Congressman David McKinley toured several Moundsville businesses.
He walked through shops that specialize in everything from floral arrangements to picture framing to work boots.
He learned about everything from selling blue jeans to selling houses.
And he said he got the impression that consumer confidence is up.
“That’s what we want to see, is that kind of confidence,” said McKinley. “That people have money and are spending.”
He said he feels it’s due to Trump administration policies.
“People have more money because of the tax cuts,” he said. “And secondly, coal and gas are coming back strong.”
At Frame & Fortunes, a shop that specializes in picture framing, jewelry and decorative items, the owner says more people are buying this year.
“We’re a luxury, not a necessity,” said Joe Inclan, referring to his merchandise. “When times are tough, people can’t come in here and spend money. But the last year or so, it’s been really good. People have been coming in, and they seem to have extra money to spend.”
Scott Reager, executive director of the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce, cites several reasons for the increase.
“I think they’re seeing an uptick in business in the oil and gas from hopes of the cracker coming in,” Reager noted. “We have some businesses that do a lot of different things and I think people don’t realize what all they do.”
Reager believes small business is on the rise for another reason.
He suspects the big conglomerates have not paid enough attention to customer service.
“Customer service is dying,” said Reager. “But you come into some of these small shops and that’s exactly what you get–customer service.”
Congressman McKinley says the next challenge is clear.
“Our job now–and I want to hear from people–is how it can be sustained and how to make sure that everybody is benefiting from it. Because I’m sure that not everyone has yet benefited from this recovery.”