Shenandoah County business leaders discuss county’s future
QUICKSBURG, Va. (WHSV) - On Tuesday morning in Quicksburg, the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce hosted its sixth annual economic development breakfast with the county’s Economic Development Council.
During the event, business leaders and county staff took a look at the future of economic development and growth in Shenandoah County. A big part of the event was discussing the county’s new 2045 comprehensive plan and the impact it will have on businesses in the county.
“All of this has been about transparency, making sure everybody knows about the plan and about the process, and making sure their voices are heard. So the idea here was to work with the EDC as well as the business community to raise awareness of the existence of the comprehensive plan and solicit input,” said Shenandoah County Planner Tyler Hinkle.
One major talking point during the event was what growth in Shenandoah County is going to look like.
”People in Shenandoah County want Shenandoah County to be rural and in order to be rural it requires us to grow in a different way than maybe surrounding localities or other localities have. It means being strategic about where we place public infrastructure to incentivize private development in those key locations,” said Hinkle. “So it’s working with our towns and our service providers to establish areas for future development in those key locations while keeping the surrounding farmland rural and agricultural.”
One goal of the comp plan is to balance necessary economic development and growth while maintaining the county’s rural nature.
“Making sure that our students and the workforce are trained for the future, but there are also all types of ways of making sure that we have the right tax base to fund our public services and having authentic businesses that represent the local culture and heritage of the area,” said Hinkle.
Another major topic of discussion on Tuesday was the need to attract new businesses to the county and find the right ones as many county residents often oppose new development.
“Either the battles are fought now or they’re fought at the time that the businesses come into the county. So if we can figure out all the things that members of the public, different organizations, and different businesses have or care about in terms of what they want to see protected or what they want to see improved we can be better prepared to welcome businesses when they come to the door,” said Hinkle.
One way the comp plan seeks to address this is by identifying the right spots for development in the county.
”It’s striking that balance of finding the right industries, the right businesses, and supporting local growth of individuals who have put up their own small businesses. Making sure they can grow in a way that melds with the community and works well for the future,” said Hinkle.
Members of the EDC also stressed the need for growth to increase the county’s tax base and avoid tax increases on citizens in the coming years.
Shenandoah County’s Community Development Department urges all county residents to view the preliminary draft of the new comprehensive plan on the county’s website here. Hinkle also encourages them to reach out to him with any ideas or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2023 WHSV. All rights reserved.