BECKLEY- According to the newest census report, there are no cities in West Virginia with more than 50,000 people, including Charleston. For many, the focus is on bringing big manufacturers back to the state. But Joe Carlucci is focusing on what he calls the backbone of a community- small businesses. He plans to bring back successful small businesses with programs like Co-Starters Canvas. He’s hoping this 9 week program will provide the supportive network that entrepreneurs need when starting their business.
“If it starts at an organic level, you can start the next manufacturer, out of the HIVE,” said Carlucci. The HIVE is an organization focused on small business growth in Raleigh and Fayette counties. There are also community members like Jim Chambers, who believe that co-starters could give entrepreneurs a chance to grow their business in Beckley.
“People are a lot more than what they really think they are, they just have to have a place to start and that’s what I think Co-Starters could do for our area,” said Chambers. Classes for co-starters canvas are set to begin in late August.