Website provides resources, encourages business development

By Katie Demeria

Front Royal has created a website intended to both help local businesses thrive and encourage new ones to come to the area.

The town released a public notice Monday in which it detailed the development of “”> The site, according to Town Manager Steven Burke, was created after Town Council appointed the economic committee to “come up with ideas to further business development and recruitment in the town.”

“The economic committee had a number of experts in business development come in and talk with them, and one of the reoccurring ideas that they presented was that communities needed a Web presence to assist existing businesses and attract new businesses by providing support or business development,” Burke said.

The website features four pages, including an information page called “Why Front Royal?,” a start your business page, a grow your business page, and success stories.

Each provides information pertaining to the four categories, linking to external resources that will help readers find answers to their questions.

The pages also sport graphics that outline how the town is doing in various categories, such as the BPOL tax revenue, which is a reflection of business prosperity according to Burke.

That tax revenue has been increasing over the past five years, he said, which suggests the town is improving as a commercial location.

“And we want to communicate that to folks and do anything we can to bring new businesses, whether it’s a one-person store that comes on Main Street or a 300-person business that would come in at the newly released Avtex site,” he said.

Other graphics illustrate steadily increasing lodging and meal tax revenues in the town as well as the fact that Front Royal has the lowest electric rate in Virginia. Another illustrates the sales tax revenue, which spiked in 2013 and has lowered in 2014, though remaining higher than the 2012 revenue.

While the website is intended for established and prospective businesses, Burke encouraged residents to visit as well.

“It might spur an idea to possibly pursue development of a business in Front Royal,” he said.

Resources for established businesses include links for marketing and business plans, and ways in which to evaluate the existing business structure as it grows.

The resources available to prospective businesses include ways in which to start a business, as well as how to work with the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority to facilitate meetings with business and county representatives who can explain required permits.

The site also includes a list of success stories from various local businesses that have been in existence for at least 10 years.

“We want to do everything we can to encourage business development at all levels and in all locations,” Burke said.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or