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Business briefs, Tuesday, Oct. 16

Charleston visitors bureau picks marketing agency

The Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau announced it has picked Charles Ryan Associates as its new marketing agency and website development firm.

The selection process involved a request for proposals, a review by a selection committee, and oral presentations by the two top-scoring agencies, Charles Ryan Associates and Stonewall Retail Marketing, the bureau said.

Members of the selection committee: Alisa Bailey, the bureau's chief executive officer; Jack Harrison, Mary Jean Davis and Judy Wellington, members of the bureau's Board of Directors; and John Shaffer, marketing director for Luray Caverns, Va.

Susan Lavenski, managing partner at Charles Ryan Associates, said, "We are elated to be working for the City of Charleston and the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau. This is the city where our company was founded 38 years ago, so it has a great deal of special meaning for us to secure this partnership to work together to promote this destination."

State ranked 23rd in business tax climate

West Virginia's business tax climate ranks 23rd among the states, according to an index compiled by the Tax Foundation.

The index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property.

Neighboring state rankings: Pennsylvania, 19th; Ohio, 39th; Virginia, 27th; Kentucky, 24th; and Maryland, 41st.

The Tax Foundation describes itself as a non-partisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C. More information about the foundation and its business tax climate index is posted online at

After Hours social scheduled for today

Express Employment Professionals will host a Business After Hours business card exchange from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at its offices, 47 RHL Blvd., in The Shops at Trace Fork.

Oktoberfest is the theme. The Steve Himes New Connection will provide live music. Refreshments will be served.

The cost is $10 for members of the South Charleston Chamber of Commerce and $15 for non-members and guests. For more information or reservations call the chamber at 304-744-0051 or email the chamber at



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