Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays and New Year 2009!

Happy Holidays and New Year 2009 - From the Dulles South area of Loudoun County, VA!

Enjoy this cool New Year's graphic, from our Dulles South friends at Trivision Studios...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Loudoun News - Final 2008 Editorial Shots/Shorts

Reading through various Loudoun news this past week - I'm inclined to simply shake my head ruefully, think "what the...", and respond with these quick editorial shorts...and load up on hope for a better 2009.

1 - loads of chickens found as part of a cockfighting ring in Lovettesville are "saved", can't seem to find them new homes (because they're too aggressive), might need to be euthanized.

Editorial respone - um, can't we just eat them? Give them to the food bank?

2 - Miller flip-flops and joins Waters in Loudoun business and marketing reality for the new economy of 2009; asks Supervisors to reconsider arrangement with the Redskins.

Editorial response - um, welcome back to the County; let's not be so daft again, please? It's the economy, ...

3 - Loudoun teachers (WAPO) complain there's not enough time in the day to do planning, and many are "feeling overworked" - alternatives might include bringing in substitutes to cover for planning time, or paying for weekend work - and some are fearful that the extra work demands are interfering with "being a good parent".

Editorial response - um, well, welcome to the world of being glad to have a decent job with benefits, 24x7 professional services, where we ALL work around the clock at our jobs and careers to get ahead, provide great customer service, deliver superior products, and balance very challenging family/parenting demands. It's in the official job description of "being a working parent in Northern Virginia in tough economic times", page 6.

4 - Massive checkpoints on Rt. 50 east and west at the Fairfax/Loudoun county border this recent Friday night - probably 60-70 officers and "help" observed working the lanes at 11:30 PM.

Editorial response - well, probably a good thing, but maybe a little overkill? Especially in this difficult County budgeting season upcoming?

5 - The next Loudoun hospital - no comments needed - just put it where it needs to be, on Rt. 50.

6 - WAPO Extra Credit/Jay Mathews - "Advanced Math is a Challenge. What's Wrong With That?. In this recent article, Jay provides (finally) feedback from readers that's right on the money, including "The United States' performance in international competition in math and sciences at the secondary school level has been generally abysmal...".

Editorial response - amen to that, and as the SOL scores in Loudoun clearly show, at least in the Elementary schools we care about, it's rapidly getting worse.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bad Economy in Virginia? Quickly Reduce Advertising Costs and Gain More Customers

It's pretty apparent, the dire economic situation across the nation is being felt by local and regional businesses here in the Washington DC metropolitan region and Northern Virginia. As business owners ourselves, the signs are everywhere - slowing invoice payments and accumulating accounts receivables from service partners, the tremendous uptick in part-time job seekers on Craigslist (a recent job opportunity we posted solicited hundreds of responses in the first hour), local retail business closings or significant price reductions, and significant slowing of customer interest and traffic from "traditional" advertising (i.e. newspapers, magazines, flyers).

For all local businesses, it's time to seriously re-allocate precious marketing and advertising budget - and focus hard on the Internet and the search engines (like Google and Yahoo) that are ubiquitous features of daily family life.

Here's more about online marketing in a bad economy - from this region's premiere Internet Marketing and Social Media Engineering Firm, KME Internet Marketing.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Dulles South Business Alliance - Quarterly Meeting tomorrow, 12-9-2008, 12-1PM

The Dulles South Business Alliance is holding their regular meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - at the Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church (Rt. 50 near South Riding).

Agenda: The State of the Dulles South and Loudoun County; all Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and select Fairfax County Board of Supervisors have been invited to speak briefly on their plans for the remaining 3 years of their terms.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Loudoun to Redskins - Happy New Year! Go Away!

We won't pile on too much to the most recent of many (with many more likely to come) uninformed and incomprehensible decisions the Loudoun Board of Supervisor's "new majority" has made - the search above and video below (posted over at "Not Larry Sabato") pretty much says it all.

Instead of piling on this buffoonery, in fact, we'll go ahead and, on behalf of the majority of Loudoun residents who disagree with our elected representatives, re-extend parts of the offer to the Redskins - with a slight modification. Washington Redskins - we'll promote your team and its association with Loudoun County for free on the Internet (as only we can, with our Internet Marketing skills) - all you need to do is provide a nice link back to us from your site. Deal?


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Loudoun Chamber of Commerce meets Dulles South

A small crowd of Leesburg business pioneers headed southeast today to visit us here in Dulles South, at Moore's Cadillac on Rt. 50 (near South Riding). There, the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce adventurers got a good overview of the state of affairs in this bleak corner of the County - through the words and wisdom of Dulles South denizen Bill Dean (CEO of M.C. Dean) and the Dulles District School Board Administrator, Robert Dupree.

Turns out, this part of the County is actually the fastest-growing, is likely to generate the lion's share of retail consumerism for the foreseeable future, is connected and involved with the region's economic engine at Dulles Airport, and is at the forefront of collaboration with Fairfax County to the east regarding transportation improvements (incoming Rail, Rts. 50, 606 and 28).

While the population growth has slowed a bit, the school-age population continues to relentlessly expand - leading to dire overcrowding situations not good for residents or businesses - and compounded recently by failures of the Loudoun BOS to deliver practical solutions. Also relentlessly expanding is the amount of traffic on the roads - which has been over many years addressed by the Dulles South Business Alliance (represented by Bill Dean). It turns out there's very good progress being achieved at least in the planning stages - much contracting, construction and other progress is definitely slowing as the economy continues to degrade. Even the largest retail projects, such as that planned for Dulles Landing (across from South Riding, with a WalMart), are significantly delayed; projections are now to get started building sometime in the Spring with openings a year later.

Overall, the message to investors and business owners we inferred was that while the Dulles South area continues its growth as a regional powerhouse in terms of consumers and employee prospects, the lack of overall services to citizens (including likely loss of the Rt. 50 hospital to the Broadlands), delays in critical infrastructure and new retail projects, and lack of growth-oriented support from the Board of Supervisors will significantly curtail land and business investment values for years to come.