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Vienna Resident to Speak for Businesses

Billy Thompson named to Virginia Small Business Advisory Board.

Vienna Resident Billy Thompson hopes to use his new position as a member of the state's Small Business Advisory Board to address issues he faces in operating his own business. "I hope I'll be able to be a voice for other small businesses," Thompson said.

Del. Steve Shannon (D-35th) recommended Thompson to Gov. Mark Warner (D) to be a member of the board. "He's a well-respected member of the Vienna-Tysons business community," Shannon said.

Each of the state's congressional districts has its own member on the board, Shannon said. Thompson will represent the 11th District. The board advises the state government on small business issues, Shannon said.

Thompson is also the incoming chairman of the Vienna-Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce. "My view is this will boost the profile of the Chamber statewide," Shannon said.

Gary Powers, director of the Chamber, agreed. "I think everything is going in that direction," Powers said.

Powers has known Thompson for about three years and describes him as a successful businessman who will be an asset to the board. "I think he's well-qualified for this position," Powers said.

Thompson owns the Fairfax-based All-Star Movers, a company he started 28 years ago. He hopes to address issues like the rising cost of health insurance, and traffic, which he says affects all businesses.

Thompson also says he wants to work on the issue of finding good employees. Even with a high unemployment rate, Thompson says he has a difficult time finding good workers. "All service-oriented businesses are having problems finding qualified help," he said.

Although Thompson does not know if the board will be able to address it, he also would like to come up with ideas to stop the rising price of gas — something which directly impacts profits in a moving business. "It's definitely a problem," Thompson said, "especially when your trucks get about four miles to the gallon."

For more information about the Small Business Advisory board, visit www.dba.state.va.us.