The Loudoun County Department of Economic Development was presented Tuesday with the coveted Gold Award for “Economic Development Organization of the Year” by the International Economic Development Council at its annual conference in Nashville.
The award recognizes the top organization working in communities between 200,000 and 500,000 residents that successfully demonstrates excellence in categories such as program innovation and continuity, leadership quality and consistency, measured metrics and performance benchmarks, and community interaction and impact.
Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer credited the county’s long-term vision for strategic economic development as a key factor in the resilience its has shown over the past two years.
“Loudoun’s ongoing commitment to economic development starts with the stewardship of our Board of Supervisors, the leadership of our County Administration and the hard work of each of our county departments and partners. It is this commitment that guides everything we do,” Rizer stated. “I’m also fortunate to work with an incredible team of talented economic professionals who have dedicated themselves to our mission of creating a diverse and sustainable economy.”
According to Loudoun Economic Development’s Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report, released the same day, Loudoun Economic Development worked with 2,043 businesses, successfully attracting or retaining 145 business projects, 4,239 total jobs, $6.55 billion in new commercial investment, and 3.71 million square feet of commercial space.
“I’ve said for years that Loudoun is the best county in the country, and the way our community rallied around our local businesses during the pandemic is further proof of that fact,” County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) stated. “A diverse and resilient economy is essential to building desirable places to live, work, learn and play. I couldn’t be prouder of the Loudoun Economic Development team and the collaborative work they do to strengthen our community.”
Signature projects for Fiscal Year 2021 included the retention of the Raytheon Technologies’ Intelligence & Space campus; the announcement of 3,000 new jobs for United Airlines; the attraction of international health AI startup Zasti Inc.; the addition of Virginia’s first farm brewery, distillery and restaurant at Flying Ace Farm; and the relocation of commercial kitchen and food business incubator Frontier Kitchen to Loudoun.
“I’m extremely proud of the work that our Department of Economic Development has done to establish itself as one of the premier agencies in the nation, and I’m glad that our team is receiving the recognition they deserve,” stated Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles), chairman of the county board’s finance and economic development committee. “Loudoun County continues to lead, thanks to our highly-educated workforce, proximity to the nation’s Capital, connectivity to the world through Dulles International Airport, and investments in infrastructure. With Metro’s Silver Line coming to Loudoun in 2022 and the focused efforts of our team to diversify our economy and leverage our position as one of the top technology hubs in the world, I’m just as optimistic about the future.”
Loudoun Economic Development also launched a number of programs including workforce development program Work In Loudoun, the Regional Minority-Owned Business Report, COVID-19 Business Relief Grants, and the FireUP Business Mentor and Coaching Program.
“Loudoun has had record economic years before, and we never take that success for granted. But what made this year award-winning is the measurable impact on workers and small businesses, as well as the inclusion of women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses,” Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet stated. “These new programs addressed feedback from the community, were marketed to diverse audiences, and are built to deliver on our promise of an equitable economic future in Loudoun County.”
To see Loudoun Economic Development’s annual report, go to biz.loudoun.gov/AnnualReport.