If you’re a successful small business owner or entrepreneur, Delegate Bill Hartman wants to talk to you. The goal is to hear from as many successful small businesses and entrepreneurs as possible to learn how they achieved their success, and to determine what hurdles they might have faced that the Legislature can remove to allow small businesses to flourish.

In an effort to foster small business in West Virginia, House Speaker Tim Miley has created a new work group, with the intent of it becoming a standing committee when the legislative session begins. Hartman agreed to serve as a vice-chairman on the committee.

“In this instance, I asked Delegate Hartman to take this position because he brings to the table years of experience as a small business owner and a very active member of his local business community,” Miley wrote in an email.

Hartman owned Hartman Insurance Agency for more than 20 years. All of the House members appointed to the 25-member committee will be current or former small business owners. Hartman will serve as one of two vice-chairmen on the committee, which will consider legislation affecting small businesses.

“Sometimes, small business owners feel overshadowed by big businesses, which are of course very valuable to the state’s economy, as well,” Hartman said. “But small businesses are the backbone of this state. I look forward to encouraging a frank dialogue about what the Legislature should – or shouldn’t be doing – to help create a good business climate.”

The bipartisan committee will meet in different regions of the state through the end of 2014 and hold discussion forums, which members of the public are invited to attend. A schedule for local public forums will be published when available.