From the desk of Harvest Foundation President Kate Keller
This month we announced another large investment in the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre. Our $6 million investment, along with a $22 million investment from Virginia’s Business Ready Site Program and additional funding from local municipalities, will prepare the 200-acre site known as Tract 2 for a large manufacturing business.
The types of businesses looking at this site will bring a significant number of livable wage jobs and increase the tax base for the city and the county (they share the tax revenues, in case you didn’t know).
Traditional economic development has been a cornerstone of Harvest since our inception. The Foundation was founded in 2002 and if you were living here then, then you know the economic strife the community faced.
Over the years, we’ve been successful at recruiting businesses to locate in MHC, so along with the new jobs and the current economy, we have really low unemployment. That is one way to look at economic development — it’s all about jobs and taxes.
But the real way to look at economic development is to think about the why. What do those things make happen? Parents with liveable wage jobs can secure housing and food. They can provide a higher quality of life for themselves and their families. More jobs mean we need more infrastructure (restaurants, hair salons, hotels, entertainment), which again increases the quality of life for the community.
An increased tax base should not only support physical infrastructure, like roads and bridges but also our schools. We need the additional tax base to invest in our kids and provide them with the quality education they deserve. A higher tax base also supports the development of recreation, like parks, trails, and a healthy river.
The focus on jobs isn’t just about the jobs, but the ability to improve the quality of life for everyone in MHC. We will continue supporting job growth, but with all the success we’ve had, we get to focus on some really fun things that continue to make MHC a great place to live and work.