E-Bird Newsletter

Fairfax County E-Bird for March 31, 2020

Economic impact: How the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will affect the Washington, D.C.-area economy is the focus of an live webinar this Thursday morning, April 2, to be presented by the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance. Jeannette Chapman, director of the Stephen S. Fuller Institute at George Mason University, will present findings of the institute’s first report on the pandemic. The webinar will run from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. Click here for more details and to register for the free session. The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce are partners in the event.

Fairfax County business survey: How is your business being affected by the virus emergency? Click here to fill out a short survey prepared by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. 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.

Care for CARES details?: On Friday, the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act became law, aimed at providing a lifeline to individuals, families and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for “The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act,” posted by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

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.

Small businesses loan info: Small businesses throughout Virginia affected by the coronavirus emergency can apply for a low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The program will provide small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million. Click here to go to the SBA Covid-19 site.

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 or 703-790-0600 with relevant information that we may possibly share with our readers. Thank you for your assistance in these unprecedented times.

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.

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 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. to respond to community questions.

Healthcare collaboration: Tysons-based MITRE helped form the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, a coalition of 50 companies, health systems and other organizations aimed at helping curb the coronavirus spread, with the MITRE serving as the central hub, coordinating combined efforts to help track and stop the disease. The Washington Business Journal interviewed Dr. Jay Schnitzer, MITRE’s chief technology and medical officer, about the coalition. Check out the article here.

Googling assistance: Google, which has an office in Reston, is offering $340 million in free ads to small and midsize businesses with active Google ad accounts as part of an $800 million coronavirus response package. According to the company, the goal is “to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers,” Inc. reported.

Food and hunger help: Tysons-headquartered Capital One pledged $50 million to support nonprofit partners working in part on food and hunger aid as it continues to ramp up its efforts during the novel coronavirus outbreak. The bank has already expanded its use of telework, increasing the number of customer support associates who work from home from 1,600 to 13,000 in two weeks, CEO and co-founder Richard Fairbank said in a message to employees, according to the Washington Business Journal.

EdTech for schooling: Education technology company Blackboard, which operates its global headquarters in Reston, is a major force in the shift to digital teaching and learning during COVID-19. The company, which is contracted by Fairfax County Public Schools and many other jurisdictions nationwide, is partnering with K-12 districts and higher education institutions in the region as COVID-19 forces schools to close for the remainder of the school year. Learn more in this Reston Now story.

Future optimism: During an earnings call, SAIC CEO Nazzic Keene said she thinks COVID-19’s impact will be manageable for the company, for reasons to include that the infrastructure was already in place for much of its personnel to work remotely. The broader economy is teetering on the edge of a recession, but Keene said “our federal government customer is largely less economically sensitive with a significant portion of the work we perform considered mission-critical.” Long-term contracts in SAIC’s portfolio also will help the company. Read more in Washington Technology.

GovCon discussion: George Mason University’s Center for Government Contracting hosted a Webinar: “COVID-19 and Implications for the Government Contracting Community” on Monday. One key takeaway from the event was that the enacted $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes a provision to reimburse contractors for any paid leave they provide to ensure that workers or subcontractors maintain a “ready state” status. Read more in GovConWire.

Feeding first responders: Ciao Osteria restaurant in Centreville’s owner Sal Speziale, a former U.S. fighter pilot, is making sure first responders are fed by delivering food for free to those on the front lines of the coronavirus battle, including ER doctors and nurses. Watch the story on ABC News and WJLA.

‘On the rocks’ not needed: Battling the extreme shortages of hand sanitizer, Virginia distilleries across the state have stepped up to switch their manufacturing to produce the product, including Falls Church Distillers. Distilleries have the manpower to produce the product, but have difficulty finding people to package the materials. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department has offered packaging assistance to Purcellville-based distillery Catoctin Creek Distilleries. Check out the story in Virginia Business and read an interview with Fall Church Distillers’ owner Michael Paluzzi in Tysons Reporter.

Never too young to make a difference: A 7-year-old Ashburn boy, Zohaib Begg, gathered more than 2,000 shower caps, 3,000 gloves and 900 masks to donate to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he had been a patient at age 3. It was his idea to go to local hotels with his mother to ask for shower caps that medical workers could use as disposable, one-time items for protection and ended up receiving gloves and masks as well, according to WTOP news.

Another child with a mission to help: A 9-year-old in Vienna wants to help the local businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic that previously supported his fundraising efforts for young cancer patients. Matteo Lambert began his philanthropic journey after working with the founder of Reston-based Hopecam, which allows severely ill cancer patients to connect digitally with friends and fight social isolation. Matteo set up a GoFundMe to pay back the businesses for their original donations. Tysons Reporter covered the story.

New testing facilities: New Inova Urgent Care respiratory illness clinic locations are open in Northern Virginia at Tysons, Dulles South and North Arlington to help check the spread of coronavirus. Potential patients need to get in touch with their regular doctor for an evaluation first before visiting these clinics, according to WTOP.

Non-coronavirus news

Innovation Central: Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, was one of the presenters yesterday afternoon for “Innovation Districts Along the Silver Line Expansion,” a webinar presented by the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce. Other presenters were Colleen Kardasz, assistant director of Loudoun County Economic Development, Bob Geolas, partner at HR&A Advisors, and Joe Ritchey, executive vice president of Transwestern. Click here for a recording of the webinar.

Ka-leidos-copic satellite vision: Autonomous satellite systems in space can save lives on earth, according to Bob Touchton, chief autonomy scientist at Reston-based Leidos. As a fictitious example, a satellite could locate an emergency situation such as a forest fire, task drones to lead trapped people out of the danger zone and on to an autonomous vehicle to lead them to safety. This hypothetical scenario could be possible in the next five to 10 years with the new autonomous space capabilities being developed by Leidos. Read Touchton’s interview in Politico.

Mission: Create live-work units: A new live-work building is opening in Fairfax County that’s amenable for remote working. Highland Square Holdings is preparing to welcome its first tenants this week to Mission Lofts, a converted office building at 5600 Columbia Pike in the Falls Church area. The building received county permission to use its 156 units as traditional apartments, as offices for small businesses with up to 10 people, or as a combination of the two. Bisnow has some lofty prose in this story about the project.

Partnering platform: Reston-based Carahsoft Technology has partnered with Washington state-based Rhondos to market the latter’s PowerConnect for SAP, which has a Reston office, and Splunk, which has a Tysons office. The PowerConnect technology is designed to help users transmit and access their SAP system data in real-time via the Splunk platform, reported Executive Biz.

More Splunk-ing news (not about caves): Splunk entered into a technology alliance partnership with Leesburg-based Quantum Computing advanced technology company to develop quantum-ready applications and tools. The partnership will enable the companies to conduct research and analytics that exploit conventional large-data cybersecurity stores and data-analytics workflows, combined with quantum-ready graph and constrained-optimization algorithms, according to citybizlist.

Get ready for a new look: A rebranding effort currently underway aims to get people to identify Tysons as one place, not just the area by the two malls. “It’s not about putting a new logo out there,” said Drew Sunderland, the director of marketing and placemaking at Tysons Partnership. “The goal is to create a sense of engagement here that connects people to place.” Tysons Reporter’s Catherine Douglas Moran has more.

Insightful investment: The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), located in Herndon, invested CIT Gap Funds in Vienna-based MetiStream, developer of a platform that uses big data, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to reveal hidden insights in unstructured clinical data, citybizlist reported.

Channeling funds: Fairfax County will provide an extra $160,000 to help the Town of Vienna kick off a stream restoration project. The extra funds will go toward the design and construction of the Northside Park Piney Branch Stream Restoration Project. Located in the Town of Vienna and the Difficult Run Watershed, the project will restore roughly 1,400 linear feet of the stream on Piney Branch by improving the water quality and providing more nutrients, according to Tysons Reporter.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Leidos’ QTC Medical Services subsidiary won a five-year, $999 million contract to provide commercial health services to Army Reserve troops. GovConWire

General Dynamics scored a $326.8 million contract to manufacture guided missile directors and controllers for the Aegis combat systems of the U.S. Navy, Japan and Spain. GovConWire

CACI won a $180.3 million contract to provide special operations communications systems, satellite communications and network support services. Signal Magazine

DynCorp International received a $38.6 million contract to support construction and maintenance work at the Army’s Fort Wainwright in Alaska. Executive Gov

Featured business events

April 1 — Practical Tips for Prolonged Teleworking. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring Robin Mack, director of technical assistance, TeleworkVA! Click here to register.

April 1 — Learn the CARES Act Impacts Your Business. The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring Chamber member Cherry Bekaert to discuss how your organization can access the new funding and programs offered by the federal government following passage of the latest economic stimulus package. Click here to register.

April 2 — The Effect of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Washington Region’s Economy. The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance presents a live webinar featuring Jeannette Chapman, director, Stephen S. Fuller Institute at George Mason University and Alex Iams, executive vice president, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Click here to register.

April 3 — Financial Advice for Yourself, Your Business, and Details on SBA Loans. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring panelists who will discuss commercial loans for your business; personal finance tips; and the details of SBA’s Disaster Loan Assistance. Click here to register.

April 7 — How to Maintain Wellness (Physical, Mental and Nutritional) When it Matters Most. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring panelists who will also cover and answer your questions on the following topics: how nutrition can boost your immune system; staying physically active during self-quarantine; and maintaining mental wellness during a crisis. Click here to register.

April 7 — 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.