Loudoun Economic Development received three awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), recognizing excellence in business development and marketing efforts.
“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day”, said 2020 IEDC Board Chair and One Columbus CEO Kenny McDonald.
“We are very proud of these recognitions and the value that our programming provides to the community. Two things that each of these three awards have in common are that they were collaborative with other departments and organizations, and they are driven by the needs of the #LoudounPossible business community,” Loudoun Economic Development Executive Buddy Rizer explained. “Especially at times of economic uncertainty, Loudoun’s ability to pivot resources to where they are needed most is key to our success.
“These awards are third-party validators of our commitment to the business and the citizens of Loudoun County.”
Gold Rank for Multimedia/Video Promotion: The “Loudoun Is Ready” pledge campaign, a collaborative effort among Loudoun Economic Development, Visit Loudoun and the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, was recognized for its community engagement.
The pledge campaign was designed to help businesses reopen safely from the COVID-19 lockdown, providing guidance on CDC and Virginia Health Department safety measures and boosting the confidence of consumers.
To date, more than 700 businesses and organizations have taken the pledge, receiving best practice guidance, branded signage, stickers and floor markers, and marketing support to help signal that Loudoun is open and prepared. Learn more at LoudounIsReady.com.
Silver Rank for Special Event: The Loudoun Virtual Spring Farm Tour was a new twist on the annual Spring Farm Tour that dates back to 1993, connecting farmers with consumers at the start of the growing season.
In 2020, while lockdown orders were still in place, Loudoun Economic Development coordinated video content and education activities from 14 Loudoun farms, working with the Loudoun County Department of Mapping to create an interactive, digital experience.
The campaign was a success, driving thousands of people from 16 countries around the world to “visit” Loudoun farms from the comfort and safety of home. Each farm also had a link to their virtual store on the Loudoun Made Loudoun Grown Marketplace, or farm website, to drive sales while respecting social distancing. Learn more at TakeLoudounHome.com.
Silver Rank for Print Brochure: In 2019, Loudoun Economic Development led a cross-departmental initiative to create a plain-language guide to starting a rural business in the county.
The finished product, “Rural Uses in Loudoun County,” is available in both print and digital form, and helps translate the technical language from the Revised 1993 Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance into a business-friendly resource.
Before COVID-19, business-facing departments across the county government received regular requests for the printed version, and the website, LoudounRuralBiz.com, received thousands of unique visitors and inquiries from other rural communities.
Loudoun Economic Development received awards for all three categories that it applied for in 2020, selected from more than 500 applications across 35 categories. Awards were judged by a diverse panel of peers in economic and community development, from organizations around the world.