Thirty West Virginia companies that grew their business by exporting a good or service to a new country last year were recognized by state officials in a virtual ceremony on Aug. 26.

During the event, each business received the Governor’s Commendation for International Market Entry Award, which is given to companies that made their first sale to a new country in the previous calendar year.

“From the bottom of my heart and with the gratitude of all those across our great state, I congratulate each and every one of these 30 West Virginia companies,” Governor Jim Justice said. “Keep making West Virginia shine for the whole world to see. I’m so proud!”

Exports are an important component of West Virginia’s growing economy. In 2019, the state’s exports were valued at $5.9 billion.

“West Virginia businesses have been innovating and diversifying our economy for many years now and we want to recognize them for helping our state compete in the global marketplace and become an even better place for people to live, work and play,” West Virginia Department of Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch said. “Every time a West Virginia business expands into a new market, we share a little bit of what makes the Mountain State so special.”

Since 2002, more than 2,200 export awards have been presented to more than 170 companies for selling products to nearly 200 countries. This year, West Virginia businesses from 17 counties received the award for exporting goods and services to 60 countries.

“It takes big ideas and a lot of hard work to reach a new market and everyone here at the Development Office is committed to helping our state’s exporters find success around the globe,” executive director of the West Virginia Development Office Mike Graney said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the award presentation was conducted in a virtual format and included congratulatory remarks from several state officials, including Governor Justice, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Senator Joe Manchin, and EXIM Chair and President Kimberly Reed. Awards were given to the following businesses:

• Cabell County – Rubberlite; Steel of West Virginia, Inc.; Wilson Welding Company

• Greenbrier County – Ezebreak, LLC

• Hancock County – Chestnut Hill Candle Company

• Hardy County – Peacock Manufacturing Company, LLC

• Jackson County – J&M Industrial, Millwood – Product/Service: Buying and Selling Industrial Equipment; Country Product/Service Exported To: El Salvador, Costa Rica, Brazil

• Jefferson County – C2M Consulting, LLC; Growth Media Productions; Schonstedt Instrument Company

• Kanawha County – Belle Chemical; Billow Global, Inc.; DRK Studios; Hernshaw Farms, LLC; Industrial Bolting Technologies, Inc.

• Marion County – TMC Technologies of West Virginia

• Marshall County – Best Business Strategies

• Mason County – APG Polytech, LLC; North American Consulting Services, Inc.

• Mineral County – Thermo Tech, Inc.

• Ohio County – Direct Online Marketing; Legacy Truck Centers, Inc.; TROY Group, Inc.

• Morgan County – Caperton Furnitureworks; Washington Homeopathic Products

• Putnam County – Multicoat Products, Inc.

• Raleigh County – Coal Fillers, Inc.

• Tucker County – Nellie Rose Textiles

• Pro Poly of America, Inc.

• Wood County – Kreinik Manufacturing, Inc.