Local Commentary

Editorial: Necessity & Invention

Tough economic times call for special qualities of creativity and invention. Some think they call for a tough-minded willingness to make difficult decisions. Some think they call for a spirit of sacrifice and an uncomplaining acceptance to put up with less.

“All the above” may be required, but what tends to get overlooked the most is the inventive component. What can any business, or government, do to mitigate the consequences of a serious downturn in the economy? The main thing, in our view, is to not take it lying down, but to be ever pro-active in attempting to achieve some competitive edge. These times could offer unique opportunities for smaller, or previously less-recognized, entities to rise to far greater prominence and impact.

That’s what we at the News-Press tell our advertising partners. We have provided them with a quality newspaper product that is terrifically popular and routinely read from cover-to-cover. There is no other newspaper in this region that can claim the uniquely loyal and committed readership we have, even among readers who may take issue with our editorial point of view. That’s ideal for our advertisers, who already have a relative advantage for that very reason. They have an effective tool for getting their word out, so now is not the time to pull in their horns and cut back on their advertising to save money. On the contrary, advertising represents the one small investment by them that offers the best hope for turning their situation around.

The same principle applies for the City of Falls Church as a jurisdiction. The conjuncture of the tough economy, and the fact that thousands of new families will be coming to the Washington, D.C. region in the next six weeks or so, with a change of administrations and in scores of Congressional offices, represents an opportunity for Falls Church to put its best foot forward, right now, to promote its new and available rental and condo units. After all, Falls Church has two Metro stops on the Orange line that goes straight to stops by the White House and the Capital, both. It’s got the reputation for the area’s best school system, and for a unique sense of community and quality of life. It had the highest voter turnout of any jurisdiction in Virginia last week, and it has a fabulous newspaper that was the only one based in Northern Virginia to endorse our new president-elect prior to the election.

Business and civic leaders in Falls Church, alike, should be holding emergency meetings, right now, to cook up ways to put the City first in the minds of prospective new residents. Developers and other business leaders obviously have abundant reasons for doing so, and so do our elected officials, looking for a shot in the arm to the local economy to avert current projections for a most difficult revenue shortfall in the coming year. The City’s many friends in the federal political arena can be called on to help get the word out. They may only need to be asked.