Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for Jan. 5, 2021


Swim with a shark: Aspiring entrepreneurs can get start-up tips from a Shark Tank winner during the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority’s next Entrepreneurship 101 virtual workshop at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 12. It will feature Nahum Jeannot, founder of GoOats, a healthy snack food start-up company based in Lorton. Jeannot, who is the “Chief Oatmeal Officer” of GoOats, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank last October 23. During the show, Jeannot, who had been working as a chef at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner before the pandemic, pitched the product to the Sharks and got a bite from Barbara Corcoran. Of course the session also will spotlight valuable local, state and federal resources for those who want to start a business here.

Held every other month, Entrepreneurship 101, or “E-101,” is a virtual workshop produced by the FCEDA with the Fairfax County government, the Fairfax County-based Community Business Partnership, the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Participants are provided with informative step-by-step information sessions that cover registering a business, permitting requirements, business feasibility and business plan basics, business certifications, financing options and government resources.

Click here to register for the January 12 E-101 workshop.

Senseware sounds the alarm: The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA), of which the FCEDA is a member, presents a webinar at 2 p.m. this Thursday, January 7, focused on how a COVID-19 particle-detection technology being developed by Tysons-based Senseware may help companies to be able to bring their employees back to work on-site safely. The session will feature a discussion with Serene Almomen, CEO and co-founder of Senseware; Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA; and Ilan Zachar, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Carr Properties.

Click here to register for “Detecting Covid-19, Protecting People at Work: Senseware Sounds the Alarm.” This session is part of the Catalyst for Change webinar series produced by the NOVA EDA.

Piece of the PPP pie: As the Small Business Administration prepares to roll out the second round of its Paycheck Protection Program, a new report found that 13 percent of small businesses in Northern Virginia received loans in the first iteration last spring, higher than the national average of 9 percent. The Northern Virginia Regional Commission, a cooperative of local governments, reported that 40,743 businesses in the region received loans during the first round of the program, known as PPP, which ran from April through August. The total amount loaned to businesses in the region was more than $5.5 billion, with an average loan amount of about $135,100, which is 34 percent above the national average, reported InsideNoVa.

Rebuilding Virginia’s small businesses: Gov. Ralph Northam added $20 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding to Rebuild VA, a grant program that has already allocated $100 million to small businesses across the state. The $20 million, which came from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, will be allocated to some of the businesses and organizations that had already applied for the grants before early December when the $100 million ran out. There are about 300 small businesses and nonprofits in that queue, according to a release from the governor’s office. Those applicants will be notified via email that their applications have been reopened, according to the Washington Business Journal in an article for subscribers.

Satellite ride share: Herndon-based HawkEye 360 shipped its second cluster of satellites in December to the launch site at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The satellites are scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in January 2021 as part of Seattle-based Spaceflight’s SXRS-3 ride share mission. HawkEye Cluster 2 is the first of a series of next generation satellites HawkEye 360 is deploying to complete its baseline constellation. Intelligence Community News has more.

Through a different lens: The pandemic brought the world to a grinding halt in 2020, but it did not stop satellites orbiting Earth from recording and documenting the historic year. Geospatial World took a look at some of the most noteworthy events of 2020 through the eyes of satellites each month. Satellite images taken across the globe by Westminster, Colo.-based Maxar, which has a Chantilly location, are included, ranging from the impact of COVID-19 to climate change, to natural and manmade disasters to social unrest, and more. Satellite radio frequency technology from the aforementioned Hawkeye 360 was used for images to substantiate Sino-Indian border tensions in May, and also revealed Chinese vessels fishing illegally near an ecologically sensitive island in September. Images from the Herndon-based “smallsat” company BlackSky of the damage caused in a Beirut, Lebanon, explosion in August are included in the 2020 round-up.

Supporting veterans: Tysons-based PenFed Credit Union and The Washington Justice, the Washington, D.C., area’s first major professional esports team, partnered to support veterans through the PenFed Foundation. The first 2,000 people to donate $10 or more to the PenFed Foundation will receive a digital code for “Origins Edition of Overwatch.” The program is available here now through January 20. “PenFed is proud to partner with The Washington Justice to support the military community,” said PenFed Credit Union president/CEO and PenFed Foundation CEO James Schenck. “The military and defense community have a strong presence in the Washington region and we are excited to provide Justice fans a unique way to give back while enjoying what they love to do,” according to InsideNoVa.

Accelerating the pace: Venture capital firm Proof.VC raised $120 million for its second fund, more than triple the Reston firm’s first fund, which closed in 2016. “Our pipeline of interesting companies is truly unbelievable. We have invested in about one new company a month, I expect we will keep that pace up in 2021,” co-founder and managing partner John Backus said, reported DC Inno.

Name that Troon: Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Troon acquired Reston-based Indigo Golf Partners, formerly known as Billy Casper Golf. The Reston company owns and operates more than 160 golf courses, country clubs and resorts in 29 states. The office in Reston will continue to support managed clubs in the Troon family, including OB Sports and Troon Golf. “Troon aligns with our commitment to quality service and has a complementary course portfolio making it the right company for us to join. We are confident in growth ahead for Indigo and appreciate the dedication and commitment of all team members and partners who have made our great company what it is today,” said Peter Hill, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Indigo Golf Partners. Reston Now wrote this story in a fair way.

One plus one: Herndon-based IT development and services firm ePlus acquired Rochester, N.Y.-based System Management and Planning (SMP), a technical services firm with a focus on clients in upstate New York and the Northeast. “Acquiring SMP strengthens our existing presence in the region, and its focus on collaboration and related solutions to support at-home workers,” said Mark Marron, CEO and president of ePlus, according to citybizlist.

Tysons is growing up: With hundreds of new housing units being built every year under a comprehensive development plan, Tysons, a place that was once seen as a mall and an office park, is slowly becoming a place where people live, too. Between 2010 and 2019, the population living in the Tysons grew by more than 7,000 people, according to Census data. That is more than four times the rate of surrounding Fairfax County. Check out Greater Greater Washington to see more about what Census data reflects about growth in Tysons.

Pop-up park: Before constructing two high-rise residential buildings and a hotel in central Tysons several years from now, a developer hopes to put that land to productive interim use. Tysons Westpark LC is seeking Fairfax County government approval to build a 16,500-square foot “pop-up” park and new-vehicle parking at 8401 Westpark Drive, not far east from Route 7. The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously recommended that county supervisors approve the proposals. The matter is scheduled to come before the Board of Supervisors Jan. 26. The proposed interim pop-up park, which would run parallel to Westpark Drive, would “activate” the property’s frontage along that street and complement adjacent park spaces at The Boro, InsideNoVa reported.

Potomac Express: A suburb-to-suburb express bus service with routes along the Capital Beltway linking Virginia and Maryland is emerging in the region’s 2021 transit wish-list. The two states are studying potential transit options to connect their most populous counties and to reduce the number of vehicle trips over the American Legion Bridge. The proposals would link the Tysons area with Bethesda, Gaithersburg and Silver Spring in Montgomery County. The study is part of a larger vision to relieve congestion in the corridor and follows an historic accord reached a year ago between Maryland and Virginia to rebuild and widen the span over the Potomac River within the decade, according to the Washington Post.

Keep the change: While drivers adjust to all-electronic tolling, coins will continue to be accepted on the Dulles Toll Road into early 2021. Once a date is set for the Dulles Toll Road to go all-electronic toll collecting, tollbooth change baskets will be removed, and coins will no longer be accepted. WTOP changed up the news.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

ManTech International won a 42-month, $265 million contract to help a Department of Defense component design, develop and deploy an operational infrastructure for cyber operators. GovConWire

PAE received two contracts under the Air Force Contract Field Team Services contract with a combined value of $151.8 million, and a ceiling value of $11.4 billion, to support aircraft maintenance at the Naval Aviation Maintenance Center for Excellence at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California and for United States Army Pacific at locations in Alaska, Hawaii and Korea. ExecutiveBiz

Alion Science and Technology scored a $41 million contract to support new airdrop technologies and to identify opportunities for technology transfer and integration with existing airdrop systems for the Aerial Delivery Analysis Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center. WashingtonExec

Northrop Grumman‘s aerospace systems business secured a $37.7 million contract to provide spare parts for RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems to the government of Japan. ExecutiveBiz

Full Spectrum Operations won a $142.2 million contract from the Air Force to help the military service and the Missile Defense Agency maintain voice, data and video communication systems. GovConWire

Featured business events

January 7 — Detecting COVID-19, Protecting People at Work: Senseware Sounds the Alarm. The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA), of which the FCEDA is a member, presents a webinar focused on how a COVID-19 particle-detection technology being developed by Tysons-based Senseware may help companies to be able to bring their employees back to work on-site safely. Click here to register. This session is part of the Catalyst for Change webinar series produced by the NOVA EDA.

January 12 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Community Business Partnership (CBP) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), conducts a free webinar for those persons that are interested in starting a business in Fairfax County.  This session’s Entrepreneurial Spotlight will feature Nahum Jeannot, founder and owner of GoOats.  Click here to register.

January 13 — Insight Region Briefing: Unequal Burden, low-income Northern Virginians face the country’s most severe housing cost burden. The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia presents a webinar that will examine economic opportunity throughout Northern Virginia. Click here to register.

January 23-February 18 — Smart City Challenge. Smart City Works, Refraction, Fairfax County, Girls in Tech DC, The Universities at Shady Grove, and Virginia Tech will host the first annual Smart City Challenge. The Smart City Challenge is an innovation competition, in which teams create high-impact solutions to address the toughest smart city challenges in sectors including housing, transportation, health, broadband, energy, education, water, infrastructure, and public safety. Click here to register.

January 27, February 3, February 10 — Air & Space Innovation webinar series. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is hosting a three-part international webinar series focused on the latest technologies in aviation and space for commercial and defense applications. On day 1 of the series (Jan. 27), the focus will be: “Air Innovation: Flying Cars, Drones & Unmanned Air Systems;” on day 2 (Feb. 3): “Space Innovation, Novel Communications and Expeditions;” and on day 3 (Feb. 10): “Defense Innovation in Air & Space.” Click here to register.

January 28 — Cyber+Cloud Virtual Career Fair. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority presents this virtual hiring event with 20+ companies for professionals in the IT, cyber and cloud industries. It is open to all experience levels. Job-seekers with security clearances are encouraged to attend. Click here for more information and to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

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 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.

Virginia sets up new statewide measures to contain COVID-19

The following measures took effect on December 14 in Virginia to contain the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19:

  • Modified Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.
  • Universal mask requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person. This order expands the current statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, and requires all individuals aged five and over to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings outside of their own household. These changes are consistent with new CDC guidelines, released December 4, which recommend universal wearing of face coverings.
  • Reduction in social gatherings: All social gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Social gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings. Restaurants and retail stores are already governed by strict social distancing requirements, and are not included in this limit.
  • Continued limits on dining establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight.
  • Teleworking: Employees that can telework are strongly encouraged to do so.

Find out more by clicking here.