Guest Commentary: Better Business for a Better Falls Church

August 21, 2014 11:14 AM1 comment

Falls Church is a wonderful place to live, work and play. The Little City has top rated schools, an impressively low crime rate, an award winning Farmer’s Market, an active arts community, a number of beautiful parks, a fascinating history, a number of popular community events, free mulch, tree lined streets, and an array of valuable services while also being in close proximity to our nation’s Capital.

Falls Church is also the home of a number of small independently owned businesses including doctors’ offices, law firms, IT companies, home repair and remodeling companies, real estate agents, accounting firms, financial advisors, physical therapists, personal trainers, wellness facilities, charitable organizations, entertainment venues, arts groups, tutoring services, auto dealerships, service centers, restaurants, and unique retailers. And that list will grow as new development projects are built and approved.

According to the American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index, neighborhoods with thriving independent businesses saw home values outperform citywide markets by 50 percent over the last 14 years. Those same neighborhoods also benefited from strong hiring at small independent businesses. The study, conducted by Civic Economics, concluded what many expected, that small businesses really are the lifeblood of our communities.

The Falls Church Chamber of Commerce believes strongly in better business for a better Falls Church. The stronger our businesses, the more tax revenue they can generate, the more people they can hire, the more they can contribute directly to schools and nonprofit organizations, and the more likely they will be to afford to move into new, more expensive space in the new development projects being built now or considered. The end result? a stronger, better community.

The Falls Church Chamber of Commerce supports these businesses in several ways. The Chamber:

• Advocates on behalf of the business community on critical business issues such as potential tax increases and new development projects;

• Provides networking opportunities to help members meet new customers, clients, vendors, employees, and sources for referrals;

• Organizes educational opportunities through monthly luncheon presentations and workshops to educate members on topics as varied as strategic planning and healthcare;

• Promotes business and community growth and development through its Web site, its email announcements, Falls Church News-Press advertising, and social media.

In just the month of September, for example, the Chamber is hosting a member orientation meeting to help businesses take advantage of the Chamber’s promotional and networking offerings, an informal networking breakfast to help business leaders get to know one another and the services they offer, an 8th District Congressional Candidate Forum to help business leaders understand the issues facing them and make better informed voting decisions, a networking mixer hosted by Creative Cauldron to introduce businesses to the local art scene and its impact on economic development, and its annual Mini-Golf Family Fun Night to help local businesses with team building and a fun relaxing evening with family and friends. Additionally, the Falls Church Chamber will host a booth and distribute coupons and giveaways from our local businesses at the Taste of Falls Church and Fall Festival and it is supporting a Regional Women’s Circle of Influence breakfast and a multi chamber advocacy effort to make small business voices heard in Richmond.

And there is one more way the Chamber supports the local business community, and thus local property values – by providing resources and information about our members, their events, their promotions and special offers, and their job opportunities on our web site at www.FallsChurchChamber.org.

Ultimately, the future of small businesses in Falls Church is up to you. The most important thing you can do to support them is to shop, eat, hire, play, and create locally. You benefit from doing so because you save time, money, and gas while also receiving better customer service. Spending locally generates tax revenue which supports our schools, our police force, our library, our streets, our parks, and all of the many services we receive while also helping to boost property values while keeping residential property taxes as low as possible. And, shopping locally makes it possible for business owners, our neighbors, to employ more people, make additional purchases in the community, and contribute directly to schools and nonprofit organizations.

Falls Church’s small businesses really are the lifeblood of our community. Their presence increases property values while they contribute directly and indirectly to life in the Little City as we know it. The Falls Church Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to supporting them while also encouraging growth and prosperity for the community at large. Better business really does mean a better Falls Church. If you would like to learn more about the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce, our members, the benefits of spending locally, or if you would like to find out about upcoming events and special promotions, visit FallsChurchChamber.org.

 


Sally Cole is executive director of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce.

  • FourQ

    “And that list will grow as new development projects are built and approved.”

    Ummm, based on what evidence? Rents in the type of retail spaces created by current development trends in Falls Church tend to be out of reach of the small, independent retailers and service providers you mention. Instead, Mad Fox notwithstanding, what we mostly get are chain establishments and franchises that landlords can rely on to have financial backing from a corporate HQ somewhere. This translates directly to an overall decline in the quality and uniqueness of an area’s business offerings, to nobody’s benefit except the developers and landlords.

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