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More special events, town support sought by Herndon’s business owners

Sunset Business Park (via Google Maps)

Herndon’s business community expressed overall levels of satisfaction with the town in a recent survey, but some say they want the town to focus more on expanding support for businesses.

Presented at a Herndon Town Council work session on Tuesday (Sept. 19), the results were gathered from a business survey by Priority Metrics Group (PMG), which included 155 respondents, the average of which has been in the town for 17 years.

At the work session, council members emphasized the need for the town to more actively support businesses and expand town events that draw customers — two themes of improvement from the survey.

“They want a more business-friendly government,” Councilmember Donielle Scherff said. “We’ve talked a bit about customer service-centric leadership and staff, and this just sort of buttresses into that.”

Most respondents say they chose Herndon because of its location.

“They like being here. There are amenities and attributes that are here that they like,” said John Barrett, owner of PMG.

Overall, sentiments about the town’s general business environment dipped only slightly since the last survey was conducted in 2018.

Business owners said they were drawn by the access to airports — which expanded last year with the opening of Metro’s Silver Line extension — as well as the overall quality of life and the image of the town. Top concerns included licensing, taxation, regulations, crime rates, traffic and the quality of new development.

Many business owners said they wanted to see more special events in the town — a move that Councilmember Cesar del Aguila said emphasizes the need for the council to focus extra attention on event development.

“What I’m hearing here solidifies my personal belief that we’re on the right track,” del Aguila said, noting a need to focus on branding for the town. He said it was “painful” to hear that some business owners did not feel noticed by the local government.

So far, use of the Mason Enterprise Center — a business accelerator program from George Mason University that launched earlier this year — appears limited, according to the survey. A little over 80% of respondents said they had not heard about the center.

Most respondents — 77% of businesses — said the Metro Silver Line has had no impact or a neutral impact on their businesses.

PMG also recently completed a survey of town residents, who flagged traffic as a top concern.

Photo via Google Maps