After a pandemic year in which Loudoun Economic Development attracted $6.78 billion in new commercial investment and generated more than 3,500 jobs, Executive Director Buddy Rizer has been named one of Virginia Business’ 50 most influential Virginians for 2021.
“Loudoun’s economic development leader is also the self-styled ‘Godfather of Data Center Alley,’ reflecting the fact that the county has the world’s largest concentration of data centers,” the profile reads. “Companies such as Amazon Web Services, Google LLC and Microsoft Corp. are continually building more there. Rizer sits on the boards of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the Northern Virginia Community College Foundation.”
Rizer is one of just a handful of public sector or economic development professionals on the list, as he oversees Loudoun County’s business attraction and retention, as well as working with the Board of Supervisors to create a business-friendly environment. This is the fourth-straight year that Rizer has been named to the list, which appears in the Virginia Business Big Book each year.
“While I’m humbled to once again be on this list, each day I’m aware that none of us operate in a vacuum. The success that we as a department have been able to enjoy over the past decade plus is a product of a great community, thoughtful county leadership, outstanding teamwork and more than a little luck. I take this as further affirmation of the Board of Supervisor’s vision and our talented team’s execution building a vibrant #LoudounPossible economy,” Rizer said.
Loudoun County’s economic diversity was a strength as the community dealt with the pandemic. The Department of Economic Development created programming to support businesses throughout the county while still planning for a post-COVID Loudoun. “During the pandemic, we’ve made critical progress at our Metro-connected properties and we’re thrilled with Loudoun’s potential as a model for economic recovery,” Rizer added.
“The increased demand for cloud services and streaming video from remote workers during the pandemic caused some data center development projects to get fast-tracked in 2020,” the Virginia Business profile continued. “The coronavirus crisis also had Rizer focused on aiding the county’s small businesses. Loudoun doled out millions in relief funds via its COVID-19 Business Interruption Fund and allocated $250,000 in federal CARES Act money to help local restaurants offset costs for switching to outdoor dining service.”
Please click here to read the full list of Virginia Business Heavy Hitters.