A Letter from the Executive Director
Over the last decade-and-a-half, Loudoun County has experienced unprecedented success in growing and diversifying our economy. During this time, Loudoun has attracted tens of billions of dollars in new commercial investment, reduced the personal property tax rate by 32 cents, and increased services for all Loudoun residents. With the impending arrival of Metro’s Silver Line in 2022, our future has never looked brighter.
Loudoun’s ongoing commitment to being the “gold standard on the Silver Line” starts with the stewardship of our Board of Supervisors, the leadership of our County Administration and the hard work of each of our county departments. It is this commitment that guides everything we do.
For the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development, the goal of providing “gold standard” service begins with our mission of providing world-class and innovative customer-focused programming to attract, retain and grow businesses of all kinds. Our entire team takes this responsibility personally, and it is just one reason why we were honored as the 2021 “Economic Development Organization of the Year,” for counties of our size, by the International Economic Development Council on October 5.
The last two years have been incredibly trying for our business community. Since early March 2020, the dominant global storylines have been the health and economic crises caused by COVID-19 and the important discussion of diversity, equity and inclusion. Few states weathered the storms as well as Virginia, which was named “America’s Top State for Business” for 2021 by CNBC. Zoom in further, and it’s clear that Virginia’s story is best exemplified by Loudoun County. If you talk to local business owners, our talented workforce, and Loudoun consumers, our “gold standard” service shines through any darkness. In their own words:
- “Loudoun County has been very near and dear to us, a place where we see our future growth as our company blitz scales at the national stage.” – Shami Khalili, Managing Partner, HelloGov
- “I find it incredibly rewarding to be working for a mission-driven company that’s inclusive, really giving back and finding ways to empower people that have not always been represented.” – Tiffany Meehan, Vice President of Marketing, Inclusively
- “We’re so grateful to have the support of all the companies and community members, to ensure that everybody in our community has access to healthy food.” – Samantha Kuhn, Executive Director, JK Community Farm
I’m very proud of our 145 wins, 2,043 businesses worked with, $6.55 billion in new investment, and 3.71 million square feet of commercial space added in fiscal year 2021.
FY21 will be remembered for the launch of the Work In Loudoun program, which provides resources to jobseekers, existing businesses, prospective businesses, and current employees in search of new training. This program helped create or retain more than 4,200 jobs in Loudoun businesses, our largest single-year total yet. That’s 4,200 opportunities for people to be part of something special in Loudoun County.
The last fiscal year should also be remembered for its collaboration with community partners, including:
- Visit Loudoun and the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, which helped create the Loudoun Is Ready pledge to consumer and employee safety, signed by more than 770 businesses.
- The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which invested $270,000 in grants to support Loudoun farmers through the Loudoun Made Loudoun Grown Marketplace.
- Loudoun’s Virginia Cooperative Extension team and the Loudoun Small Business Development Center, which were instrumental in disbursing nearly $12 million in grants to 2,000 local businesses, across all industries and demographics.
- The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia, and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, which invested in the region’s first Minority-Owned Business Report, to help us better understand the needs of the Northern Virginia business community.
Looking ahead, Loudoun will continue to set the gold standard on the Silver Line, welcoming four D.C. Metro stations that serve Loudoun developments. We look forward to this year’s groundbreakings at destination mixed-use developments, like Rivana at Innovation Station and Comstock’s One Gramercy at Ashburn Station.
Finally, I want to thank the Loudoun Economic Development team. I’ve always known this group is the best of the best, so I’m very excited that IEDC recognized us as the Economic Development Organization of the Year. I also know this: our team will never be satisfied with past success. We will continue working to keep Loudoun the greatest place in the country to live, work, learn and play. We look forward to working with your team and writing the next #LoudounPossible chapter of your success story.
Buddy Rizer, CEcD