New leadership takes helm at chamber for West Virginia’s fastest growing county

West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. (WDVM) — Berkeley County is West Virginia’s fastest growing county, and it has new leadership at its Chamber of Commerce.

Elizabeth Webster comes to the eastern panhandle with a background in one of the nation’s most dynamic business markets. With prestigious academic credentials and a background working with leaders in the Washington DC city government on business development, Webster takes on that role with the Martinsburg-Berkeley County chamber.

“People can put the money in the local economy and not necessarily order online,” Webster said of “Main Street” businesses. “They can go out to the shops and up and down Main Street and really support the local community and the mom-and-pop stores.”

The region has become a magnet for operations of major international companies like Proctor and Gamble, Clorox and Macy’s.

The presence of these big companies is “just going to increase workforce development here, and it’s going to open a lot of opportunities for people to have jobs that are unemployed and then in turn they’ll have money to spend in the local communities,” Webster said.

Along with a Fortune 500 presence in her market, Webster is cheering on new investment, like one just announced last month.

“At Interwoven Mills, that project is going to offer quite a few jobs for many people and I think it’s one of the most exciting things for downtown,” she said.

“You know,” Webster explained, “the more the downtown grows, the more downtown Martinsburg grows, we fill in all those vacancies, the empty places to lease right now. It will grow. People will come and stay at the bed and breakfasts.”

Attracting tourists from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore by rail is another priority for Webster. She hopes to cut a lot of ribbons in the year ahead. Webster says she will work with Martinsburg Mayor Kevin Knowles to lure new residents downtown, especially with the MARC commuter rail service to and from the Nation’s Capital.

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