A Fairfax citizens' group has complained that county authorities spend too much time trying to attract outside industry and too little time helping local industries and businesses expand.
"The point is well taken. We should give more attention to inside business," said David Edwards, executive director of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, of the complaint by the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations.
Since 1970, "only about a third of the county's industrial growth has been from within. Two-thirds has come from outside businesses who decided to locate here, said Edwards, who is a member of the federation.
The federation has called on the county Board of Supervisors to adopt a long-range economic development policy that would give active assistance to local businesses and industries that are ready to expand.
The board's work plan for fiscal 1978 proposes that the development authority spend 2,235 staff hours attracting new business to the county and 900 hours helping Fairfax county firms expand.
"This disproportionate emphasis on soliciting . . . new prospects is not consistent with the federation's position" that expansion of local industry would give the greatest economic boost to the county, said federation board member Reynolds Thomas.
"National figures show that 80 per cent of the growth of the business and industrial base of localities results from existing firms expanding in their current location," Reynolds said.
The authority has just begun a survey of industrial-type businesses in the county. The most recent data available is for 1975 when there were 964 firms, excluding retail and professional firms, in Fairfax County. They represented 13,877,000 square feet of occupied space and 37,093 jobs.
"We know there's been an increase, but we don't know how much," said Keith Taylor, deputy director of the development authority.
In other action at its monthly meeting, the federation stopped short of calling for continuation of the current amount of federal impact aid to Fairfax County schools.
Instead, the organization called for a plan that would phase down impact aid gradually over a period of years to allow for sound financial planning.
Impact aid was devised during World War II as a federal subsidy to localities with large numbers of military and federal government employees who were exempt from certain types of local taxation.
President Jimmy Carter in his amendments to former President Gerald Ford's proposed fiscal 1978 budget did not recommend restoration of impact aid funds that President Ford had deleted. If these funds are not restored by Congress, the county stands to lose $10 million next year.
"But let's face it, impact aid has been a romance to our advantage for a number of years," David Sutherland told fellow federation members.
"If we simply ask Congress not to cut any impact aid, the federation, it seems to me, stands to lose some of its credibility," said Steve Farrar.
The federation also passed a resolution supporting a $51.1 million bond referendum for park acquisition and development in the county. Of that, $39 million is being requested by the county park authority and $12.1 million by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
The county board held public hearings on the proposed referendum March 28. The board approved the referendum, and voters will get their say on June 14, Virginia's primary election day.