The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has approved the Rural Economic Business Development Strategy developed by the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development and the Rural Economic Development Council.
“This strategy will direct our rural economic development efforts for the next five years, and is designed to move us forward in doubling rural economic sector growth by 2023. It will also help us improve the rural data used to make public policy, and help increase the understanding of the role of rural business in the county’s fiscal goals,” stated Loudoun Agricultural Development Officer Kellie Boles.
Boles explained that the sector growth will come from the combined impact of the components of the strategy, which includes:
• The strengthening of Loudoun’s equine industry, which is the largest in Virginia, the 25th largest in the U.S., and currently consists of 15,500 horses valued at $208 million;• The creation of a year-round, permanent farmers’ market, which could generate an additional $3 million annually;• Special events and branding that promote agricultural products to urban and suburban markets;• A new Loudoun multi-user trails program.
“Thousands of agri-tourists come into western Loudoun every year, visiting our wineries, enjoying culinary tours, picking produce at our farms and participating in equestrian arts,” said Blue Ridge District Supervisor Janet Clarke. “Strengthening the rural economy will only increase the county’s profile, revenue and quality of life.”
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York said, “While the rural strategy will certainly generate additional revenue for the county, it also offers a key cost-avoidance opportunity. Farms require less infrastructure – fewer roads, schools and utilities – than residential communities. A thriving agribusiness sector actually saves the county money in the long run.”
For more information on Loudoun’s rural businesses, go to www.biz.loudoun.gov.
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