Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant announced this week that any business affected by the June 23 floods within West Virginia\u2019s 12 FEMA federal disaster declaration counties that has not been able to file its 2016 annual report will not have to pay a late fee. State code mandates a late fee be collected for businesses filing their report after the deadline, July 1, 2016. Tennant asked Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to approve a late fee waiver under his emergency powers and he did so.\r\n\u201cWe know that our flood-affected businesses are focused on both rebuilding and helping their neighbors right now, and we did not think it fair for them to have to pay the late fee,\u201d Tennant said. \u201cI thank Governor Tomblin for supporting my request. This is just one thing we can do to help lessen the burden on those small businesses affected by this devastating disaster.\u201d\r\nThe 12 counties that are part of FEMA\u2019s federal disaster declaration and were listed as State of Emergency counties on the July 1 deadline are: Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Roane, Summers and Webster.\r\nA flood-affected business in any of these counties that has not yet filed its annual report should call the Secretary of State\u2019s Office at 304-558-8000, use the online chat feature or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Late fee waivers for businesses affected by the floods are not available through the online business portal, http:\/\/business4wv.com.\r\nBusinesses across West Virginia have until Oct. 31 to file their annual report in order to remain in good standing with the Secretary of State\u2019s Office.