Small businesses are under attack

Published 10:42 am Monday, February 10, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A West Virginia legislator decided to have some fun and get some publicity by offering the Winchester area the opportunity to become a part of West Virginia.

The Senator re-offered the deal that West Virginia had made when they split from Virginia 160 years ago. He reminded folks in the most northwest corner of Virginia that West Virginia never withdrew the option to join those western counties to become West Virginia during the Civil War era. He was better able to understand how very upset Virginians have become with the policy initiatives being offered by the Virginia Democrats.

It appears that the discontent of Virginians was better understood in West Virginia than the modern Democrats in Virginia. Last week, the Governor of West Virginia upped the ante. He, joined by Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, offered the same invitation to any county in Virginia. I’m sure more Virginians will think this is a good idea once they realize all that the Democrats are pushing through on party line votes.

Not to be outdone, Senator Obenshain reminded the Senate that an early agreement of our founding fathers was that Maryland and Virginia gave the federal government 100 square miles to create our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Years later, the federal government decided they didn’t need that much space and returned the Virginia portion back to Virginia. This became the county of Arlington. Obenshain proposed giving Arlington back to Washington to help bring Virginia back into political balance.


Despite opposition, many bills that those in our region disagree with are being passed. We can expect that this course will continue. The Democrats are convinced they won the elections the last couple of years because voters support the policies they are pushing this year.

I tend to believe many of the seats they won were in defiance of the President and had little to do with the items they are pushing. As they continue to argue among themselves which version of the assault on Second Amendment rights they will use, now other issues are targets.

They are focused on ending policies that protect the unborn. I expect they won’t be happy until they make it a drive-thru process. Likewise, they are attempting to remove proof of identity requirements at the polls, as well as working around the Electoral College system that was established in our Constitution to protect the interests of the small states. The bills they are passing affecting business will drive prices up, employment down, and force many small Mom-and-Pop operations out of business.

Few will recognize the Commonwealth of Virginia after all the new laws go into effect on July 1. Fewer small businesses will survive, driving business to national chains.


While many bills I oppose are going through the process, several of mine have been successful in the Senate and might also be approved in the House.

One successful bill builds on the legislation Delegate Marshall and I got passed last year allowing Virginia farmers to grow hemp. In 2019, many farmers tried growing crops, and, in the process, learned much about how to grow, harvest, and sell their crop. This year’s bill better conforms Virginia’s regulation to match the federal emergency regulations. This allows growers to get crop insurance.

Another bill will allow our state distilleries to ship small orders directly in the state. This would allow them to sell directly to entities such as restaurants outside our region where the ABC stores do not carry their products. This should allow our small distilleries to compete against the big companies that are heavily advertised.

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Charlotte in the state Senate. His email address is