In the shadow of the West Virginia Economic Outlook Conference being held in Charleston on Thursday, two new businesses opened their doors in the Kanawha Valley.
Big Al's Barber Shop is located at Jefferson Road Plaza, behind Blues Barbeque. The owner, Mark Allison, said that he had always wanted to go into business for himself. "You know, I had enough experience and I wanted to do my own thing. I wanna be, you know, the boss. And in case I wanted to take a day off, I could. But you know, I couldn't have done any of this without my lord and savior and my beautiful wife, Ersela. And you know, it's great. Life's good," said Allison.
The shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1p.m.
Meanwhile, On Pointe Dancewear held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning. It's located at 702 Jefferson Road in South Charleston, right across the street from the West Virginia State Police headquarters.
The store caters to young dancers. Owners said that the new business venture is designed, in part, to give them more time to spend with those who matter most. "It's a family business that we thought we could do with our daughters, to let us kinda hang out with them. We want to do personalized; so we get to know our customers and try to make it feel homey," said Morgan and Mindy Tolbert, who own the store.
On Point Dancewear is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
President Jeffrey Lacker of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond spoke Thursday at the West Virginia Economic Outlook Conference. He says employers and consumers alike operate under an immense cloud because of the impasse over federal debt and the budget.
Lacker said businesses most often mention uncertainty about federal tax and spending policy when they explain why they're not hiring or investing.
With the election behind us, Lacker said convincing action on those should propel 2013's economic growth beyond the 2 percent he's projected.
Lacker has recently opposed keeping interest rates low. He called such efforts lazy steps that overplay the role monetary policy can play in economic growth.