Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for September 22, 2020
Rebuild VA expands: Rebuild VA, the state’s $70 million economic recovery fund launched in August, is expanding its eligibility criteria to allow more small businesses to apply, according to an announcement by Gov. Ralph Northam. Businesses that received funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and supply chain partners of businesses whose normal operations were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are now eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000. Businesses that have received federal funds must certify that they will only use the Rebuild VA grant for recurring expenses and that the grant will not be used to cover the same expenses as the other CARES Act funds. Find out more in Virginia Business.
RISE up, again: As the state expanded Rebuild VA eligibility, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an additional $12 million in funding for the Fairfax Relief Initiative to Support Employers (RISE) grant program. The additional money will provide grants to remaining eligible businesses and nonprofits that applied to the program earlier but have not yet received funding. To date, the grant program’s total funding totals $58 million after starting at $25 million. All funding has come from the county’s portion of federal CARES Act funds, noted Reston Patch.
The benefits of regionalism: “To achieve our ultimate economic goals, the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance is the first step on a path toward a true economic development collective among D.C., Maryland and Virginia,” wrote Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, and Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, in an op-ed in the Washington Post. Noting that the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance was established one year ago, the column focuses on the value of this regional collaboration, especially during the pandemic — and why the entire Washington area should embrace the concept of regionalism to be economically competitive.
Maxing up: Reston-headquartered Maximus launched Maximus Public Health (MPH) to provide resources to help remediate COVID-19 and other public health threats for government agencies. MPH will collaborate with academic partners, conduct research and expand partnerships with public health agencies, healthcare providers, data analytics platforms and industry partners to serve as a resource to the government in developing their public health strategies, according to ExecutiveGov.
Not a tid-bit of coin: Tysons-headquartered MicroStrategy’s chairman and CEO Michael Saylor purchased $175 million in Bitcoin last week, following up on an initial $250 million investment in Bitcoin. MicroStrategy is blazing a trail that many others are now in line to follow, explained Parker Lewis, head of business development at Unchained Capital, reported coindesk. To find out why Saylor chose to invest into Bitcoin with the company’s balance sheet, listen to his interview on The Pomp Podcast with host Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano.
Best for moms: Booz Allen Hamilton and Capital One, both headquartered in Tysons, are among the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2020,” says Working Mother magazine. Both companies earned spots on additional Working Mother lists: Booz Allen Hamilton also won spots on the “Best Companies for Dads” list and” Diversity Best Practices Inclusion Index,” while Capital One placed in the “Best Companies for Multicultural Women” list, the “NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women” list and the “Diversity Best Practices Inclusion Index.”
Proof of purchase: Venture capital firm Proof.VC, based in Reston, has been on a roll in 2020. The company’s portfolio has seen 3D-printing startup Desktop Metal and Inc. online gaming platform Skill Inc. announce their intentions to go public, and mattress company Casper Sleep went public. This year has also included two separate acquisitions: a $400 million cash-and-equity injection into Frontier Car Group, which valued the firm at $700 billion, and streaming service Tubi, which was acquired by Fox earlier in the year for $440 million. And since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in full force, Proof has invested in eight new companies. Find out more in a company profile in DC Inno.
Smarter deliveries: Tysons-based startup HomeValet, which develops technology for contactless deliveries, bought Evansville, Indiana-based Evolve Engineering, which focuses on appliance engineering. HomeValet is developing a temperature-controlled “Smart Box” and subscription service for home deliveries, which, according to the company, will be scaled by Evolve Engineer’s manufacturing and supply chain expertise, Virginia Business reported.
Re-organization coming: Reston-headquartered Science Applications International Corp. announced plans to restructure the company into two lines of business, alongside the impending retirement of its longtime defense systems leader Jim Scanlon, who will step down in late January 2021 after more than 30 years with the company. On Oct. 31, SAIC will form a pair of business segments, one centered on defense and civilian work and the other on national security and space operations, a move will help accelerate its growth in the digital engineering, digital transformation and space markets, according to SAIC executives, reported the Washington Business Journal.
Hungry for allergy research: Tysons-headquartered FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), a private funder of food-allergy research, awarded a three-year, $15 million grant to the Food Allergy Science Initiative at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to support a three-year food-allergy project. The goal is to enable researchers to identify and explore how the brain, digestive system, and nervous system together examine food in the gut and determine whether or not to trigger an allergic reaction, according to BioSpace.
Training for a name change: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recommended the name change of the McLean Metro Station to the McLean-Capital One Hall Metro Station, specifying that the name change is to draw attention to the Capital One Hall performance center that is under construction, according to Tysons Reporter. Metro’s board of directors decides station names. Expected to open in fall 2021, Capital One Hall will be home to Capital One corporate events as well as a mix of performances, including top touring shows, internationally known musical acts and community arts programs.
Best new development: The Boro in Tysons was named as “Best New Development” in the Washington Business Journal’s “Best Real Estate Deals of 2019.” Comprised of an initial 1.7 million square feet, the Boro features a flagship Whole Foods Market, ShowPlace Icon Theatre, 500,000 square feet of office, 250,000 square feet of retail, and 677 residential units, of which 140 are condos for sale. A 1-acre park sits in the middle of the development. The first phase of The Boro opened at the end of 2019, steps from the Greensboro Metro station. The Washington Business Journal has more in an article for subscribers.
Big leases, big deals: A series of leases at Reston Station took “Best Commercial Lease” honors in the Washington Business Journal’s “Best Real Estate Deals of 2019.” Located at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, the mixed-use development from Comstock Holdings comprises four districts located on either side of the Dulles Toll Road and has seen massive construction since 2014 when work started on its first apartments atop the Metro station garage. In 2019, the leases started pouring in for office tenants, including Google, Neustar and ICF. Find out more in a Washington Business Journal article for subscribers.
Cheers to Fairfax! The fifth annual Fairfax County Brewfest will be held this Saturday, Sept. 26. Hosted by the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce and Mustang Sally Brewing Co., this year it will be held in seven locations in place of one large-scale event as organizers aim to avoid large gatherings and follow other COVID-19 health guidelines. “We designed a smart Brewfest this year. It’s scaled to be safer by spreading out locations to avoid a large crowd but still celebrating the breweries, music and food in the area,” said John Boylan, president and CEO of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce. Chantilly Patch drafted the details.
Housing help: Fairfax County will receive an additional $4.85 million in federal funding to assist residents facing higher risk of eviction and help combat the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is part of the final allocation of the remaining $1.988 billion in CARES Act funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Federal dollars allocated through the CDBG program represent only a portion of the total amount of stimulus funding provided to Fairfax County through the CARES Act. This funding source is administered through the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development. Find out more in the Fairfax Times.
Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County
Perspecta secured a three-year, $98.4 million contract to help the U.S. Department of Education manage inquiries about federal scholarships and other forms of academic financial assistance. GovConWire
NCI Information Systems won a two-year, $89 million contract from the Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) to provide IT services for its new Secure Admin Operating Facility (SAOF) at Fort Belvoir. citybizlist
Leidos received a five-year, $89 million contract from the Air Force to support energetics research and development for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Combat Capability Development Command, Armament Center. Virginia Business
Pyramid Systems won a two-year, $42 million contract from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to migrate loan processing system applications to cloud computing infrastructure designed for government use, Virginia Business
Featured business events
September 22 @ 12 pm. — TiE DC Diversity Panel Discussion. TiE DC presents a webinar discussion with successful business leaders from our Black community as they share their experiences and guide us all through these unprecedented times. Click here to register.
September 23 — Quick and Easy Tips for Speaking in the Virtual World. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring Frank DiBartolomeo, an award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and seminar leader. This is part of the chamber’s Business Education Series. Click here to register.
October 6 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The FCEDA, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and Community Business Partnership (CBP), presents its free monthly workshop for individuals interested in starting a business in Fairfax County. Click here to register.
October 15 — 2020 Staying Strong. The annual NAIOP Northern Virginia commercial real estate bus tour goes virtual with a focus on “outside the Beltway” markets in Fairfax and Loudoun counties such as Tysons, Merrifield, Reston, Herndon and Route 28. 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: The FCEDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at email@example.com, 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.