— With Small Business Saturday just around the corner, the Middleburg business community is preparing for the holiday shopping season with plans to attract visitors to town while maintaining COVID-19 safety measures.

Plans for the holidays were at the forefront of the Middleburg Business and Professional Association’s latest virtual Biz Buzz, held Nov. 10 in conjunction with the National Sporting Library & Museum. The festivities kick off with Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28 and the town’s annual tree lighting on Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m.

With the usual Christmas in Middleburg festivities canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Middleburg community is showing their holiday spirit in new ways this year, including carriage rides, photo opportunities throughout town, a scavenger hunt, a window decorating contest for local businesses, and a drop-off box for letters to Santa at the local post office.

Middleburg Mayor Bridge Littleton stressed that one key to Middleburg’s success this holiday season will be ensuring that visitors and residents feel safe, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. “It is going to be even more critical as we move into the winter months that we make sure we maintain vigilance” in following COVID-19 safety guidelines, Littleton said.

To that end, the Town of Middleburg is also promoting new programs designed to assist Middleburg businesses with COVID-19 safety measures, including funding for personal protective equipment and outdoor tents for restaurants. Middleburg Business and Economic Development Director Jamie Gaucher noted that 75 Middleburg businesses had also received awards from the Loudoun Business Interruption Fund, which was designed to support small businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus.

Even amidst the pandemic, Middleburg continues to attract new businesses to the community, including a veterinary chiropractor and a skin care salon, Gaucher noted.

The Town’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by the local business community. MBPA President Punkin Lee thanked Littleton and the Town Council for “all the wonderful programs you’re providing to keep our town going and the community alive” during the pandemic.

Other upcoming efforts of note include a new marketing program from the Town of Middleburg geared toward bringing more visitors to town.

The Town of Middleburg also recently put out another request for proposal for the restoration and reuse of historic Asbury Church on Jay Street. Interested parties must submit a formal and responsive proposal by 4 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2020.

You can watch a recording of the meeting here.