Punkin Lee, President of the Middleburg Business & Professional Association and a majority of her Board, appeared before Council to report “that they have been meeting weekly to discuss the building vacancies, bad publicity and the misconceptions of why the buildings were empty” in Middleburg.
Lee noted that the MBPA was actively engaged in trying to address both realities and misconceptions.
They post regularly, she said, on Facebook and Twitter “to tell people that Middleburg was still here and urging people to come.” They are also surveying their member’s concerns and suggestions.
Lee praised Councilmember Littleton for his liaison efforts and regular reporting to the MPBA on what the Town was doing. All agreed, she continued, on the need to establish “a task force consisting of members of their Board, EDAC, and the Council, and to hire a facilitator who could help them pinpoint the problems.
Deltone Moore, the owner of the Popcorn Monkey, told Council that “as a business owner, he had concerns about the empty buildings and the perceived negative publicity. He expressed hope that the boards could work together to accelerate the economic development process.”
Councilmember Littleton Littleton noted, “that if everyone from each organization was asked to identify the number one economic challenge in town, there would be twenty-five different answers, all of which would be right.” He also suggested “everyone making phone calls once a week” to recruit.
Noting “the need to identify ideas for the long-term,” Littleton reported that the MBPA “was excited about doing this and advised that he had a facilitator who could assist” for around $10,000, a cost that could be shared by the MBPA and the Town.