E-Bird Newsletter

Fairfax County E-Bird for May 5, 2020

Now hear this: “What’s Best for My Business, What’s Best for My Staff?” is the next session in the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance Beyond COVID-19 NOVA Business Resiliency webinar series. The session is set for 2 p.m. Thursday, May 7. It will delve into issues of how best to handle your employees and what decisions you need to make during these difficult times. Panelists include Manish Malhotra, chairman and CEO of Unissant; Patrick Hyland, director of research and development at Mercer | Sirota, and Agata Nguyen, director of people operations at The Humane League. Click here to register.

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:

Rest easy: Tysons-based consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton is the latest company to offer employees emergency funds and a pledge of no layoffs in the face of the economic upheaval stirred by the coronavirus outbreak. The company rejiggered its budget and announced it will set aside $100 million to enhance its benefits program. Booz Allen’s 27,000 employees will be able to apply for the hardship funds to assist with healthcare, childcare, other COVID-related issues, and take extended time off. Forbes.com has more on the program.

Necessity and invention: The Booz Allen Hamilton philanthropic arm, the Booz Allen Foundation, set up a $1 million fund to support nonprofits, small businesses and individuals building COVID-19 solutions. Until June 5, the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Fund is accepting grant applications from nonprofits, small businesses and individuals working on new tech such as systems, products and processes that address COVID-19-related problems. These initiatives can focus on areas such as helping communities recover from the pandemic, safely returning to work, and making protective gear for front line workers, Technical.ly DC reported.

PPE partnership, unmasked: Centreville-headquartered Parsons and Columbus, Ohio-headquartered Battelle are working together to disinfect N-95 masks and other personal protective equipment to support COVID-19 relief efforts across the nation. The companies joined forces to operate the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System, which disinfects the personal protective gear. Parsons is mobilizing field crews to operate units using a hydrogen peroxide mist to decontaminate masks, Army Technology reported.

Hoosier contacts: The Indiana State Health Department hired Maximus, a Reston-based company that carries out government programs, to begin contact tracing for its 92 counties. The company will contact people who have tested positive for coronavirus to determine who they have been in contact with over the last two weeks, according to the Indiana Business Journal.

Speziale delivery: In Centreville, Ciao Osteria owner Sal Speziale has been delivering free meals to first-responders and hospital workers during the pandemic. What began as a gift of 25 lunches to staff at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital expanded quickly with the help of a GoFundMe campaign that raised over $140,000 and spread to include meals for Inova Fairfax Hospital and Reston Hospital Center, two area fire stations and other locations. Speziale is a former Air Force and Air National Guard fighter pilot, and Air Force Magazine covered the story.

Galleria gastronomics: Tysons Galleria launched new promotions to support three of its restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone who purchases more than $50 worth of food from either the Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s or P.F. Chang’s at Tysons Galleria will receive a $20 Visa gift card to use at the mall, the website said. All three restaurants offer curbside pickup and to-go orders. In addition, the mall is also raising money for the Feeding America COVID-19 Response Fund, according to Tysons Reporter.

On track with donations: Merrifield brewery Caboose Commons is ramping up donation efforts to benefit health-care workers and low-income patients by collecting donations for the Inova Health System. Caboose announced on Facebook that donations will also benefit the Inova Cares Clinic for Women & Children. People can donate when they get to-go orders. The brewery recently expanded delivery zone now stretches from Herndon to Baileys Crossroads, according to Tysons Reporter.

Paws and effect: Tatjana Farr, owner of Coyote Grille in Fairfax City, is providing free meals to medical workers and first-responders in the Washington, D.C. area during the pandemic. Farr started a GoFundMe page called Food Forward for the Front Lines to raise money to provide meals to front-line workers, reported Fairfax City Patch.

Choices, choices: Washingtonian compiled a list of eateries in Tysons, Vienna and McLean offering takeout and delivery during the pandemic. Check it out in Washingtonian magazine.

Earnings up: Boston Properties, the owner of Reston Town Center, said that rent collection and leasing activity in April remained strong despite the ongoing pandemic. During a quarterly earnings call, the company representatives said that roughly 90 percent of its office and retail tenants paid rent for April 1. The company’s first-quarter revenue is up from four percent over the previous year, according to Reston Now.

In soap there’s hope: Fairfax County teacher David Kelly and his eighth-grade science students at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke started a GoFundMe drive called Soap For Hope. The students learned how to make soap. Anyone who donates $10 or more will be mailed a bar of the soap and a personal thank-you letter. The class hopes to raise $15,000. Kelly launched the project when he found out that almost a quarter of his students had a parent who has lost a job because of the pandemic. When the drive ends, all the money collected will be distributed to the affected student families. WTOP reported.

Siren salutes: Tomorrow is National Nurses Day, and Fairfax County firefighters and police officers celebrated health-care workers at Inova Fairfax Hospital last Wednesday, April 29, with a parade of police vehicles and fire trucks that did a siren salute as they passed the hospital. The show of support began with an overhead tribute and flyover by an FBI helicopter. See News4’s broadcast. On Monday, April 27, Fairfax County firefighters and police officers visited Inova Mount Vernon Hospital to thank and applaud the hospital staff. See the photos on the Fairfax County Police Department Facebook page.

Rocketing right along: Falls Church area-headquartered Northrop Grumman is moving forward to continue tests of a new military-tailored launch vehicle in competition with Blue Origin, SpaceX and United Launch Alliance amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Northrop-made OmegA rocket is being assembled by protectively clad personnel and by remote workers, according to the company. Northrop aims to have the rocket ready for a potential, initial launch mission in spring next year. ExecutiveBiz carried a release.

Non-coronavirus news

In the fast lane: Fairfax County is home to 18 of the top 50 fastest-growing companies in Virginia, including five of the top 10, according to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 “Fantastic 50” list of the 50 fastest-growing companies. The 2020 list is topped by Herndon-based B3 Group, which saw revenue growth of 3,231 percent from 2015 through 2018. Among the 17 other Fairfax County-based companies on the list:  No. 2 Alpha Omega Integration, Tysons; No. 7 The Author Incubator, McLean; No. 8 Axiologic Solutions, Fairfax; and No. 9 Spatial Front, Tysons. Check out the entire list in Virginia Business. See also Virginia Business magazine’s profiles of B3 Group and Alpha Omega Integration.

New perspective: Chantilly-based Perspecta completed its acquisition of Woodbridge, N.J.-based DHPC Technologies. The transaction will enable Perspecta to combines its expertise in cybersecurity, secure communications and advanced analytics with DHPC’s electronic-warfare platform, according to GovConWire.

Over the moon: Reston-headquartered Leidos bought defense contractor Dynetics for $1.65 billion. Now NASA tapped Dynetics, headquartered in Huntsville, Ala., as one of three companies to compete to build the next lunar human-landing systems for its Artemis program. Dynetics, along with Blue Origin and SpaceX, received a combined $967 million, 10-month contract to design and build their versions of a lunar landing vehicle for the agency’s planned 2024 manned moon missions, according to the Washington Business Journal in an article for subscribers.

Upskilling initiative: Marymount University in Arlington launched “Upskilling for the What’s Next Economy,” a set of modular graduate certificates and degree qualifications that will provide students with technical, management, entrepreneurial and leadership skills and get them back to work. The initiative allows students to achieve a graduate level qualification in areas of economic demand such as cybersecurity, data science, health care, talent attraction, management and entrepreneurship, noted InsideNoVa.

Mapping the course: Reston-headquartered Carahsoft Technology will distribute Mapbox’s cloud-based mapping technology to public-sector customers. The partnership will also allow Mapbox to streamline order processes, achieve quote and small business requirements, simplify renewals and respond to quote requests faster, reported Executive Biz.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

General Dynamics‘ mission systems business secured a 10-year, $400 million contract to manufacture spare parts for a military network system used to enable on-the-move communications. GovConWire

CGI won a six-year, $267 million contract to provide cybersecurity consulting services under the  Department of Homeland Security’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation Program. Executive Biz

ICF won a five-year, $70 million contract to help the Federal Communications Commission update, integrate and manage information technology applications. GovConWire

Alion Science and Technology scored a five-year, $50 million contract to engineer a suite of live, virtual and constructive training systems for the Navy. Executive Biz

IBM secured a $18.8 million contract for information technology services and support on behalf of the Defense Department Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems. Data Center Dynamics

Leidos won a $13.4 million contract to provide translation, transcription and interpretation services to the Office of the Chief Prosecutor in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Homeland Security Today

Carahsoft Technology received a one-year, $2 million contract to provide Qualtrics cloud-based data management services to support the Census Bureau’s COVID-19 survey operations. Executive Biz

Northrop Grumman secured a contract from the Air Force to develop a prototype for an open system that will facilitate communications and translation between military aircraft platforms. Executive Biz

Featured business events

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.

May 6 — Global Virtual Exchange: a Trans-Atlantic dialogue on Corona’s Economic Impact and Recovery. The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring: Jeannette Chapman, Director, Stephen S. Fuller Institute in the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University; Mark Selby, Director of the Project Beyond Consortium and visiting professor at the University of Surrey; Dr. Jan Wirsam, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin; and Nick Cacaci, Director of Real Estate, Virginia, LiDL US. Click here to register.

May 7 — What’s Best for My Business, What’s Best for My Staff? The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance presents the next session in its Beyond COVID-19 NOVA Business Resiliency webinar series. This session will delve into issues of how best to handle your employees and what decisions you need to make during these difficult times. Panelists include Manish Malhotra, chairman and CEO of Unissant; Patrick Hyland, director of research and development at Mercer | Sirota, and Agata Nguyen, director of people operations at The Humane League. Click here to register.

May 13 — AI-Powered Business – Solutions from Quebec. The Northern Virginia Technology Council is hosting a virtual event with leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies from Quebec, Canada. The event is sponsored by NVTC’s Digital Transformation Committee (DTC) and International Committee, together with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Government of Quebec. Click here to register.

May 22 — GovCon Business Topics Webinar: Role of a Project Controller — How to Maximize Profits on Every Project. The Asian American Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring Zaneta Handa, Chief of Staff, Manufacturing, A&D, Automotive and Life Sciences Capgemini N.A. Click here to register.

May 27 — Leading in Times of Crisis. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar in its Business Education Series featuring Karen Cleveland, President & CEO Leadership Fairfax. 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, 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.