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Middleburg Blog: A new perspective

There are few small towns that have gotten more attention nationally and internationally than Middleburg. Its location just a short distance outside of Washington, D.C., its being the mecca for horse lovers, its many outstanding resources for entertainment and enrichment, as well as its beautiful countryside, all have made it a tourist destination for decades. Of course, the whole world focused on the town when President Kennedy’s family was part of the local scene in the 1960s. That helped tremendously.

Since that time, the town has continued to grow in fame and attract new businesses, more community resources and more community leaders. Recently, the traffic-calming and improvement construction and the June 2016 hail storm impacted have hampered both businesses and local residences.

Regardless, with all the comforts, the unusual advantages and many conveniences, most of the community are happy to be in the town, no matter if the last year had the steady hum of hammers, jackhammers and other construction equipment. The town did a terrific job of managing the transitions with timely communications and adjustments.

Cindy Pearson, the economic development coordinator, was one of those who helped manage these changes, and she continues to promote Middleburg’s many assets.

Additionally, Vincent Bataoel is one of the local businessmen who is working to make Middleburg great again. He has showcased his business experience as chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC).

Bataoel and his wife, Nelina Loiselle, who is also his business partner, met at the University of Iowa where Bataoel was a faculty member. The couple wanted to form a business using their education and knowledge regarding environmental issues, particularly LEEDS consulting and management. They researched the business, got the necessary advice, and, consequently, their business Above Green took shape and grew. When several of their business projects brought them to the eastern part of the nation, Middleburg and horse country beckoned. The couple moved their business to Middleburg, at 8 North Jay Street in the town.

Bataoel enthusiastically endorses the idea that there are many business opportunities here in town, and he feels overall these opportunities are promising – the yearly rent per square foot compares favorably with Leesburg, for example. He talked about the new business scheduled to open soon on Washington Street as an example of the town’s ability to bring in new businesses. Rick Allison, long-time restauranteur and proprietor of King Street Oyster Bar in Leesburg, will locate his new oyster bar in the old Home Farm building. Bataoel is one of those who helped make the project happen.

As chairman of the EDAC, he says the committee is aware there are great businesses in Middleburg that have been in the town for years, have loyal customers and are doing very well. The chairman stresses that the EDAC is a numbers-driven resource for information regarding the impact different events, activities, and business ventures have and the consequences of those impacts. At the same time, the committee hopes to encourage new businesses, hopefully locally owned and operated, to fill the voids for what the community needs and wants. (Those of the community who still miss the old Coach Stop will appreciate that effort.) Particularly, the EDAC hopes to convey why Middleburg is so special to successful business owners in other towns.

Bataoel says, “Authenticity is in short supply, and Middleburg is authentic. That is appealing.”

Bataoel and his wife, who rides, appreciate Middleburg’s legacy. They have been part of the local scene long enough to know how important the hunts are to the area, they know how important being the center of horse country is to the town, they participate in some of these events, and they know what valued assets all the horse businesses and organizations are to the area.

Bataoel includes the many other outstanding resources Middleburg has as helping having the town being named one of the most famous of small towns in the nation. For example, he especially appreciates the history of the surrounding area and the major resource of having the contributions organizations make toward preservation and conservation.

One of the main things Bataoel hopes to do is to invite anyone interested in opening a business to visit Middleburg. He hopes those who have never been to the town will visit soon, and he hopes those who like what they see will return. For those who wish to communicate with the committee, the email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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