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Pushing The Panhandle

Are you taking a trip to Washington, D.C. anytime soon?  Keep an eye out for posters on buses and the Metro, the subway system, about West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.

It’s part of a marketing initiative created by the Western Potomac Economic Partnership which is made up of leaders in Berkeley, Hampshire, Jefferson and Morgan counties.

Over the past two and half years, WestPEP has received more than $90,000 in state funding to market the Eastern Panhandle.

"[We’re trying to] raise the awareness of the Washington, D.C. business community to the Eastern Panhandles proximity and business friendly environment," according to Steve Christian, the Executive Director of the Berkeley County Development Authority.

The goal is to lure companies and investments from the D.C. market to West Virginia.

To reach as many people as possible, a large part of the state funding is going towards a high profile blitz campaign.

"We have thousands of posters in the Washington, D.C. Metro, both in the stations and on the Metro cars themselves, highlighting business attributes of the Eastern Panhandle, the close proximity to a great business climate."

Then there are the ads in the Washington Business Journal.

Christian says the marketing will, hopefully, pay off down the road when companies, house hunters and even tourists are looking at areas just outside D.C.

"[In the] long term, we hope to have the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia consistently included in the thought process of folks who are considering the greater Washington area," says Christian.

The tag line in each of the advertisements says "It’s Closer Than You Think.”

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