E-Bird Newsletter

Fairfax County E-Bird for May 26, 2020

Yes, businesses are being created now! Register to attend the next Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County workshop on June 2. This online session will provide an overview of start-up basics including county licenses and permits, state workforce and training program, and federal financing and certification resources, with added information for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These sessions are held in partnership with the Fairfax County government, Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, U.S. Small Business Administration and the Fairfax County-based Community Business Partnership. Click here to register.

Apply for that first job — virtually! The FCEDA is sponsoring a series of virtual job fairs, each aimed at different groups of potential job candidates. The first session, the New-Grad Virtual Career Fair, is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Thursday, May 28, and is specifically for enrolled college students and recent college graduates. It will include representatives from almost a dozen companies including Northrop Grumman, NTT Data Federal and Sparksoft. WTOP had more on the series. And, click here to register for the fair.

About to reopen? Northern Virginia leaders are preparing to enter “Phase One” reopening this Friday, according to a letter sent to Gov. Ralph Northam yesterday. Northam suggested last week he’d make an announcement today on Northern Virginia’s progress toward reopening. “I share our community’s desire to reopen our businesses in the safest way possible,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in a statement Monday. “Fairfax County has made significant preparations should the governor decide that Northern Virginia has met his criteria to reopen this Friday,” McKay said. “Regardless, we will continue to monitor our local statistics to ensure Fairfax County doesn’t see spikes in cases and be transparent with the public on our progress.” See more in InsideNoVa.

Pomp and circumstances: George Mason University posted a 20-minute virtual celebration of the class of 2020 with everything from a messages from President Anne Holton, graduating senior Obum Egolum (B.S., Information Technology with an emphasis in cybersecurity) and Stacey Abrams, founder of Fair Fight, to a special performance by the Green Machine, the energetic university pep band. You can join the celebration on YouTube.

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

Pathology partnership: Reston-headquartered Octo Consulting and Albuquerque-based Indica Labs launched the COVID Digital Pathology Repository, a virtual collection of high-resolution microscopic COVID-related human tissue images hosted at the National Institutes of Health. COVID-DPR will provide a centralized, cloud-based repository for sharing and annotating digital images of lung, liver, kidney and heart tissues from patients infected with COVID-19, as well as other coronaviruses. “We knew we wanted to do something meaningful to help fight the COVID pandemic. This project with Indica Labs and NIH was exactly the avenue we were looking for,” Octo CEO Mehul Sanghani said. Executive Biz reported on the partnership.

Surge for the surge: Reston-headquartered Brillient Corporation will provide surge support for loan processing and disbursement functions for the Small Business Administration’s disaster-loan programs. The work was authorized under a new order valued at up to $125 million. Brillient will add about 500 loan-processing professionals providing support to all U.S. states and territories, six days a week. “We are honored to assist the SBA and the United States small business community to help cope with this national, economic crisis,” said Paul Strasser, CEO of Brillient. InsideNoVa a-loan had this story.

More virtual blackboards: With schools throughout the country offering virtual classes, Reston-headquartered Blackboard, the online education technology company, said that 180 school districts have become new Blackboard clients or significantly expanded their engagements with the firm. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Time to shop: Tysons Corner Center is one of 20 Macerich malls across the country that are now fully reopened. Shoppers at Tysons Corner Center can expect “enhanced sanitation practices and social distancing protocols in place,” according to Macerich’s announcement. “Local economies depend on us, and our retailers are eager and ready to open for business in a safe, carefully planned, well-executed manner,” Macerich CEO Thomas O’Hern said. Tysons Reporter posted this well-executed story.

Galleria of choices: Meantime, Tysons Galleria is offering a retail-to-go curbside pick-up program for the mall’s retailers and restaurants. “Retail-to-go is a mall-wide curbside pickup program to support the needs of tenants and the shopping community,” the press release said. “This initiative will keep customers and staff safe during these unusual times,” mall ownership said in announcing the initiative. Tysons Reporter shopped this story.

Going Splunk-ing for solutions: As government workforces continue to operate away from the office, agency decision-makers need to leverage their data to help maximize services, employee productivity and security, says a white paper from Splunk, which has a location in Tysons. “Splunk Solutions for COVID-19 Response” calls on agencies to take advantage of data management solutions to improve how government is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as position themselves for success in a post-pandemic world. FedScoop fed us the story.

Non-coronavirus news

Tysons development continuing: The NRP Group broke ground on a 390-unit Highland District Project near the McLean Metro Station in Tysons. Located on Old Meadow Road, the project is within a half-mile of the Capital One and MITRE headquarters and the Scotts Run mixed-use development. The project is expected to open in 2022. “The transformation of Tysons Corner from one of the world’s largest office parks to a world-class, mixed-use, walkable community is well underway,” NRP Group Vice President of Development Josh Woolridge said. “We’re seeing tremendous growth in the Tysons area and our new upscale community will add to that momentum.” Read more in Bisnow.

Contractor kudos: Reston-headquartered Bechtel was named #1 on Engineering News-Record’s “Top 400 contractors” list for 2020 for the second year in a row. Bechtel, which is No. 14 on the Forbes list of top privately-owned companies, had $21.8 billion in total revenue for 2019, according to Construction Dive.

Google a “7 figure deal”: Google Cloud, a division of Google, which has a location in Reston, was awarded a seven-figure Department of Defense contract to provide multi-cloud management. The specific contract award amount was not disclosed. The contract will be completed for the DoD’s Innovation Unit (DIU), which works to scale commercial technology across the agency. The DIU will then be able to monitor networks in real time, control access and see full audit trails for cloud security purposes.  Virginia Business reported the story.

Tech acquisition: Cognosante, a health IT company based in the Falls Church area of the county, bought Tysons-based Enterprise Information Services (EIS), a technology services company. EIS, founded in 1994, provides a wide variety of technical services to the government and military, including cybersecurity, biometrics, cloud migration and IT services. EIS has more than 350 employees. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Hawk-eyed advisors: HawkEye 360, a Herndon-based company using satellites for radio frequency data and analytics, has named former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, and Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the National Security Agency, to the company’s advisory board. The company has raised nearly $100 million in venture capital. Using a formation of satellites in unique formations, HawkEye 360 is able to provide analytics and data for maritime, emergency response, and spectrum analysis applications. Potomac Tech Wire carried a release about the appointments.

Connecting first-responders: AT&T and the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) will conduct an educational effort aimed at promoting the benefits of implementing the Reston-based FirstNet Authority’s First Responder Network for law-enforcement activities. The agreement will focus on educating FOP’s more than 351,000 members on the network and providing support to the FOP’s Disaster Area Response Team. The federal government contracted with AT&T to construct and operate FirstNet as part of a public-private partnership with FirstNet Authority in 2017.  ExecutiveBiz educated us with this story.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Northrop Grumman obtained a $2.38 billion contract, the second part of a multi-phase procurement to upgrade the Air Force’s missile defense satellites. Washington Business Journal

Carahsoft received an $81 million contract to deliver a software development and information technology operations environment to support the Space Command and Control Division under the Cross Mission and Ground Communications Enterprise Corps. Homeland Security Today

Leidos secured a four-year, $53 million contract to build and update software for the Army’s Unmanned Aircraft System Ground Control Station. Army Technology

Affigent received an $11.3 million contract for Oracle Premier Support maintenance on previously acquired licenses. Homeland Security Today

Featured business events

May 26 and 27 —  Wharton DC Innovation Summit. The Wharton Club of DC is hosting an online summit focused on: COVID-19: Pivot, Reboot, Round. Open to the public. 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 and CEO of Leadership Fairfax. Click here to register.

May 28 — Weighing the Decision to Safely ‘Reopen’ Northern Virginia. George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services presents a webinar moderated by Dean Germaine Louis. Victor Hoskins, FCEDA’s president and CEO, is a featured presenter. Click here to register.

May 28 — TiE DC Startup Mentoring. TiE DC presents a session for startups or small businesses affected by the COVID-19 situation to hear successful mentors who are serial entrepreneurs, thought leaders, angels, and venture capitalists talk about on how to stay afloat and (re)build business. Click here to register.

June 2 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The FCEDA presents these sessions on start-up basics (and COVID-19 information) with the Fairfax County government, Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, U.S. Small Business Administration and the Fairfax County-based Community Business Partnership. Click here to register.

June 4 —  New Business Modeling: How to ensure resiliency in your business. NOVA EDA presents the 5th session in a three-part, 12 session webinar series: “Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinars.” Click here for more information and to register for this session click here.

June 5 — New Business Models – Going Digital: What Does it Mean for My Business? NOVA EDA presents the 5th webinar in its three-part, 12 session webinar series: “Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinars.” Click here to register.

June 15-18 — 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.