Culpeper Horizons Newsletter Spring 2015

Spotlight:  Safely Made in Culpeper, USA

Headquartered in Cincinnati Ohio, Cintas Corporation has been named one of Forbes 2014 America’s Most Trustworthy Companies. Cintas employs approximately 30,000 people, and operates more than 430 facilities worldwide. One of these facilities makes it home proudly in Culpeper.

Cintas officially joined the Culpeper family of businesses in 2002, through its acquisition of Rental Uniform Service (RUS) of Culpeper. (RUS had been operating in Culpeper since 1964.) Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, tile and carpet cleaning, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products and services and document management services. The company’s Culpeper location focuses on Uniforms & Apparel, and Facility Services. Approximately 70% of the firm’s more than 200 Culpeper employee partners reside within the county.

Cintas is committed to integrating environmentally sustainable practices, principles and solutions in all areas of its business. Locally Cintas “Green Initiatives” include programs such as pre-discharge waste water treatment, water recycling, the use of environmentally-friendly cleaners, and providing Green Seal® Certified paper products and cleaning chemicals. The company has also partnered with the ENERGY STAR program, which tracks the organization’s current energy efficiency and future improvements.

As a result of its dedication to the community and continued environmentally-sound practices, Cintas was recently awarded the 2014 Culpeper Chamber of Commerce “Large Business of the Year” award and the “Gold Environmental Excellence Award” presented by Virginia Water Environment Association.

The Culpeper Cintas facility was also recently presented with the “Virginia Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Award” by Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH). A very prestigious award, it is given to the “Best of the Best” of facilities in high hazard industries that have implemented outstanding health and safety programs. For Cintas Culpeper the road to VPP has been a continuous pursuit, beginning in 2008 and continues today. Over the last 7 years, the company has implemented hundreds of practices and programs to meet and exceed the Voluntary Protection Program. A few include:

  • Maintenance Safety Certification Program.  An intense safety course that requires the employee to attend nine study sessions and complete a panel session and demonstration pertinent to a number of safety related scenarios.  
  • Safe Load Installation.  A system installed in all trucks designed to safely store products off the floor providing easier access and fewer hazards.    
  • Honeycomb Floor Mat Storage Installation. A system designed to easily store and retrieve mats without the risk of pulling and lifting.  

In addition to initiating numerous work safety and health related systems and programs, Cintas in Culpeper can also boast “Total Case Incident Rate” and “Days Away Restricted Transferred” rates that are 60% below industry average. Both measurements track workplace injuries and missed days related to those injuries. As Mr. Greenfield explained, “One of the most important elements of VPP is front line employee engagement. Safety is driven by the people doing the job and we have the very best.”  Congratulations Cintas of Culpeper for a job well done!

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Focus: Be a Culpeper Local

 

In 2010, in the midst of a staggering recession, a Culpeper downtown business owner had a vision. She shared her idea of a “buy local” campaign with Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. (CRI). CRI’s Economic Restructuring committee ran with it. Now, five years later, the Be A Culpeper Local (BACL) program is supported by 52 businesses and extends beyond the downtown footprint. The program’s message is straight-forward; shop locally, spend your dollars in Culpeper. In doing so, Culpeper residents help contribute to the local tax base. 

Culpeper County is home to more than 48,000 folks. They conduct their lives here. They work, eat, shop, play, go to school and pay taxes. In the case of most federal, state and local taxes, the individual has little control over where his or her hard-earned tax money ends up. Income taxes are paid to state and federal governments. Property taxes, licenses and fee are paid to local government.

However, there is one tax the residents of Culpeper pay that the individual does have control over where the money will ultimately be put to use… Virginia State Sales Tax. 

Of the 5% Virginia State sales tax collected on services and goods (five cents on the dollar), one cent is returned to the county in which it was collected and approximately another penny is returned to the county’s school system. When a Culpeper resident shops in other counties or online, the sales tax paid is deposited in another county’s general fund and school system. 

Local taxes fund local services, such as schools, police and fire departments. (If you have a fire, your local fire department responds. When you shop in Culpeper, one cent for every dollar is put in the General Fund, which funds your local fire department. Shop elsewhere and you fund someone else’s fire department.)

For the fiscal year 2014-15, the County General Fund expects to receive $5,675,000. The Town Fund expects $1,325,000 and the School Fund expects $7,800,000. These millions are from Culpeper residents buying locally! If each of the 22,000 Culpeper households diverted $50 a week that they already spend outside Culpeper, to purchasing those same products and services inside Culpeper, it could potentially generate an extra $1,000,000 annually toward Culpeper services. 

In addition to the return of a portion of the Virginia sales tax, there are several other benefits to shopping locally. Studies have shown that for every $100 spent in a locally owned business, $45 remains and circulates in the community. In addition, when you buy from local businesses it contributes to the creation of more jobs locally. And some studies reveal that when local businesses support other local businesses there is an increase in local charitable contributions.  Shopping local also reduces the carbon footprint.  Why buy six gallons of gas to sit in two hours of traffic? Shopping locally saves time and money, and is a help to the environment.  

CRI’s effort to inform Culpeper residents of the benefits of spending their Virginia Sales Tax dollars in their community is to be commended. The campaign has grown far beyond the downtown area. After careful evaluation, CRI concluded that the program faces new challenges and opportunities, and has asked the Culpeper Department of Economic Development to continue the campaign efforts going forward. Area leaders from the County are working together to share the Be A Culpeper Local message. Stay tuned … and shop local!  www.beaculpeperlocal.com.

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What's Happening: "Arsenal in Democracy: World War II Capitol Flyover" to Be Hosted By Culpeper Regional Airport

 

Culpeper Regional Airport (CRA) continues to go above and beyond as it helps fuel the County’s economic engines. Tonya Woodward, Operating Manager for CRA, recently shared that the airport’s high-flying success in hosting the Culpeper Air Fest – and in particular the “Potomac Flights” during the 2014 Air Fest – has helped the CRA land another once in a lifetime event.

This May, CRA will be home base for the “Arsenal in Democracy: World War II Victory Capitol Flyover.” The Arsenal of Democracy Flyover is part of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in Europe (VE) Day event, a thrilling three-day celebration in the Nation’s Capital. Sponsored by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), an estimated 85 World War II aircraft are expected at CRA and approximately two-dozen different types of vintage military aircraft will participate in the flyover.  

A collection of single and double engine airplanes used in World War II will be present, including P-39, P-47, P-63, PB-4, A-26 and B-25s. Multiple organizations and individuals whose missions are to preserve these historic artifacts in flying condition are providing the aircraft. 

The planes, organizations and individuals participating in the event create significant economic opportunities for Culpeper. More than 100 hotel reservations are expected, with visitors also contributing to retail and restaurant sales. The aircraft will be hungry as well. It is estimated that 35,000 gallons of gas will be sold at the airport during the historic event.

TSA regulations restrict opening the airport up to the public, however the County is attempting to set up guided tours and is encouraging the public to watch the planes takeoff from the parking lot on the grounds. The flight is planned to begin around 11 am on May 8th, weather permitting. The rain make-up date is the following day, May 9th.  For more information on this historic event visit the website at www.ww2flyover.org

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A Guide for Useful Small Business Resources

Today, many useful small business tools can easily be found online. They include specialized research on industry and business standards, calculators, easy-to-use templates, on-line business courses and business oriented webinars.  To put these tools to work, it is helpful to know what types of tools are available and where they can be found. The following are just a few of the many website locations that provide small business owners with the ability to access these tools from their computers.

  • SBA, The U. S. Small Business Administration, www.sba.gov.  In addition to the SBA loan programs, the site has excellent discussions on the different aspects of Starting and Managing a business.  In the SBA Learning Center, there is on-line training and videos.  In addition, using the Sizeup tool will help you to manage and increase your business by benchmarking it against competitors, mapping your customers, suppliers and competitors and locating the best places to advertise  The SBA web site also has an on-line Business Plan Template that makes putting one together faster and easier.
  • IRS, The Internal Revenue Service, www.irs.gov. The IRS also has sections on their website that discuss Starting and Operating a business.  Of course, the discussion is aimed at small business and taxes. They have a Video Portal which contains video and audio presentations of different tax topics. They maintain all IRS publications and forms on their website.
  • Virginia SBDC, www.virginiasbdc.org.  The Virginia SBDC Network is the largest and most effective provider of customized counseling and education for small businesses in the Commonwealth. The website contains many webinars on Social Media, Google – Analytics, Adwords and other Google and email applications. The Virginia SBDC website also contains SmallBizU a series of business topics aimed at the small business owner. SmallBizU teaches entrepreneurs about the “3Ms” - Money, Marketing, and Management. It achieves this objective through the delivery of 20 core courses that teach the “language of business” and important trade-skills. Each Internet course is full of animated slides accompanied by voice-over narration, PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, toolsets, and access to a comprehensive knowledgebase.
  • SBDCNet, www.sbdcnet.org.  The SBDC National Information Clearinghouse serves the Small Business Development Center Network and America's small business community. They maintain a library of alphabetized Business Plan templates for a variety of businesses. The page also links to Where to Find and How to Write a Business Plan.  The site offers research and GIS mapping services which is accessed for SBDC clients by their SBDC Business Counselors at no charge. The site also has a number of Market Research Reports available for use.
  • Lord Fairfax Community College, Workforce Solutions, www.lfccworkforce.com. They offer top-quality courses online including Career, Business, Computing and Professional topics. QuickBooks, the popular accounting and financial software, is also included online.
  • Culpeper County Library, (Google “Culpeper County Library” to access the library online.) Found under General Research are a number of research tools that are helpful to small businesses. AtoZ Databases is a reference and marketing database including 30 million business and executive profiles and 200 million residents. The database is ideal for sales leads, mailing lists, market research and employment opportunities.  Gale Business Insights: Essentials is a user-friendly business tool that delivers authoritative company and industry information, articles and statistical data. Small Business Collection provides access to academic journals and magazines perfect for both business school students and entrepreneurs. The database offers content that includes insights, tips, strategies and success stories. LawDepot contains many useful corporate, sales-related forms, lease and rental forms, service related forms, human resource forms, and a business plan template among many other forms that can turned into documents.
  • www.myaccountingcourse.com. Financial ratios are the most common and widespread tools used to analyze a business' financial standing. Ratios are easy to understand and simple to compute. They can also be used to compare different companies in different industries. Since a ratio is simply a mathematical comparison based on proportion, big and small companies can use ratios to compare their financial information. In a sense, financial ratios don't take into consideration the size of a company or the industry. Ratios are just a raw computation of financial position and performance. This site and other similar sites have financial ratios that can be used in determining various values in a company.  To find these sites simply Google “Financial Ratios.”  

These are just some of the many useful resources and tools now found online that are available to help the small business owner understand how their business is trending.

The Small Business Development Center at Culpeper offers free business consulting, affordable training courses, and personal referrals to local resources, guidance, insights, and connections to help your business succeed. All services given at the SBDC at Culpeper are at no cost and are strictly confidential.

Whether you already own a business or are planning to start one, our workshops and no-cost one-on-one consultations can help you achieve your goals. Call or email to secure your appointment.

Contact:  David C. Reardon, Business Counselor     Email: dreardon@lfsbdc.org

The SBDC at Culpeper | 101 Duke Street, Suite 116 | Culpeper, VA 22701

PHONE: 540-727-0638                                                             www.lfsbdc.org

The SBDC at Culpeper is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Culpeper County and is hosted by Lord Fairfax Community College.

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Meet Paige Read, Director of Tourism and Economic Development for the Town of Culpeper

Please join us in welcoming Paige Read, the new Director of Tourism and Economic Development for the Town of Culpeper. Ms. Read began serving as Director in December, 2014 following Ms. Lori Sorrentino’s retirement.  She brings with her a long list of experience and credentials. 

Originally from Timonium, Maryland, Ms. Read spent the last ten years in Richmond working both in the advertising and the tourism industries.  Following graduation from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in strategic advertising, Ms. Read joined the ad agency Edelman Scott, Inc. as an account coordinator, focusing primarily on the development of commercial and residential real estate programs. 

In 2007 she joined Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) as an advertising manager on the consumer side of things.  In 2009 she transitioned into the industry side of VTC as the education and development manager.  During her tenure she devoted much of her time to grant work, primary and secondary research, group studies and surveys. 

In 2012 Ms. Read hired Price, Waterhouse and Cooper for VTC to assist in the development of a five year State Tourism Plan, which resulted in actually ten plans, one for the State and nine regional plans. She was instrumental in the development of the DRIVE Tourism Workshop Series programs and managed the Virginia Tourism Marketing Leverage Grant Program.  She has served on a number of committees, including but not limited to the Legislative Education committee, both at the State and Federal level, the Virginia Commission for Arts Grant Review Board, the Virginia Sesquicentennial Grant Review Board and the Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network Program. 

In 2012 she successfully won the National Governor’s Association Annual Meeting RFP for Williamsburg, Virginia, was a guest lecturer at George Washington University’s undergraduate tourism program and completed VCU’s MBA study abroad program in Cyprus of June 2013.  She is currently pursuing her graduate degree and will receive her MBA in May of 2015. 

“I’m very excited to be joining the town of Culpeper,” Ms. Read said.  “I am looking forward to working solely for the community and dedicating my efforts in one direction.”  Focused on a number of projects she is looking forward to spending a great deal of time on “partner meet and greets” getting to know what kind of participation can occur and how it will grow Culpeper tourism.  She is also keen on developing a film festival in Culpeper, and leveraging Culpeper’s fine outdoor recreational assets.  In addition, she has plans to continue support of the Arts Council, grow the “Magical History Tour” developed this past year, and continue to pursue a concessionaire agreement whereby folks who take the train to Culpeper can rent a vehicle directly at the Deport to use in their travels around the county. 

When Ms. Read isn’t busy working or studying she lives her job, traveling as often as possible.  A self-described “research junkie,” she also enjoys running and swimming to relieve stress.  Married with two dogs, she loves the beach, baking, gardening, holidays, reading and cheering on the Baltimore Ravens.  A soccer and lacrosse player during her formative years, she hopes someday to coach her own children when that time comes.

We welcome Ms. Read to Culpeper and look forward to working with her and her team. 

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