Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for August 4, 2020

Topping the charts: Virginia’s efforts to create a pro-business climate paid off again with the Commonwealth landing in the top slots across a variety of categories in the “2020 State Rankings” by Business Facilities, a national publication that is a location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals. Virginia was ranked no. 1 in Cybersecurity Leaders, Digital Infrastructure, and Unmanned Aerial Systems; no. 2 in Business Climate; no. 3 in Workforce Development/Talent Attraction; and no. 5 in Tech Jobs. “The Business Facilities rankings are exactly the kinds of input that business executives want to see when they evaluate location decisions – what kind of business environment can they rely on,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. Check out this FCEDA release to read more about the rankings and a Dice.com Tech Job Report revealing that job postings in Virginia during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rose 11 percent compared to the second quarter of 2019, even as job postings fell in other tech-focused states.

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.

Kudos from Japan: Click on this link to Forbes Japan and you just might recognize the first photo you see: the Tysons skyline. Columnist John Kojiro Moriwaka writes about Fairfax County and its economy, saying Fairfax is “the center of the U.S. technology industry and has established itself as an innovation hub.” He cites many factors in the business ecosystem here, including 11 Fortune 500 companies, the talent pool here, the support for startup ventures and the emphasis on education here. He also notes that more than 20 Japanese companies have operations in Fairfax County, including Canon, Fujitsu, and Hitachi, along with more than 400 international companies. Published in Japanese, readers can use Google Translator to read it in English.

Going public: SOC Telemed signed a deal to go public through a merger with a “blank-check company,” 16 years after the Reston telemedicine provider launched as a videoconferencing service for hospitals — and as the coronavirus pandemic stimulates unprecedented demand for virtual care. The local firm’s agreement to combine with special purpose acquisition company Healthcare Merger Corp. positions it to trade on the Nasdaq, still as SOC Telemed. The transaction values the company at about $720 million, reported Virginia Business and mobihealthnews.

Something ventured, something gained: Despite the pandemic-prompted recession in place, D.C.-area companies continued to land major venture capital dollars in the second quarter of this year. That included Tysons-based kidney-care provider Somatus, which closed a $64 million Series C funding round. And it included Reston-based careMESH, which develops communications technologies for health-care providers. It closed on a $5 million seed funding round.  Find out more in Technical.ly.

Still growing up: The pandemic also hasn’t slowed development plans in Tysons. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved plans for a 25-story residential tower at Scotts Run South, the massive development planned adjacent to the McLean Metro Station. The building will include 447 apartments and 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail, and it is just one piece of a planned 6.8 million square feet of development on the 36-acre Scotts Run South site. The Washington Business Journal notes that the building comes from Cityline Partners, which is under contract to sell the building to Lennar Multifamily Communities, which also manages the Lumen apartments near the Greensboro Station in Tysons. Also in Scotts Run, a 178-key Archer hotel is under construction and scheduled to open by summer 2021.

Get me those hospital rankings, stat: Inova Fairfax Hospital snagged the no. 1 spot among D.C.-area hospitals in the latest U.S. News ranking of Best Hospitals, also ranking at no. 9 for the entire nation for gynecology. The best hospitals in the D.C. region also included Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, placing at no. 7; and Reston Hospital Center at no. 10, reported the Washington Business Journal. All three hospitals ranked as “high performing” in a number of medical specialties. Rankings are determined by analyzing data from 5,000 medical centers and survey responses from more than 30,000 physicians.

Leader of the pack: A new report from CommercialCafe found that 58 percent — 230.6 million square feet of the region’s 400 million square feet — of Washington-area office space is in the suburbs, making it the largest suburban office market in the nation by square footage. Tysons is the largest suburban submarket in the D.C. area with 28.3 million square feet of office space, and is the seventh-largest office submarket in the U.S., the study finds. WTOP notes the COVID-19 pandemic may cut two ways on office space leasing activity: Landlords may face more office downsizing from tenants, but it may also increase demand for less densely crowded suburban office markets.

Aussie acquisition with a Kiwi twist: Strategic Education, the Herndon-based education holding company, will acquire Laureate Education’s Australia and New Zealand academic operations. The all-cash transaction is valued at $642.7 million. Laureate’s Australia and New Zealand portfolio includes Torrens University Australia, Think Education and Media Design School. Potomac Tech Wire picked up a release.

Getting a satellite view: Herndon-based HawkEye 360 launched a service designed to help customers gain signal awareness across large regions with the use of radio frequency (RF) monitoring technology. The service uses HawkEye 360’s RFGeo platform to support radio signal identification, analysis and monitoring activities. RFGeo works to geolocate RF signals within the Mediterranean region, Korean Peninsula and South China Sea via a proprietary satellite constellation. Find out more in ExecutiveBiz and check out FCEDA’s video interview with HawkEye 360’s CEO John Serafini here.

STEM diversity accolades: Centreville-headquartered Parsons Corporation was named a Top 50 employer in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) diversity by STEM Workforce Diversity Magazine for the fifth consecutive year. Parsons has also been recognized for workplace diversity by multiple equal opportunity publications including Woman Engineer, Workplace Diversity for Engineering & IT Professionals, and Minority Engineer, reported citybizlist.

New cloud formation: Herndon-headquartered SAP National Security Services rebranded its cloud offerings to: “SAP NS2 Cloud Intelligent Enterprise.” The rebrand also includes a new service called SAP Analytics Cloud, which brings machine learning and artificial intelligence into the cloud. The SAP NS2 Cloud Intelligent Enterprise offering includes applications and management tools for operational transactions, human resources, people management and analytics, according to Washington Technology.

Honing in a new location: BAE Systems, which is based in the U.K. and is moving the headquarters of its U.S. unit to Fairview Park in Merrifield, completed its $1.9 billion acquisition of the Collins Aerospace Military Global Positioning System (GPS) business from Raytheon Technologies. The purchase will augment the existing BAE Systems Electronic Systems portfolio through Collins’ GPS anti-jamming and anti-spoofing technology, providing reliable navigation and guidance for a range of defense missions, Space News reported.

Fairfax is for the great outdoors: Visit Fairfax, the tourism-promotion arm of the Fairfax County government, received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corp.’s WanderLove grants program, designed to support marketing initiatives during the pandemic. Visit Fairfax will use the WanderLove funds to promote experiences found within the county, highlighting unexpected ways of reveling in the great outdoors. “Fairfax County is very lucky to have an incredible array of safe outdoor experiences that Visit Fairfax will continue to market, which will be critical to the residents’ and visitors’ quality of life as we all navigate through this crisis,” said Barry Biggar, president and CEO of Visit Fairfax. Visit InsideNOVA for more.

Quantum leaps not required: The Fairfax County Park Authority Board announced plans to honor the Meridian Group with the Harold L. Strickland Partnership and Collaboration Award for its work on Quantum Field in Tysons. The company partnered with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Park Authority to assure that a recreation area would be a by-product of The Boro, Meridian’s transit-oriented, live, work and play neighborhood in Tysons. Company representatives worked with county staff on a proffer agreement that turned a former parking lot into a multi-sport athletic field, InsideNoVa reported.

Cuisine to-go: The DC region’s annual Summer Restaurant Week promotion, organized by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, has expanded to run for two weeks between August 17 and 30, and will include a to-go program with a variety of family-style offerings. Participating restaurants in Fairfax County include: Bellissimo, Fairfax; Chima Steakhouse, Tysons; Coastal Flats, Tysons; Founding Farmers in Reston and Tysons; Hanrocks, Fairfax; La Cote d’Or cafe, Falls Church; McCormick & Schmicks, Reston; The Melting Pot, Reston; Morton’s, Reston; PassionFish, Reston; Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks, Tysons; Trio, Merrifield; and Wildfire, Tysons. Find out more in the Washingtonian.

Silver Line playbook: Significant gains have been made toward completion of phase two of the Silver Line. Six stations from Reston Town Center to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County are still under construction, but the pandemic shutdown has been accelerating some of the work. The entire line has been closed this summer, allowing crews extra time to connect the first and second phases. If all goes well, phase two could be ready for a spring 2021 opening. See the NBC4 broadcast here.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

General Dynamics Information Technology won a three-year, $201 million contract from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs to provide software development and information technology services (DevOps) to improve the department applications. Virginia Business

Alion Science and Technology secured a five-year, $75 million contract for technical support services to Air Force directorates that oversee weapon systems for the service branch’s fighter and bomber aircraft platforms. GovConWire

Science Applications International Corp. received a five-year, $63.5 million contract to help the Navy engineer and integrate hyper-sonic technologies. GovConWire

Leidos won a two-year, $58.5 million contract to help the Army address requirements associated with an electronic system built to secure personnel and visitor access to military bases. ExecutiveBiz

CVP received $54 million contract from the Department of the Interior to provide cybersecurity services. Virginia Business

Salient CRGT received a $22 million contract from the Defense Department to support the Joint Staff Actions Division for Program Management. citybizlist

DynCorp International scored a $17.7 million contract to help the Air Force maintain small turbojet engines that power the branch’s T-38 jet trainers. ExecutiveBiz

Carahsoft Technology won a one-year, $16 million contract to provide staff augmentation services for an Army project to modernize the service’s logistical and business information systems. ExecutiveBiz

Featured business events

August 5 —  Construction Tech: Opportunities for U.S.-Israel Collaboration in Northern Virginia. The FCEDA, BIRD Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, and Smart City Works present a round-table webinar featuring speakers from construction, development, and consulting firms; and from the Israeli Embassy. Click here to register.

August 6 — IT: Making Your Business Resilient. The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance presents the ninth webinar in its three-part, 12 session webinar series: “Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinars.” Panelists include: Mark Flynn, research leader, Global Communications and Media Research, Accenture; Jai Saboo, chief operating officer, Harmonia Holdings Group; and Sean Sullivan, regional sales director, Dell Technologies. Click here to register.

August 7 —  TiE DC Women Who Inspire. TiE DC presents a global virtual event with panel discussions celebrating women leaders including Ann Ramakumaran, CEO of Ampcus, Inc., and Bobbie Kilberg, former president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Click here to register.

August 12 — Defining the Region’s Resources for Latino-Owned Businesses Amidst the Pandemic. The Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring panelists to include Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA, and other notable experts. Click here to register.

August 20 — Beyond COVID-19 Webinar Series: Growth Funding. The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance presents the tenth webinar in its three-part, 12 session webinar series: “Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinars.” Panelists include: Roy Morris, partner, Dunlap, Bennett, Ludwig; Sharon Heaton, CEO, sb LiftOff; and Jim Gianiny, president, Veritas Solutions. Click here to register.

August 21 — Thinking about starting a business/ Estas ensando en abrir un negocio? The Virginia Hispanic Chamber presents a webinar with local experts from SCORE and the Virginia Hispanic Chamber will provide tools and information to help you open your business. Interpretación en español disponible. Click here to register.

August 27 — NoVA B2G Matchmaking Conference and Expo. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents the eighth annual event with online matchmaking, educational breakout sessions, a virtual Expo Hall, and keynote speakers. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

Forward Virginia Phase 3 reopening guidelines: Fairfax County began the third phase of re-opening businesses on July 1. 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 time.