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Fiscal cliff, housing comeback were hot topics
Local business stories mirrored efforts to revive economy

 The State Fair of Virginia was saved when the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and a Tennessee company bought it.
SUZANNE CARR ROSSI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 12/29/2012

BY BILL FREEHLING

This year was a mixed bag for the local business community. While there were some encouraging signs in local economic data and plenty of business activity throughout 2012, the Fredericksburg region continued to work its way through the hangover brought on by the housing bust, credit crunch and global recession. In no specific order, here were 10 important business stories for the Fredericksburg region in 2012. Here's wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2013.

;">1. Fiscal cliff concerns: Just about everybody in the local business community added a new word to their vocabularies in 2012: sequestration. That was the term used to describe the automatic federal spending cuts that would come in 2013 without a congressional deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Because government contractors make up a large part of the Fredericksburg-area economy, the cloud of potential budget cuts, particularly those related to military spending, hung heavy for much of the year amid a divisive presidential campaign.

;">2. Dominion Raceway proposed: Word that the Old Dominion Speedway planned to relocate from Manassas to the Fredericksburg area caused an early buzz among Realtors and economic developers, and later some controversy involving residents in the Thornburg area who were opposed to the chosen site off Exit 118. Spotsylvania supervisors and VDOT officials likely will determine the Dominion Raceway's fate in 2013.

;">3. Slavery Museum battle rages on: The drama over the U.S. National Slavery Museum continued. The museum entered and exited bankruptcy in 2012 but still paid none of its Fredericksburg taxes, making a tax sale auction on the 38 acres in Celebrate Virginia South a possibility. Meanwhile Kalahari Resorts, which once planned a huge waterpark resort next to the Slavery Museum site, appeared to turn its attention instead to the Poconos, and a tax sale loomed for much of the undeveloped portions of the Celebrate Virginia development in Fredericksburg.


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