November 12, 2013
Planting the seed corn is an important step
For decades, state government’s economic development efforts in West Virginia have concentrated on public money, often investing in projects that had less than solid business plans.
Was a payphone company really a good idea at the dawn of the cellphone revolution?
On Wednesday, the state took a step toward a better plan as Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced the formation of an Angel Fund, in which private investors pool their money together to help new and expanding businesses. These investors will provide the seed corn that will provide the next crop in commerce.
Other states have had good results with similar funds.
At its website, the Angel Fund outlines the four things investors seek:
This is an excellent development that is long overdue.
The government’s role in economic development is limited to providing infrastructure: schools, highways and airports, for example.
Indeed, the best thing the state can do is rein in the excesses of its own such as over-licensing, unnecessary regulations and a civil justice system that is hostile to businesses.
But helping accommodate private investment in companies that are here or are starting up definitely is a role that Gov. Tomblin should embrace, and has.
— Charleston Daily Mail, W.Va. (MCT)