— Good news on the COVID-19 battlefront has the Middleburg Business and Professional Association aiming to resume its in-person networking meetings this summer.

MBPA President Punkin Lee said the in-person Biz Buzzes could resume as early as July, with the initial in-person networking events expected to be held outside. “When we do return to our usual format, we have plans for at least four to five to be outside, lots of space, so we can get used to being all together again and comfortable,” Lee said at the May 11 virtual Biz Buzz, hosted by English Country Classics. (You can watch a recording of the meeting here.)

The announcement falls on the heels of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s decision last week to reduce restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings. Northam indicated that he expects to lift all capacity and social distancing measures on June 15, if COVID-19 cases continue to fall and vaccinations increase.

Roddy Rigden of Country Classics noted that he has seen an uptick in customer traffic as more people have gotten vaccinations. “As soon as people [are] getting vaccinated, they’re more interested in actually coming into town, staying in town,” he said.

In other good news, Middleburg continues to see more businesses popping up. Thistlethwaite Americana opened its doors to the public on May 9, and more newcomers are on the way, including Raymer’s Homemade Candies, Play Room and Brick & Mortar Mercantile. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Play Room is scheduled for Friday, May 28, at 2 p.m.

Several existing Middleburg businesses were also recently recognized for excellence via the Loudoun Times-Mirror “Best of Loudoun” Awards. Winning businesses included Climatic, Salamander Resort & Spa, Sprout Therapeutic Riding and Education Center, and The Hill School. Finalists included Bank of Charles Town, King Street Oyster Bar, The Red Fox Inn & Tavern, Pastry Chef Jason Reaves at Salamander Resort & Spa, and Goodstone Inn & Restaurant.

Additionally, Lee announced the success of the recent Foxes on the Fence fundraiser, which raised more than $32,000 that will be used for promoting the arts and beautification projects in Middleburg, including the purchase of new benches and trees in town, as well as the maintenance of existing trees.

The meeting also highlighted several events of note including:

MBPA is also still seeking member submissions for the association’s cookbook, as well as participants in the “Shop Middleburg” gift card program. Business participation in the gift card program allows visitors to use the “Shop Middleburg” gift card at that establishment, and participation is included in MBPA membership. For more information, please contact info@visitmiddleburgva.com.