Raleigh County is seeing a boom in new businesses. According to the West Virginia business statistics database, Raleigh placed fourth in new businesses registered in May.
“I think a lot of that has to do with the designation of the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve,” Michelle Rotellini, president and CEO of the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce, said.
Over the past 12 months, the number of new businesses has increased by 16.71%.
“We are the hub of commerce in Southern West Virginia. We have three major medical institutions, we have several educational institutions. We are just a hub for commerce,” Rotellini said.
Raleigh County benefits from people in neighboring counties doing business in Raleigh County.
“Our population in Raleigh County is around 72,000, but it is more like a population center of 220,000 because we are fed from a lot of the surrounding counties. They are very rural counties, so a lot of those folks travel to Raleigh County everyday for work and all their consumer needs,” Rotellini said.