but what we have been able to do will significantly benefit these small businesses.”

The Listening Tour will continue following the end of the legislative session.

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