As a businessman himself, with more than three decades experience in marketing and clean energy, Erik understands the needs of workers and businesses.
That’s why he supports economic and workforce development as the best ways to create jobs in Staunton. And that development should come both from the top-down and bottom-up.
Top-down economic development brings in larger employers from the outside or helps bigger employers already here to expand and create new jobs.
Bottom-up economic development helps local entrepreneurs start and grow new businesses. Good candidates are restaurants and food trucks, construction companies and trades, along with newer types of home-based businesses made possible by online marketplaces such as Etsy, Airbnb and Ebay.
Erik’s Record on Jobs & Business
In his time on City Council, Erik supported major economic development efforts both top-down and bottom-up:
- Making Staunton Crossing ready and more appealing to businesses like restaurants, hotels and. light manufacturers.
- Working with regional efforts like the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to recruit larger employers from outside the area to open a location in Staunton.
- Supporting job training efforts from Blue Ridge Community College.
- Expanding support for entrepreneurs through micro-loans, grants, training and technical assistance through the Shenandoah Creative Community Fund.
Erik’s Ideas to Move Forward
If you elect Erik to city council in November, he will push for more creative ways to help our citizens prosper:
- Cut red tape and reduce bureaucracy at City Hall, especially in Building and Inspections, reducing barriers so that entrepreneurs and established businesses can open, expand and create jobs. Automating the application for building permits is a good place to start.
- Complete improvements required to upgrade Staunton Crossing to Tier 4 in the Business Ready Sites Program of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to help attract businesses to the site.Bring in outside grants and other funding from such sources as GO Virginia to help property owners market their sites to businesses seeking locations.
- Work with Blue Ridge Community College to expand job training programs in Staunton, perhaps in conjunction with city schools and Mary Baldwin University.
- Put more focus on neighborhoods like the West End to encourage businesses to open and expand, both food markets and restaurants walkable for local residents and businesses that will attract visitors from outside the neighborhood, bringing new business and revenue.