Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for June 9, 2020

Time to RISE and shine: Applications are open through June 15 for the Fairfax RISE (Relief Initiative to Support Employers) grant program for COVID-19 impacted businesses in Fairfax County. An informational webinar on Fairfax RISE will be held today, June 9, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Questions will be taken during the webinar via chat. Click here to register for the webinar, or you can listen via phone at 415-655-0003, access code 161 180 4501.

The primary purpose of the program is to provide immediate relief to small businesses and non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fairfax County hopes to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations remain in business through the COVID-19 emergency and address gaps that may exist among complementary programs. The grant will not have to be repaid.

The grant program also establishes a minimum allocation of 30 percent of total funding toward awards for woman-owned, minority-owned, and/or veteran-owned businesses. It is funded through an allocation of the Coronavirus Relief Funds provided through the federal CARES Act.

Grant funds will be allocated based on number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees:

Employees, 1 – 10: $10,000
Employees, 11 – 25: $15,000
Employees, 26 – 49: $20,000

There are two phases to the application process: In Part 1 of the process, applicants submit the Qualification Survey, which should take 10 minutes or less to complete. Frequently asked questions about eligibility are posted on the Fairfax RISE website. Applicants are required to upload documents in Part 1. After the grant application period closes, if the grant is over-prescribed, a lottery will be held to select the applicants that will move forward to Part 2, the Certification and Approval Stage.

Please take our “Returning to the Workplace” survey: Did your business apply for a federal or local grant or loan program because of the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you planning to return employees to work in stages? What safety protocols are planned as you transition some or all of your employees back into the office? Please fill out our “Returning to the Workplace” survey. The results will be compiled to help us understand how Fairfax County companies are planning to return their employees to the workplace. It takes less than five minutes to complete. The survey will close June 16.

  • 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 COVID-19 emergency.

Business News and Updates

I spy a record-breaking contract: CACI, the Arlington-based government contractor with major operations in Fairfax County, received a $1.5 billion (yes, with a b) contract to provide networking and cybersecurity services to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The company said the single-award contract — with a base period of five years — was the largest in company history. “This record award demonstrates CACI is delivering on its strategy to win larger, more enduring contracts,” said CACI’s president and CEO John Mengucci. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Protecting our people: Lloyd Howell, CFO of Tysons-headquartered Booz Allen Hamilton, spoke with the Washington Business Journal about how the company is working through the pandemic, how it’s retaining and recruiting talent in the current climate and where the company will go from here. “It’s nothing like crisis that we feel reveals either a company’s or individual’s true character. Right away, I’d say that [President and CEO] Horacio Rozanski, myself and the other members of our executive team first thought of protecting our people. And, at the same time, how do we serve our clients in what was then a pretty uncertain environment and ultimately making Booz Allen strong and resilient,” Howell told the Washington Business Journal.

Supporting the country: Reston-headquartered Science Applications International Corp., now one of Fairfax County’s 11 Fortune 500 companies, noted in a quarterly earnings call that its revenue climbed 9 percent over the same quarter a year ago. “We are fortunate that the demand for our services is essentially unchanged,” said SAIC CEO Nazzic Keene. “I’m extremely proud that we could provide these vital services to our customers and support our country in a time of global crisis,” according to the Washington Business Journal.

Space scouts: Herndon-based Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) invested CIT GAP Funds in Alexandria-based Scout, formerly Eighth Continent Technologies. Scout, which provides non-invasive risk assessments and mitigation services to reduce failures in spaceflight environments, conducts on-site inspections of space assets using small, inexpensive satellites, producing data that saves customers hundreds of millions of dollars. CIT GAP Funds’ investment will help Scout build prototypes, expand the team with critical expertise, and enable growth of industry and government customer acquisition. Citybizlist picked up a CIT release.

Absolutely riveting: Reston-based IT consulting firm 1Rivet, which builds apps for its clients, developed a platform to help other businesses transition back to work. MyHealthyWork is a web and mobile application that tracks employees’ self-reported health information, whereabouts and interactions. The product, now in its beta phase, is slated to launch by mid-June, the Washington Business Journal reported.

No wait, no hassle: Tysons-based MicroTech is working to address shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), adding a risk-free component to its delivery service. The company teamed up with Thermal Safety Systems to revamp its Just-in-Time PPE Delivery. Just-in-Time PPE Delivery has improved supply management and inventory, less production pressure, increased quality control price stabilization and consolidated orders that decrease manufacturing and transportation costs, according to Tysons Reporter.

Bottleneck buster: Centreville-based Parsons developed an Intelligent Intersections solution that uses advanced analytics and algorithms to reduce congestion and improve mobility around cities. Using data already being generated at the intersection, the technology provides a dashboard that allows traffic engineers to visualize information and deploys an algorithm that allows automated retiming of traffic signals, InsideNoVa reported.

Full speed ahead: A planned affordable housing project in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County is moving forward. Wesley Housing closed on the financing for The Arden, a $59 million project that will create 126 units of affordable housing near the Huntington Metro Station. Wesley plans to break ground on the project this month and deliver it by June 2022, Bisnow reported.

Heming, no hawing: Despite the pandemic and economic downturn, global real estate giant Skanska is looking to break ground on multiple new projects in the coming months, including on The Heming, a 410-unit apartment building in Tysons. Skanska acquired a portion of Scotts Run, a development site near the McLean Metro Station planned for 8 million square feet in 2018, and it is now preparing to break ground on the $221 million project, according to Bisnow.

On track in Tysons: Multi-housing construction in Tysons is proceeding rapidly, according to a Greater Greater Washington article. As of the latest Progress Report on Tysons, 12,991 new homes had been built, nearly 1,000 were under construction, and 30,000 more were either approved or under review. Housing construction is on pace to exceed the county’s Tysons comprehensive plan goals well before 2050, penned Emily Hamilton. Check out the article here.

Herndon two-step: Stanley Martin is proposing to redevelop four office buildings in Herndon into a mix of townhouses and “two-over-twos.” The development on Herndon Parkway would include two buildings — a three-story townhouse community and a four-story condominium building consisting of stacked two-story units. The company’s plans for architecture and open space will go before the Architectural Review Board and the town’s Planning Commission for consideration. Reston Now provided the update.

Moon module: Falls Church area-headquartered Northrop Grumman won a $187 million NASA contract to design the habitat module for the space agency’s lunar Gateway, a planned moon-orbiting space station for astronauts. “This contract award is another significant milestone in our plan to build robust and sustainable lunar operations,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. “The Gateway is a key component of NASA’s long-term Artemis architecture, and the HALO capability furthers our plans for human exploration at the moon in preparation for future human missions to Mars,” reported Space.com.

Aussie ID: IDEMIA, headquartered in the U.S. in Reston, and Unisys Corporation launched the Australian Department of Home Affairs’ new Enterprise Biometric Identification Services (EBIS) system. “EBIS provides Home Affairs with greater confidence in verifying an individual’s identity for efficient and early detection of criminals and persons of national security concern who change names and obtain passports using false identities,” said Rick Mayhew, vice president and general manager, Unisys Asia Pacific. Executive Gov carried the news.

Adding AI: Babel Street, a Reston-based company that monitors the web and social media for insights, acquired all of the intellectual property assets of Kansas-based Dunami, an AI and machine learning analysis company. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Babel will integrate Dunami’s technology into its existing products that will be used for public relations, crisis management and audience insights, according Virginia Business.

A lucid reality: E3/Sentinel, a Tysons-based defense and government contractor, acquired Reston-based Lucid Perspectives, a software and system engineering company focused on intelligence agencies. E3/Sentinel’s purchase of Lucid Perspectives marks its fifth acquisition in two years. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Virginia Business covered the sale.

Tracking terrorism: A group of George Mason University staff and faculty, along with about 25-30 students, will collaborate on a project under a five-year State Department contract to examine global trends in terrorism. Under the direction of the Bethesda-based Development Services Group (DSG), the team will work on a database tool that’s highly referenced by policymakers who will be making foreign policy decisions, according to the Fairfax County Times.

Campus life, soon: George Mason University plans to reopen for the fall semester and resume classes as scheduled on Aug. 24. Instruction will be a mixture of in-person classes and online classes, interim president Anne Holton wrote in an email to the university community. “This hybrid approach will allow for appropriate social distancing on campus, while making alternatives available for those students who are not ready to return.” Holton said the university is considering ending in-person classes before Thanksgiving and conducting final semester exams online, meaning that students would not need to return to campus between the Thanksgiving break and winter holiday, InsideNova reported.

PPP changes to know: The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 was signed into law on June 5, making the program’s lending terms more favorable to restaurants, retailers and other businesses. Changes include: extending the “covered period” under which small businesses can spend the loan proceeds from eight weeks to 24 weeks, or until Dec. 31; and removing the limits on loan forgiveness for small businesses that were unable to rehire employees, hire new employees or return to the same level of business activity as before the virus. Find out about more changes in the Washington Business Journal.

Hokie innovation hub: The Washington Business Journal is reporting that Virginia Tech is moving ahead with plans to redevelop the graduate campus it shares currently with the University of Virginia adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro Station, but UVa. will not be part of the new project. Alex Koma of the Business Journal says Virginia Tech appears to be working with Hitt Contracting to expand and overhaul the campus with a new 125,000-square-foot academic building, complete with an “innovation hub, incubator space and conference center.” Alex also says this project would include a new headquarters for Hitt and could be the springboard for more redevelopment around the Metro station. Fairfax County supervisors today will vote on a proposal to drop “U.Va.” from the name of the West Falls Church Metro Station. Find out more in an article for subscribers in the Washington Business Journal.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Leidos won a $401 million contract to help the Defense Intelligence Agency maintain and operate information technology systems. GovConWire

Perspecta received a four-year, $237 million agreement from the Army Training and Doctrine Command to deliver the Army Training Information System (ATIS). Executive Gov

Alion Science and Technology scored a $39 million Air Force Material Command contract to support the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Special Operations Force Directorate. citybizlist

Featured business events

June 12 — Refraction Rap: A Conversation with Sen. Mark Warner about Women and Minority Entrepreneurs. Refraction, a nonprofit innovation hub and coworking space in Tysons, presents this discussion featuring U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (Virginia) talking with Reggie Aggarwal of Cvent, Crystal Icenhour of Aperiomics and Keith Walker of Aer Wireless). Click here to register.

June 15-18 — Impact AI: National Impact, Local Innovation. The Northern Virginia Technology Council presents a virtual summit on developments in artificial intelligence and the strength of the regional AI ecosystem. Click here to register.

June 18: Marketing & Business Development Through COVID-19. The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance presents the next session of its three-part, 12 session “Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinars” series. Registration opens soon. Click here for more information.

June 24: Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance. NAIOP Northern Virginia presents two panel discussions to learn how regional economic development leaders, including FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins, plan to position the region for the future. Members of the newly formed Alliance will discuss the plan and components of marketing Northern Virginia, their work on economic recovery and workforce attraction, retention and retraining issues. Click here to register.

June 25: Back to Business…But How?: The Dulles Area Transportation Association presents a panel discussion featuring: Victor Hoskins, President and CEO, FCEDA; Ben Safran, Associate Partner – DC Office, McKinsey & Company; Christopher Paolino, Deputy Vice President for Strategy, Business Transformation & Performance, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; Bryan Hill, County Executive, Fairfax County; and Ali Lauzon, Operations Associate, McKinsey & Company as moderator. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

Forward Virginia Phase 2 reopening guidelines: Fairfax County will begin the second phase to re-open businesses on Friday, June 12. The Forward Virginia plan provides guidelines that all businesses must follow. Residents are still advised that they are “safer at home.” Click here to find out the updated guidelines.

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, 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.

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.

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.