Post by Government Relations Manager, Eric C. Johnson
View more posts by Eric, here
Here at the Chamber, we interact with business owners daily. The story we repeatedly hear is that of businesses struggling to find good employees because of the high cost of living in Loudoun County. Let me share a few examples of business owners in our own neighborhood whose ability to grow a business and create new jobs has been stifled.
Ford’s Fish Shack is one of those classic home grown success stories in Loudoun County. Customers gladly wait for a table day or night any day of the week. This was true until owner and chef Tony Stafford opened the Lansdowne location which is unable to open for lunch during the week due to an inability to find staff for those hours. Tony sat in our offices recently and shared with us that this is costing his business up to $20,000 a week in potential revenue, not to mention the unfilled jobs he’s trying to create.
Other groups that need more options are long-time residents that are looking to downsize and those recent college grads who were raised here in Loudoun and would like to return without having to live with their parents. A local accounting firm says that they are easily able to staff their regional offices with recent
college graduates, but the Loudoun location positions go unfilled. Young professionals simply can’t afford to live here, and don’t want to commute in an hour each way from the west.
It is time that our Board of Supervisors see the availability of workforce housing as an economic asset.
Our local workforce cannot afford to live in a County that we claim is “Live, Work, Play”. I touched on this in my last blog post. The Chamber strongly recommends that Loudoun County’s Comprehensive Plan being crafted by the Envision Loudoun process truly reflect the County’s shared vision for the future growth and economic prosperity of our community.
During the month of June, there will be five public input sessions hosted by the Envision Loudoun team. This is your chance as a business owner to let your voice be heard. Please consider attending one or more of these meetings and speaking out regarding the issues your business faces here in Loudoun. Chamber staff and leadership will be there as well. The more of our membership that attends, the more impactful it will be! Click here to find out more info and see the specific dates and times! I hope to see you at a meeting in June!
To get more involved in the Loudoun Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, contact Eric Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org