At its November 29 meeting the Town’s Economic Development Advisory Committee expressed its concern “about the loss of [Middleburg] businesses to other towns” and what it described as “the need to fill the commercial vacancies we now have in our downtown.”

As a result, the Committee then requested that Town Administrator Martha Semmes and her staff “draft and forward to [Town] Council” a plan for the establishment of a new “tourism zone” that would serve “to encourage new business investment in Middleburg.”

Such “zones,” the Committee noted, are “geographic areas” defined by local governments within which certain “qualifying tourism-related businesses” could become “eligible for certain incentives” designed to encourage old businesses to expand and new business to locate their operations there.

Current thinking would include ALL land zoned as commercial, C-1, C-2, or C-3, within Middleburg.

Eligible businesses would include: artisan or hand-crafted trade center, commercial lodgings (such as B&B’s or Inns); restaurants with seating for its patrons; indoor theatres; retail stores; and museums.

A business license tax rebate is currently contemplated as the most appropriate “incentive” such businesses to locate or expand their operations here.