Christy Laxton, director of the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority (EDA), will be among the district winners honored during a May 2 awards luncheon, in Fairmont, by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Office.
Laxton has been selected as the West Virginia Small Business Champion of the Year.
She was nominated for the award by Harold Patterson, a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) coach.
“Our EDA is known across the state of West Virginia for our support of small businesses,” Laxton said.
In addition to small business support, the EDA also has loan programs that serve the entire state and a seven-county region in southern West Virginia that includes Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, McDowell, Mercer, and Wyoming counties, Laxton noted.
“I feel that this reputation is what assisted us in being nominated and ultimately selected as the West Virginia Small Business Champion of the Year.
“We have worked with the SBDC since 2001 and have had a great partnership with them and the SBA. We are thankful to have them as partners and to have their resources to share with our small business clients,” she said.
Laxton has been at the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority for 16 years, serving as the executive director for nearly 11 of those years.
She graduated from Concord University with a bachelor of science degree in business administration, accounting and finance.
The SBA award goes to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of small business opportunities, advanced small business interests, worked to improve conditions in the small business community, among other criteria.
“I am honored to receive the award,” Laxton said. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I do though if it weren’t for my staff, Laura Roberts-Lambert and Whitney Bailey. Laura works on our loan closings and does most of those loan closings in-house.
“We all work together on the loan applications and promoting small business opportunities.
“Last year, we started the Business of the Week program and that has been successful in promoting several Wyoming County businesses. We are now doing a Business of the Month to give the local small businesses more advertising time on our website and Facebook page.
“Fiscal Year 2017 was the third largest amount of small business loans that we have closed in a single year since inception (2001).
“For Fiscal Year 2018, we have already approved $310,000 in small business loans.
“I thank God for all that He has provided me with,” Laxton emphasized. “It is a true blessing to do what I do in my hometown.”