E-Bird Newsletter

Fairfax County E-Bird for April 21, 2020

Join us for two webinars this week:

  • “Telework 201: How Businesses Like Yours Have Made Telework “Work” For Them” on Wednesday, April 22 at 1 p.m. ET.

This is the second webinar in a series presented by the Dulles Area Transportation Association, the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), the focus is to help businesses effectively manage a remote workforce. Representatives from three companies that have created a successful telework program will highlight some of the concerns and challenges they faced and how they addressed them.

Moderated by Robin Mack, Director, Telework Technical Assistance, Telework!VA, presenters will be:

  • Justin Schor, principal, Wells and Associates
  • Dale Roberts, chief operating officer, Tesla Government
  • Joe Kang, enterprise change manager, Human Resources, Arlington County

Click here to register for the Wednesday session.

  • “Covid-19 Business Survival Toolkit Webinar” on Thursday, April 23 at 2 p.m. ET.

This is the first of the “Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinar Series” presented by the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA), which includes the FCEDA. This will be a three-part, 12-session series.

Created for NOVA businesses to ensure they have the latest and best possible information from a variety of experts, these webinars will focus on how to keep moving forward during and after the current global pandemic. It will convene experts spanning issues such as government financing, staffing, technology readiness, healthy workplaces, new business and revenue models, customer retention, and more.

The first in this webinar series, the COVID-19 Business Survival Toolkit, will delve into issues of government financing programs, staff management and assessing your digital readiness to encounter the new business reality. Panelists:

  • Antonio Doss, District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration Washington Metropolitan Area District Office
  • Amber Clayton, Director, The Knowledge Center, Society for Human Resource Management
  • Cliff Bartlett, Vice President, IT Application Development, K12 Corporation

Click here to register for the Thursday session.

FCEDA Annual Report: Check out the FCEDA 2019 annual report, titled “Forward Together.” Our annual report highlights the formation of the NOVA EDA, heralding unprecedented cooperation across boundaries to market Northern Virginia as the best place for businesses of all kinds to succeed and for people of all backgrounds to live, work, play and learn. These efforts are especially important as the region, the nation and the world move forward together in the battle against COVID-19.  Click here to download the report.

How the FCEDA can help your business: Go to the end of this newsletter to find out how the FCEDA can help your business during the health crisis.

Business News and Updates:

Get a jump start: Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is launching a new summer schedule of tuition-free online classes for about 70,000 qualified Northern Virginia high school students. This is an opportunity for rising seniors through graduating seniors to earn college credit by attending up to two online courses that will run from June 1 to July 15, InsideNova reported.

Charting the course: The White House unveiled a list of around 200 chief executives and other business leaders who will consult with the administration on restarting the coronavirus-hit economy. Executives in the five-member defense group include Phebe Novakovic of Reston-headquartered General Dynamics and Kathy Warden of Falls Church-area-based Northrop Grumman, notes Washington Technology.

Cyber check-up: Herndon-based BSI, which formed in 1901 as the British Standards Institution, established BSI Cares, a program that provides a no-cost review of the internet footprint of qualified schools and medical facilities for a high-level report on their cybersecurity vulnerabilities. “Many organizations critical to the health and wellbeing of the country have given access to technologies that allow for work from home programs, telemedicine, and home schooling. Yet, not all these organizations have the staff or budget to validate the security of these new internet facing assets, leaving them at risk of compromise or denial of service,” said Brian Bertacini, a managing principal at BSI. Citybizlist picked up a release about the initiative.

Lofty goals: Mission Lofts, a newly opened development in the Baileys Crossroads area of the county, has a mixed-use design that befits the current need of many to live and work in a single place. The empty office building on Columbia Pike was rezoned for commercial as well as residential use and then retrofitted into a work/live building with 156 units. Forbes.com checked in with this report.

Data pitch: Doug Merritt, CEO of Splunk, which has an office in Tysons, talked to Forbes about the importance of a data-centric approach amid the current pandemic to help get supplies and healthcare professionals where they are needed most — and help other areas of the country that may not have to ramp up to the same extent.

Car sales speeding up: COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect consumer demand, but data from Reston-based ComScore suggests that a drop in demand for new vehicles seen in March reversed slightly in the first week of April. Take this story by InsideNova for a spin.

Silver lining for metro riders: In a move that could expedite construction of the second phase of  Metro’s Silver Line to Washington Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County, the Wiehle-Reston East Station could shut down for at least two weeks during the stay-at-home order. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is building the second phase of the Silver Line, is in talks with Metro about doing the temporary shutdown, which an MWAA spokesperson says has the potential to speed up the project by several months, WJLA reported.

Farm to table: Farmers Restaurant Group has rolled out a completely online retail market and grocer with delivery, called Founding Farmers Market. By using its restaurants as fulfillment and delivery centers, the companies so far has been able to bring back 175 of its nearly 1,100 employees who were furloughed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Founding Farmers Tysons and Reston Station are among the DC-area delivery areas, says WTOP.

Sweet treats: A local pastry chef is making sweet treats for health care workers and first-responders who are on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. Farozan Jivraj, owner of Cupcake Novelties in Centreville, has delivered treat boxes to nurses at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and other places where workers are putting their lives on the line to help others, Fairfax City Patch reported.

Pandemic pantry: The folks at the 29 Diner in Fairfax turned the inside of the restaurant into a free community pantry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Tables are stacked with non-perishable food items, and household items and free hot meals-to-go are also available. The goal is to help at-risk youth, families in need and first-responders, but it’s available to anyone in need. Roughly 500 people have contributed to the pantry, according to WJLA broadcast. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for donations.

Non-coronavirus news

Best of the best: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is the top high school in the nation in the 2020 Best High Schools list by U.S. News and World Report. The regional magnet school that serves students in Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun and Prince William counties, as well as the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, was ranked fourth in 2019 and 10th in 2018. The top 8 schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia are located in Fairfax County: Thomas Jefferson, Langley, McLean, Marshall, Madison, W.T. Woodson, West Springfield, and Chantilly high schools, according to InsideNova.

Job growth projected: Reston-based Carahsoft Technology placed in CollegeGrad.com’s annual list of top entry-level employers. The company is expected to onboard 700 new employees and 174 interns this year, a 27 percent increase from last year, according to Reston Now. See the list here.

Preview of coming attractions: Centreville-headquartered Parsons published “5 Ways Data Trends Will Change The Face Of The 2030s,” a mostly optimistic look at the anticipated innovative breakthroughs of the next decade. See the report on Parsons Cyber Blog.

Mission accomplished: Falls Church-headquarters Northrop Grumman succeeded in docking a small spacecraft built by with a Tysons administrative headquartered Intelsat’s IS-901 satellite and returning it to service for another five years. The feat is a space industry first, as extending the life of spacecraft already in orbit has only been done with human help before. “Intelsat is proud to have pioneered this innovative first with Northrop Grumman,” said the company’s chief services officer Mike DeMarco, CNBC reported.

Future homes: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved changes to Arrowbrook Centre, a proposed mixed-use development that was approved in 2005 for more than two million square feet of development located near the future Innovation Center Metro Station in the Herndon area. The changes will enable the development to be converted from previously planned high-rise residential buildings into single-family homes and mid-rise apartment units, reported Reston Now.

Bringing the outdoors in: Hilton McLean Tysons Corner was featured in an article because of its interior biophilic design (the use of bringing nature indoors) in its “Innovation Gallery” space that can be used for meetings and presentations. The space includes “living walls,” constructed with plants. “People naturally gravitate toward representations of nature all around them. Artificial light and ‘beige box’ meeting spaces are often considered draining to folks who count down the minutes until they can get outside,” said Larry Traxler, senior vice president for Hilton Global Design, according to Buildings.com.

IT Partnership: Tysons-based NeoSystems, formed a partnership with SAP Concur, a computer software company, which has an office in Tysons. NeoSystems, which provides accounting and financial management, human capital, information technology, and related services to government contractors and nonprofit organizations, will now provide clients with SAP Concur solutions as well as advisory, implementation and platform services, citybizlist reported.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

PAE won a $400 million contract for the Department of Justice International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program and Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training Worldwide Support Services. Executive Biz

Akima Logistics Services scored a $385 million contract to provide logistics services for C-21 transport aircraft at multiple Air Force facilities worldwide. GovConWire

Hensel Phelps Construction won a $18.6 million contract for an alternate care facility at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Homeland Security Today

1901 Group secured a seven-month, $2.1 million agreement, under its joint venture partner agreement with the National Technical Information Service, for data innovation support to assist the Department of Homeland Security. Executive Gov

NCI Information Systems (NCI) will provide command, control, communications, computers, cyber, and intelligence/information technology (C5I/IT) systems to the Army Futures Command (AFC) headquarters in Austin, Texas. Signal Magazine

Featured business events

April 21 @ 12 p.m. –Tech for the Next Decade. TIE DC presents a virtual showcase of technologies that will lead the way for the next 10 years. Click here to register.

April 21, 24, 27 — Applying for the Fairfax County Microloan Program. Community Business Partnership presents WebEx webinar with a Q & A session on the Fairfax County Microloan Program. Click here to register for a session on 4/21 at 3 p.m., 4/24 at 1 p.m. or 4/27 at 2 p.m.

April 22 — Telework 201: How Businesses Like Yours Have Made Telework “Work” For Them. The Dulles Area Transportation Association, the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, presents a webinar is designed to help you effectively manage a remote workforce. Click here to register.

April 22 — Webinar: 3 Simple Ways to Minimize Online Risks. Part of the Business Education Series presented by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Click here to register.

April 22 — Webinar: 11 Steps Your Business Needs to Prepare for the Coronavirus Economic Panic. Presented by the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce. Click here to register.

April 23 — Webinar: Covid-19 Business Survival Toolkit. This is the first of the “Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinar Series” presented by the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA), which includes the FCEDA. This will be a three-part, 12-session series. Click here to register.

April 23 — Webinar: Selling to the Commonwealth. What Can SWaM and Micro Business Certifications Do For You! Presented by the the Virginia Hispanic Chamber (VHC) and the Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity. Click here to register.

May 5 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in the Era of COVID-19. The FCEDA presents this workshops, with an emphasis on COVID-related issues, with our partners: the Fairfax County Government, Fairfax County-based Community Business Partnership, the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Click here to register.

June 16 — Impact AI: National Impact, Local Innovation. The Northern Virginia Technology Council presents a conference on developments in artificial intelligence and the strength of the regional AI ecosystem. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

Get business assistance: Continuing business operations in today’s situation is challenging and the FCEDA is working to assist businesses with information and access to critical resources during this emergency. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date information, resources and assistance for businesses.

The FCEDA, like other economic development organizations in the region, is working virtually until at least April 30, and our staff is working full-time with businesses of all kinds to offer assistance and direct them to resources. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at info@fceda.org, or call 703-790-0600 to leave a voice message for our staff. And click here for resources available in the other nine jurisdictions that make up the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.

Call to action: How is your company reacting to the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis? Is your company developing any technologies, implementing any noteworthy procedures or have advice for other companies on how conduct business more effectively in this situation? Please contact the FCEDA communications division at info@fceda.org with relevant information that we may possibly share with our readers. Thank you for your assistance in these unprecedented times.

Here are more useful informational resources:

  • Fairfax County information for businesses impacted by coronavirus: click here
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Virginia: click here
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program information and other COVID-19 related resources and guidance for small business: click here
  • CDC resources for businesses and employers: click here
  • Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance — links to COVID 19-related resources throughout the region: click here

Get text updates: Fairfax County residents are encouraged to sign up for coronavirus-related text message alerts from the Fairfax County Health Department in order to stay current with important updates. To receive these alerts, text FFXCOVID to 888-777. In addition, residents can send specific questions or concerns related to the coronavirus to ffxcovid@fairfaxcounty.gov. This email account will be staffed Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to respond to question.