First-ever honor recognizes programs to broaden diversity of county business community
The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce (NVBCC) presented its first-ever Outstanding Public Partner Award today to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) in recognition of the FCEDA’s efforts to broaden the diversity of the Fairfax County business community and economic base.
The presentation came during the NVBCC annual meeting, which included the announcement of seven awards to businesses and partners. This is the first time that a northern Virginia group has established awards to recognize black-owned businesses and strategic partners of the black business community.
“We are proud to receive this honor from the Black Chamber of Commerce,” said Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the FCEDA. “Fairfax County is the best place in the nation for a business person of any background to be successful. Moreover, we are very proud of our African American-owned and operated companies that do so well and rank so highly on national and regional lists of the best. It is our diversity that makes us strong. Fairfax County is today's melting pot.”
Through its Business Diversity Division, the FCEDA presents a number of workshops to help small, minority-owned and veteran-owned businesses get established and grow in Fairfax County. The monthly “Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County” series has attracted more than 3,000 attendees since 2003. The Procurement Academy, a series of 10 workshops designed to emphasize practical strategies needed to land government contracts, started for the second time in September and will continue until 2013. The five-part Marketing Communications Essentials series also is ongoing. The FCEDA also has presented workshops for Fairfax County entrepreneurs and companies interested in exporting goods and services abroad, and hosts SCORE business counselors.
Fairfax County companies consistently shine in the Black Enterprise magazine list of the largest African American-owned companies in the nation. Five Fairfax County companies are on the 2012 BE 100 list.
“The FCEDA has been a valued partner since we launched the chamber in 2008, and over the years we've been honored to work together to educate entrepreneurs and promote the economic growth of northern Virginia,” said Gaea Honeycutt, NVBCC chairwoman. “The chamber board believed it was particularly appropriate to award the organization our first Outstanding Public Partner award.”
L-R: Gaea Honeycutt, Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce; Sharon Bulova, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Ronald Johnson, Commisioner, FCEDA; Karen Smaw, Director, Business Diversity, FCEDA; Congressman Gerald Connolly; Alan Fogg, Vice President, Communications and Market Intelligence, FCEDA.