Governor, Business Owners Talk About Importance of Economy

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Governor Terry McAuliffe talked about the economy and the importance of supporting jobs in Virginia during his inaugural address on Saturday.

Local business owners say shopping local can only help. The money spent in Harrisonburg stays in Harrisonburg. Starting a small business can be tough, but owners say it's worth it.

Ren Blackwell has co-owned Over The Moon Boutique in Harrisonburg for just over a year. While she encourages others to start a business, she admits it's not easy.

"It is easy to find yourself kind of struggling a bit, especially in the first several years where I am right now, just getting things up and going."

At his inauguration, Governor McAuliffe said that plenty of Virginians are trying to make ends meet.

"Hard-working Virginians who are struggling to provide for their families, unable to access the quality education and training they need to get good-paying jobs," said Governor McAuliffe.

Blackwell said part of helping struggling business owners and workers is supporting them.

"I shop for groceries, for clothing, for everything I try to stay as local as I possibly can," said Blackwell. "We have mortgages and families ourselves so it's kind of full circle."

Blackwell said making Virginia's economy stronger can start in your own backyard.

"You might not be spending every dollar locally, if you're spending half your dollars locally or even just a fraction, it comes back," said Blackwell.

Wade Lune, who owns Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza, said service can also be different.

"Because we live here and we know citizens here, our actions are also held accountable," said Lune.

Both owners share a common goal.

"The one thing about having a business here in town is that we can be concerned for our neighbors and we can be taking care of one another," said Lune.

"There's nothing better than having a thriving community, it brings more people in, it brings more businesses in," said Blackwell.

There are a number of local resources including the Staunton Creative Fund and The Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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