Town of Vienna wants to attract new business while maintaining small town feel

Virginia

After a week on the job, Economic Development Director Natalie Monkou is starting a "listening tour," talking to the town's small business owners and hearing about their own visions for the future.

TOWN OF VIENNA, Va. (WDVM) — As it looks to its neighbors and how they’re growing, the Town of Vienna is looking to attract and retain good businesses… all while keeping its small town feel.

That’s why it created its economic development manager position and filled it with someone who has made good business happen in the Northern Virginia region.

Maryland native Natalie Monkou worked for Prince George’s County and Arlington County and served on the team that landed deals with Amazon’s HQ2, the March of Dimes, and Nestle.

“It’s a great experience to be in a job when you actually love what you do every day and to work for people who actually want you to do exciting things for them,” said Monkou.

The town’s human resources director, who was on the board that hired Monkou, says bringing vibrant businesses to the area is also a good way of reducing its residents’ taxes.

After a week on the job, Monkou is starting a “listening tour,” talking to the town’s small business owners and hearing about their own visions for the future. One of her first stops as a town employee was one of her first stops as a Town of Vienna resident: Caffe Amouri.

“The big question is always: what is a small town feel to you? And one of them to me is the existence of small businesses,” said owner Michael Amouri. “And I’m really excited that [Monkou is] on board to help promote that because the more we grow that I think the whole town is the better for it.”

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