A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

With two months still left in the season I am pleased our partnership with Visit Loudoun and local wineries has been a success. Through the end of August 853 folks have utilized the Visitors Center.

At the Center visitors are offered information about our local eateries, Shop Purcellville program, a Wine Country map and other brochures. Folks who have visited have hometowns as far away as California and several European countries. It is great to share with them information about our community and all that makes it a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Tourism is big business in Virginia and Loudoun County.

Governor McDonnell recently released data regarding tourism in Virginia for 2012. Tourism revenues exceeded $21 billion a 4% increase over the previous year. Tourism in Loudoun is a $1.6 billion dollar industry. Coupled with our wineries, local distillery and soon to be breweries (yes, more than one), local shops etc. Purcellville is wonderfully positioned to continue to take full advantage of this economic opportunity.

According to a recent Leesburg Today article, "Virginia was named one of the top ten wine travel destinations in the world for 2012 by Wine Enthusiast magazine with sales now having reached an all-time high, and the craft beer industry also on the rise, with more than 60 breweries across Virginia."

Purcellville businesses through the end of August have created 223 new jobs this year. If these numbers keep pace, more than 600 new jobs will have been created by businesses in our Town over the past two years. And, more than 90% of our business licenses are held by non-chain companies.

Sadly some folks look down their noses at local jobs -- yet, tell that to someone who needs one, whether a parent who wants or needs extra income or a student looking to help save for college or other expenses -- local jobs are critically important to our community. And, it helps teach young folks about responsibility, working as a team, managing their paycheck etc.

Purcellville has been the business hub of western Loudoun since Valentine Purcell first opened his store on Main Street in the 19th Century. While Purcellville is a small Town (population 7,727) within a 15-minute driving radius of our community there are more than 62,000 folks with a median income of more than $103,000. Naturally, our small business community is attractive to those who do not want to travel into Leesburg or out to Winchester.

As an active member of the Virginia Municipal League I get the opportunity to speak with elected officials from all over our Commonwealth. I can tell you from those conversations there are many communities in Virginia struggling with high unemployment rates and very difficult futures. We are blessed to live in a community that is thriving. And, as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.

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