Business in Frederick County
Our community will never be same after enduring the onslaught of the COVID-19 virus in ways none of us would have imagined. However, the human spirit has resisted numerous attacks to show it can never be beaten. It is our will to survive by working together in defeating this latest attack on us. It has changed how we live and work. The fact is, we have to make changes necessary to make a better future.
We need leaders who will guide us in making the right changes in how we live until the time we can fully enjoy our world as it was prior to the virus. With my experience in working with our community leaders, I will work to help small businesses recover, maintain quality education, ensure quality job opportunities, improve county-wide broadband and technology, improve transportation infrastructure, and ensure public safety. Frederick County government must act on your behalf, not theirs, in addressing the changes needed to bring us back to a better future. With your support, we make it our County.
Business Now and the Future
There are two things in life that every family yearns for: having a job and having security. With a job, one or more workers in the family can provide for the needs such as a home, food, transportation, entertainment, etc. However, businesses in the community must have jobs available for employment that match the skillset and education of the worker. Over the past several years, the Frederick County/ Winchester City area has had a very low unemployment rate, and jobs in certain skilled areas have been hard to find. Our Economic Development Authority (EDA) has done a good job assisting our employers in working with these companies to find potential employees. But with a low unemployment rate, supply is scarce. So, companies have to invest in training programs to upgrade the skills of their employees, hire graduates from schools, or offer jobs to people employed in other companies.
Having experience with small and large businesses, and as a past CEO of the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, I understand the issues companies are having in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. I have worked in concert with the EDA’s, Education, and the Virginia unemployment services, among others, to help the community be aware of the job options available to all. As we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are going to need that connection with business leadership in re-building their staffing, funding, and implementing new methods to grow the business. At the same time, it is imperative that Frederick County government be willing to support the growth of business in our community and make the necessary incentives available to the business owner in a way that will put them on a path back to sustaining operations.
We must recognize that the prospects of Frederick County and the City of Winchester are intricately linked in terms of COVID-19 business recovery… that this is a regional concern. We also must accept that neither Democrats nor Republicans have a monopoly on good, innovative ideas, so I’m proposing the creation of an Economic Recovery Business Task Force representing civic and business leaders of both jurisdictions – including the Frederick County Board of Supervisors, the Winchester City Council, the Regional Chamber, and others – to look at how to support and encourage short-term business recovery and longer-term growth. This task force will develop creative ways to allow businesses to rightfully operate while keeping the public safe – including appropriate short-term incentives necessary for small businesses to thrive. If we work together, we can win together.
In the longer term, Frederick County must be willing to look at bringing in more businesses with higher paying jobs if we are to attract and retain employees for higher economic growth. We are losing young families to companies that pay more in other parts of the state and/or country because salaries in Frederick County are low in comparison to the surrounding Counties. I believe that Frederick County is a very attractive area for businesses, but we lack retention of our own people. Businesses move to areas that have an abundance of labor. Therefore, we should develop strategies to keep people from moving out.
I ask for input and support from you, the people of Frederick County, to let me be your representative in making the positive changes that impact your economic dignity. Together, we can provide a stronger future for you and your family.