At 9 a.m. on one Tuesday every month, eight local business and nonprofit leaders shake hands, debate funding requests, and share their visions for the economic future of the Town.
Four years ago, Mayor Betsy Davis formed this group, which is called the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC). It answers directly to the Town Council with express recommendations for funding, special events, and improving the Middleburg economy.
Amid the vacancies in Town, the Committee has been working on helping small businesses open shop and stay open through tax relief and other economic incentives. Many members of the Committee, including Sean Martin from Boxwood Winery, have been vocal advocates for the Town doing more to promote a healthy business environment.
But it’s not all about business. Chairman Vincent Bataoel says that “the Committee is on the hunt to strike the right balance between community and economic development. When we’re thinking about the economy, the needs and interests of our locals have to come first.”
This year, the Committee has received and made recommendations on funding requests for community events including Shakespeare in the Burg, the Middleburg Concert Series at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, the NSLM Open Late Concert Series, the 4th of July Fireworks, the Middleburg Film Festival, and the Christmas in Middleburg Parade.
There is also buzz in the air about some new events on the horizon, such as a performance of Deep in the Forest with the Loudoun Ballet Performing Arts Company this October, and a potential Taste of Middleburg food and music fest, scheduled for next year.
According to Bataoel, “We’re cracking the code on what it means to be sustainable within a rapidly developing Loudoun County. I love to see visitors enjoying the town, but I don’t want to see us become a tourist town. There’s a big difference between the two.”
The Economic Development Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public. The next one is scheduled for Tuesday, July 25th at 9 am in the Town Office.
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