E-Bird Newsletter

Fairfax County E-Bird for April 7, 2020

Fairfax County business survey: How is your business being affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency? Click here to fill out a short survey prepared by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). It should take 5 minutes to answer, and will help us better understand how different businesses are being affected and how the FCEDA and other agencies can help.

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

Order up: Visit Fairfax launched a mobile program to connect people to local restaurants, breweries and wineries offering takeout during the pandemic. The free “Take Out Trail” mobile passport program, which can be used on phones or computers, has a long menu of local businesses that are participating.  Take us up on our offer to read this Tysons Reporter story.

Have Mercy, will travel: Merrifield-based ECS is helping the Navy deliver COVID-19 relief services from the USNS Mercy hospital ship on the West Coast. The company said it is overseeing information technology, automated data processing and communications aboard the ship to support health providers’ use of communications and medical systems in COVID-19 relief activities. ECS also contributes database, security, network and medical logistics expertise to the effort, reported ExecutiveBiz.

First line response: Chantilly-based First Line Technology, which designs and manufactures disaster preparedness and emergency response equipment, is ramping up manufacturing to meet COVID-19 demand. Company President Amit Kapoor said that hundreds of calls a day began pouring in about three weeks ago. He’s shifted employees around to try to meet the demand. Watch the story on WJLA and find out more about First Line Technology in this FCEDA article and video.

Free hotel rooms: McLean-headquartered Hilton is donating 1 million hotel room nights across the U.S. to medical professionals working in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic to stay free of charge beginning April 13, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Covid-19 calculator: StreetShares, a Reston-based developer of a platform used by banks and credit unions to make small business loans, launched an online tool to help owners navigate the recent stimulus bill passed by Congress. The company’s “Business Relief Calculator” aims to help small business owners calculate the relief that they may be eligible for under the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Creative connectivity: Companies are launching programs such as cooking contests, Fitness Bingo and Favorite Hat Day, making mini-robots and offering meditation apps to keep stay-at-home employees and their families engaged until the emergency recedes. Fairfax County companies featured in a Washingtonian article were NowSecure in Tysons, GoCanvas in Reston, Advanced Simulation Technology in Herndon, Carfax in Centreville, Glassman Wealth Services in Tysons and Splunk in Tysons.

Bridge for small businesses: Pete Snyder, CEO of Disruptor Capital based in Alexandria, created a fund to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis until federal funds arrive. Snyder and his wife, Burson, donated $100,000 in “seed money” to create the nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund, which is intended to help businesses meet payroll, preserve health-care coverage for workers and avoid layoffs while awaiting the federal aid expected to arrive in about a month. The fund will provide up to $3,000 to each approved small business, according to the Washington Post.

Paying it forward: The Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation (NOVA Foundation) received a $1 million donation from Debra Coffman Howe of Palm Beach, Fla. The funding will go to Howe’s existing endowment fund for NOVA nursing student scholarships and the NOVA COVID-19 Emergency Student Aid Fund. Howe was a NOVA nursing student and reached a point where  she could not afford to finish her associate degree, according to NOVA. After consulting with a NOVA nursing instructor, she was notified that her current year tuition and books had been paid for by an anonymous donor. Howe is currently the managing partner and president of Airamid Health Services and Kaine Financial Services in West Palm Beach, according to the Washington Business Journal. Click here to learn more about the fund.

Employee effort: Tysons-headquartered Booz Allen Hamilton announced that it allotted $100 million for efforts to help employees and their communities deal with the pandemic. The company said this pandemic resilience effort will provide 27,000 employees with employment up to at least July 1 as well as provide health and childcare benefits amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The program will also offer technological, monetary and other forms of assistance to veterans, families, communities and health care front-liners in need, Executive Biz reported.

Printing personal protective equipment: Reston-based Nova Labs makerspace has been closed to help promote social distancing, but many members have personal 3D printers and have been printing PPE (personal protective equipment) components for local hospitals and other health care workers. There has been a worldwide effort to create designs and make parts to help those on the front line of fighting Covid-19. Reston Now covered the story. If you don’t have a 3D printer and want to help, Nova Labs is accepting donations so we can buy more materials such as 3D printer filament and plastic for the face shields. Click here to learn more.

Foundation of assistance: The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia awarded $360,000 to 28 regional organizations in the second round of grants from its COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia. The foundation last week announced $422,000 in its first round of COVID-19 grant awards, bringing the total awarded to date to $782,000. See the list of new awardees in InsideNoVa.

Signing on: Verisign of Reston is donating $500,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia as part of a broader effort to support those in the region who are experiencing hardship due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia launched the COVID-19 Response Fund to provide flexible funding resources for nonprofit organizations and other programs in our region responding to COVID-19 and its impacts. InsideNoVa covered the story.

Acquisition advantage: Reston-headquartered Science Applications International Corp.’s Bob Genter, executive vice president and general manager of civilian business, said the fast completion of the acquisition of Unisys’ federal arm has helped SAIC navigate the integration process during the coronavirus pandemic. Genter was interviewed about the business integration in a Washington Business Journal story for subscribers.

Ten hut: McLean-based DynCorp International won two contract modifications worth a total of $35.9 million to help the Army establish quarantine base camps for continued training activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. DynCorp will provide these camps and associated services at Fort Lee in Virginia and Fort Benning in Georgia. The company has plans to expand the effort across Fort Stewart, GA; Fort Gordon, GA; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, reported Executive Biz.

Non-coronavirus news

Tysons of tomorrow: Plans for a 1.2 million square foot mixed-use development near the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons are coming into focus. The Fairfax County Planning Commission is scheduled April 22 to consider Tysons-based Georgelas Group’s application, UrbanTurf reported. The latest plans include a 225-foot-tall building with 378,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of retail, two apartment towers reaching 270 feet and 215 feet, and a 60-foot-tall building with parking garage, retail and an expansive rooftop park. The 1.6-acre park, called the Galaxy Sports Deck, would include a turf field, two multipurpose courts and a children’s playground, Bisnow reported.

Tysons ER, stat: HCA Healthcare acquired a former Korean BBQ restaurant in Tysons that its subsidiary, Reston Hospital Center, plans to retrofit into an emergency center. Reston Hospital Center, care of Nashville, TN-based HCA, last month paid $8.15 million for 8240 Leesburg Pike, reported Washington Business Journal in an article for subscribers.

Reston expansion: Comstock Holdings Companies bought another piece of the Commerce Metro Center across from its Reston Station project as it continues to shape plans for future phases of the mixed-use development along Metro’s Silver line. A Comstock affiliate paid about $35.9 million in March for 11480 Commerce Park Drive, a six-story office building across the Dulles Toll Road from Reston Station, according to Fairfax County land records. Washington Business Journal expanded on the story.

Space cops: Herndon-based Peraton’s Dean Bellamy, senior director of space strategies and development, told Politico in an interview that he believes Congress needs to initiate action to better manage space traffic as more companies launch satellites into orbit. “It will add clarity and help prevent the risk of miscalculation and the risk of a debris incident,” Bellamy said. Politico covered the story.

Shoring up: Herndon-based cybersecurity startup ShorePoint acquired Chantilly-based Cyberyllium, which provides data transformation services and Elasticsearch capabilities for government and corporate enterprises. ShorePoint specializes in supporting the Department of Homeland Security’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program, an initiative focused on reducing cybersecurity risks for federal government entities. Citybizlist picked up a release about the deal.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Leidos resumed work on an Air Force contract to provide information technology services in the national capital region. The contract has a five-year period of performance and a total value of about $450 million. Reston Now

Northrop Grumman received a five-year, $404 million contract modification for software, engineering and product support work on the Navy’s airborne early warning and command-and-control aircraft platform. GovConWire

Rolls-Royce secured a six-year, $70.3 million contract to help the Navy repair and maintain controllable pitch propeller hubs for guided-missile destroyers, cruisers, landing docks and mine-countermeasures ships. Executive Biz

ICF landed a 10-year, $68 million contract to provide enterprise-wide database administration services for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Executive Biz

Featured business events

April 8 — How to Build Influence in a Virtual World. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a Business Education Series webinar featuring Gretchen Richards, owner of Dynamic Business Capabilities. Click here to register.

April 9 — How to Manage Business Growth, Risks and Continuity During These Unprecedented Times. TIE DC presents a webinar on how your fellow small, mid-size, and large company CEO’s are handling the current Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis. Click here to register.

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

May 5 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The FCEDA presents monthly workshops 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 questions.