FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – Gubernatorial candidate Ben Salango visited Fayetteville today to speak with small business owners and see what they need to thrive.
During his campaign, Ben Salango has made a note to focus on small businesses and helping them survive through the pandemic. To help with this, he’s going all around the state to speak with small business owners to see what they need to thrive.
“We wanna get out and make sure that we’re meeting with small business owners. Small business is the backbone of West Virginia’s economy and so we’re getting out all over the state. Today we’re in Fayetteville meeting with small business owners. We want to hear their concerns, hear what they need. We want to make sure that they are thriving, and so we’re meeting with them all over the state,” Salango said.
Today he went to Fayetteville and stopped at many small businesses, including the iconic Secret Sandwich Society, which was one of the first businesses in Fayetteville that voluntarily shut down at the start of the pandemic. Salango says that a crucial part of helping small businesses right now is making sure they get appropriate funding.
“We need to make sure that we’re getting that CARES Act money out to small businesses, we need to keep them open. There’s $150M reserved of the CARES Act money for small businesses. It’s not nearly enough, but we gotta make sure that the money that has been reserved is actually going out.”
Owner of the Secret Sandwich Society Lewis Rhinehart says that he’s wanting to see the government keep on its promise of forgiveness of PPP loans. Rhinehart used some of his PPP money to guarantee his workers extra pay for putting themselves at risk. And getting those loans forgiven is a must for his business.
“Forgiveness of these PPP loans is gonna be a real linchpin. I think certainly helping out the frontline workers and the small guys that really didn’t have any time off during this. They were out there working, putting themselves at risk,” Rhinehart said.
There is roughly $150M of CARES Act funding going to West Virginia businesses. Salango says he wants to ensure that funding is going to the right places and that small business should be supported as much as possible throughout the pandemic.