2018 VSCPA Survey: Shenandoah Valley
How would you describe the economic climate in your part of the state?
The local and regional economy is doing well. The Valley’s economy is fairly diverse and, therefore, does not experience the extreme swings of other regions. The stability and growth of Harrisonburg’s biggest sector, higher education, help the retail, hospitality and construction sectors. Agriculture provides a strong solid base for us as well. There is not one dominant manufacturer or large employer, which gives us stability. Recent population growth from in-migration has helped residential and commercial growth the past few years.
What is your region doing well to retain/attract businesses?
Most of the communities have good economic development programs that emphasize retention and expansion of existing companies. Historically, the communities have not spent nearly the money that other areas have on economic development, specifically on recruitment. But, recent increased commitments to economic development and the regional partnership
has changed that.
What’s the biggest impediment to doing business in the area?
I don’t think there is a major impediment. If I was pushed for an answer, it would be “It depends,” maybe a skilled workforce if you need a lot of workers in a short period of time. However, when there has been an identified need, those industries partner with Blue Ridge Community College and Massanutten Technical Center to offer classes and programs to train in the areas of need.
What major economic development project in your region are you most excited about?
In comparison to larger urban areas, we don’t have one large economic development project. However, the Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center has been a wonderful addition to our community and is scheduled to open in early 2018.
What is the No. 1 item on your tax reform wish list?
Simplicity. However, that has to start at the federal level first, and there is little effort or ability to see that take place.
The tax implications brought about by the Affordable Care Act need to be made simpler for individuals and businesses. The employer mandate is so complicated and administratively burdensome that businesses have a hard time complying, even with the best intentions.
Photo courtesy PBMares
Overview story summarizing VSCPA survey:
VSCPA MEMBERS WEIGH IN ON THE STATE OF THEIR REGION …