The town’s Economic Development Commission is hoping to hear from area businesses on their everyday realities when it hosts a business forum Monday, Sept. 18.
“The EDC wants to make sure we’re hearing the real scoop from the street about what’s going on with Leesburg businesses,” said Eric Byrd, the EDC vice chair who also serves as manager of Loudoun’s Small Business Development Center. “This is a forum to hear what’s going on, how businesses are doing, and what the businesses are struggling with. If we don’t know what the real situation is for all the stakeholders in the economic system, we can’t make good recommendations to Town Council about things that might help.”
Leesburg businesses of all types, shapes and sizes are invited to come to the free forum, from 8:30-11 a.m. at Ida Lee Park Recreation Center. Identified challenges and issues could shape future recommendations from the EDC to the Town Council, Byrd noted.
“This is an opportunity for any business in Leesburg to come be heard and to participate in that conversation,” Byrd said.
Those interested in attending the forum are asked to pre-register online at leesburgbizforum.eventbrite.com. When pre-registering, attendees are asked to select from more than a dozen choices of what the most pressing topics they’d like to discuss are. Choices include: workforce housing, social media, growth and scale, diversity and hiring, and partnership resources.
The most popular topics selected by registrants will guide the discussion for the forum, Byrd said.
The EDC will also use the forum to kick off a new, online business directory on the town website, and will do a hands-on session during the forum to show businesses how to get their information submitted to the directory.
Byrd is hoping for high participation, and a good representation of Leesburg’s diverse business community.
“We want to all be talking together,” he said of the business community. “This EDC is really unified in that we want to bring people together so we have some consensus in how we work together, and we’re all pretty serious about that.”