Community, Town Meeting

Community Meetings Set Held

Advantage Valley’s FASTER WV Program announces dates for community meetings in Clendenin, Gassaway, Clay, and Sutton. These meetings will provide recommendations for each community from the recently released “Elk River Trail Towns Plan,” and information to anyone wanting to open or expand a business and learn about the FASTER WV Entrepreneurship Program. Bryan Shaw and Tyler Brandstetter, from FASTER WV, will be present to discuss free one-on-one business coaching, technical assistance, mini-grants, and loans.
The Braxton County Development Authority and the Elk River Trail Foundation sponsored and recently released the “Elk River Trail Towns Plan” to help these communities take full advantage of the economic development potential of the new Elk River trail system, which includes the Elk River Trail (73.3 miles of rail trail and 18 miles of rails-with-trail) running along the 102-mile Elk River Water Trail. For the Elk River region, invigorated national interest in outdoor recreation, especially hiking and biking, presents major opportunity. The study finds that the Elk River Trail Towns could reasonably attract 150,000 visitors per year on average and anticipates $250 million in new sales activity over the next 15 years. The report estimates that spending in Sutton, Gassaway, Clay and Clendenin may result in over $390 million in regional economic activity, supporting 195 full-time and part-time jobs across different sectors of the economy.
Advantage Valley’s FASTER WV Program assists new business owners in critical new business development. FASTER will present local workshops, offer free business coaching to individuals as they consider and start opening businesses to support the tourism industry and trail development, and provide access to capital for new start-ups. Since its inception, the FASTER WV program has served over 376 clients with over 3,291 hours of coaching, 52 new businesses have been created, 66 businesses have been improved, $231,000 in loans have been made, and $575,960 has been leveraged in additional private investment.
To learn more about FASTER WV, please go to or call Bryan Shaw at (304)-352-1165.

January Community Meeting Schedule

Clendenin: January 10th
6:00 PM at the Community Building

Gassaway: January 12th
6:00 PM at the Community Building

Clay: January 17th
6:00 PM at the
Fairview Baptist Temple Fellowship Hal

Sutton: January 24th
6:00 PM at the Sutton -Fire Department
Annex Building – Old Fisher Auto Parts