Stafford County Economic Development Authority Holds Annual Business Appreciation Reception
May 24th, 2023

Honoring Businesses through the Decades.

STAFFORD, VA – The Stafford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) held their annual Business Appreciation Reception on May 17, 2023, at Cyber Bytes Foundation located at 1010 Corporate Drive. This year’s theme ‘Celebrating Businesses through the Decades’ exemplified the Stafford community’s growth over the years and shadowed the future of business.

Three Stafford businesses were honored during the reception; Business of the Year-Aquia Realty, Innovation Award- G3 Community Services, and Long Family Market as the second awardee of the dedicated Donald H. Newlin Community Stewardship Award, Mr. Newlin has served on the EDA for forty-eight years and has dedicated his work and life to business and community support in Stafford County.

“The Stafford EDA has hosted the business appreciation since 1993. This event is intended to unit entrepreneurs, businesses, and leaders in the sincerest celebration of Stafford’s empowering and growing business community.” stated, Joel Griffin, Chairman of the Stafford County Economic Development Authority. “We see this event grow in attendance as we continue to grow our business community.”

The reception included history of Stafford’s business development, and economic an overview of efforts to maintain, diversify, and grow the business portfolio of Stafford. Highlights included the EDA’s loan business expansion, workforce attraction and retention efforts, and the Smart Stafford initiative.

“The business climate in Stafford is changing, and with said change, requires adapting with new and additional resources our department can offer to our business community. We’re continuously looking to assess and develop new tools to retain, attract, and grow businesses in Stafford.” stated, Josh Summits, Stafford County Economic Development, Acting Director.

The Stafford EDA presented distinct awards honoring select businesses who were nominated for their outstanding efforts from fellow leaders, businesses, and the community. Award categories included:

The Innovation Award:
Recognizes big thinkers, action takers and creative problem solvers. This award is intended to honor true innovation from startups to established entities or individuals. This award was granted to G3 Community Services.

The Business of the Year Award:
Honors a local Stafford business who exemplifies the quality and standards of business in Stafford. This awardee is recognized as a business that contributes to the economic growth and quality of life in Stafford and whose practices and professional conduct contribute to a sense of cooperation within the entire business community. This award was granted to Jo Knight, owner of Aquia Realty.

The Donald H. Newlin Community Stewardship Award:
This award renamed in 2022 in name of longstanding EDA member Donald H. Newlin. Donald Newlin was one of the first EDA members established in 1970 and has served 48 years to the Stafford County EDA. The Donald H. Newlin Community Stewardship award distinguishes a business, organization or person who demonstrates selfless community care by carrying out and participating in community service projects. This award was presented to Long Family Market.

The Business Appreciation Reception was sponsored by Transurban- Title Sponsor, Peterson Companies- Refreshments Sponsor, Germanna Community College- Entertainment Sponsor, and Far Owl Studios, Simventions, and Stafford Printing as Table Sponsors.

“We’re proud to sponsor the Stafford County Economic Development Authority’s Business Appreciation Reception.  At Transurban we know that the regional economy depends on a reliable transportation network, that’s why we’ve partnered with the Commonwealth to invest more than $4 billion into the Express Lanes network,” Said Brent McKenzie, Transurban Senior Government Relations and Community Affairs Manager, “But, we also know physical infrastructure alone is not enough. We are committed to the long-term success of the region and that means investing side-by-side with groups like the Stafford County EDA and community groups to support an enhanced economy, better public health, and improved public safety.”


About Stafford County Department of Economic Development | Stafford EDA:
The Stafford County Department of Economic Development is the sales and customer service arm for Stafford County, Virginia, committed to advancing expansion and investment for the community. As the official economic development organization of Stafford County, our mission is to promote, solicit and encourage business growth through marketing and media services that enhance economic activity and quality of life within the Stafford region. Stafford County is located halfway between Washington, DC and Richmond, VA. In partnership with the Stafford Economic Development Authority (EDA), the Stafford County Department of Economic Development and the EDA has helped finance and support business growth in Stafford since the EDA’s inception in 1970. In addition to business loan programs, in recent years, the EDA has helped develop a number of vacant and underused properties in Stafford and helped launch the Virginia Smart Community Testbed. For more information on Stafford’s Economic Development and the Stafford EDA, visit and, and follow on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, or get connected through the monthly business newsletter.