May 12 E-Bird newsletter: Victor Hoskins honored by U.S. Small Business Administration

Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), was honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (U.S. SBA) Washington Metropolitan Area District Office as the recipient of its 2022 Director’s Partnership Award. Hoskins was presented with the award in a virtual ceremony on May 4 during the U.S. SBA’s annual National Small Business Week activities.

“This special honor recognizes and celebrates the longstanding bonds between the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the SBA-Washington Metropolitan Area District Office,” wrote U.S. SBA Washington Metropolitan Area District Director Larry G. Webb in a letter of congratulations to Mr. Hoskins. “Our two organizations regularly collaborate to provide critical support services to local entrepreneurs and the business development ecosystem that helps sustain them.”

While Fairfax County is well known as home to many corporate headquarters and large government contractors, more than 90 percent of the county’s businesses are considered as small, with less than 50 employees.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award on behalf of those who truly deserve to be recognized today,” said Mr. Hoskins. “This recognition is a direct result of decades of work by people like Karen Smaw, Fairfax County EDA’s Director of Diversity Business Investment and Entrepreneurship. Karen’s leadership and passion to help diverse and small businesses is unparalleled.”

Under the leadership of Ms. Smaw, FCEDA’s Diversity Business Investment and Entrepreneurship Division provides a wide range of services for current and prospective small business owners, including Entrepreneurship 101, a bi-monthly virtual workshop delivered in collaboration with the U.S. SBA, Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), and the Community Business Partnership (CBP). Since its inception, more than 8,000 individuals have attended these workshops.

In addition, FCEDA facilitates free business mentoring services through an arrangement with SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. SBA. Commercial real estate location assistance; taxes, investments and incentive information; and talent acquisition services are also among the services provided to small businesses in Fairfax County.

“Small businesses are the foundation of our vibrant economy here in Fairfax County and helping these entrepreneurs and start-ups get off the ground and ultimately thrive is at the core of what we do,” said Ms. Smaw. “Our long-standing collaboration with the U.S. SBA, and state and local partners was especially vital as we worked together to support our small businesses during the pandemic.”

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, FCEDA shifted its main focus to helping the many small businesses impacted by the unprecedented situation, especially in the retail and hospitality sectors. FCEDA supported Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives to deliver $52 million in grants to almost 5,000 businesses with less than 50 employees to help them survive the pandemic. The majority of these businesses were minority-, women-, or veteran-owned businesses.

“During the pandemic, we combined forces at the local, state, and federal levels to save jobs. Saving those jobs saved households. And that has saved our community,” Mr. Hoskins added.

For resources available to entrepreneurs and small businesses, visit https://www.fairfaxcountyeda.org/small-business/.

Making the Headlines

On a roll: Boeing’s announcement last week to re-locate its corporate headquarters from Chicago to Arlington is just the latest of a string of companies expanding to Northern Virginia since Amazon picked Arlington for their second headquarters in October 2018. More on technical.ly.

Affordable housing jump: Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay propelled down 14 stories on the side of the Hilton Crystal City to raise funds for New Hope Housing, a nonprofit committed to ending homelessness, InsideNoVa reported. In a release, McKay addressed the importance of affordable housing in Fairfax County, citing the board’s pledge to create 10,000 affordable housing units by 2034.

Getting data to firefighters: New drones can detect wildfires earlier, and by next year, some firefighters will have computer-based “hazard mapping systems” that can give them “trusted information in real-time,” said Andy Henson, vice president of artificial intelligence at Reston-based Science Applications International CorpScientific American has more.

Another acquisition: Fairfax-based Axiologic Solutions, a federal IT solutions firm specializing in serving the nation’s national security and intelligence missions, acquired Tysons-based intelligence technology services firm Data Intelligence Technologies, which specializes in data science, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. This follows Axiologic’s purchase in January 2021 of Herndon’s Knowledge Link, a program management firm. The Washington Business Journal has more.

Space experiment: Reston-based CACI International is funding an experiment to demonstrate space technologies for military use, including an alternative to GPS navigation, SpaceNews reported. As part of the company’s plan to grow its space business, CACI is launching two demonstration payloads on a York Space satellite scheduled to fly to low Earth orbit in January aboard the SpaceX Transporter 7 rideshare.

Center for Strategic Competition: MITRE launched a center to help the country’s U.S. public and private sector leaders gain insight into military competition below armed conflict and other related areas. The Center for Strategic Competition seeks to combine the nonprofit corporation’s technical services with analytics and modeling tools to support decision-makers. Read more at ExecutiveGov.

Timely, data-driven decisions: Reston-based SES Government Solutions, in partnership with San Francisco-based Planet Labs, won a contract from NASA to support the development and demonstration of near-Earth communication services in support of the agency’s future mission needs. SpaceRef has more.

Best managed company: Herndon-based Peraton was selected as a 2022 U.S. Best Managed Company. Sponsored by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal, the program recognizes outstanding U.S. private companies and the achievements of their management teams, Virginia Business reported.

New funding round: Razor’s Edge Ventures, a Reston-based investment firm focused on the national security technology sector, said it has co-led a new $27 million round of funding for New Mexico-based space technology company X-Bow Systems, which also has a presence in the D.C. area. Crosslink Capital also co-led the company’s first round, with Bethesda’s Lockheed Martin Ventures also participating. X-Bow is developing 3D-printed solid rocket motors. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Making the grade: Fairfax County-based Reston Hospital Center (Reston); Inova Fair Oaks Hospital (Fairfax); and Inova Fairfax Hospital (Falls Church area) all received an “A” rating for patient safety in the Spring 2022 Hospital Safety Grades report by The Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit health care watchdog group, Patch reported.

Dedicated facility for cancer screening and prevention opens: The Inova Saville Cancer Screening and Prevention Center in Fairfax opened Wednesday to serve patients at average and high risk for cancer, according to the Falls Church-based health system. It is the first dedicated facility for cancer screening and prevention in Greater Washington, according to Inova, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Capital-to-capital connections: United Airlines added three weekly nonstop flights from Washington Dulles International Airport to Amman, Jordan, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced. “Amman, Jordan, is the 39th global capital city to be directly connected to the Washington, D.C., region via Dulles International Airport,” airports authority CEO Jack Potter. “These capital-to-capital connections are important to our nation and our region, and we are grateful that our partners at United Airlines provide 26 of these 39 connections.” Virginia Business has more.

Contract Wins

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

May 2 to June 16 — Smart City Challenge. Fairfax County Government, Refraction, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, Virginia Tech, and others will host the Smart City Challenge — an innovation competition for innovative solutions to the most pressing issues facing regions in transportation, health care, housing, infrastructure, public safety, and more. All entrepreneurs and students are welcome to join to win prizes, including cash, pilot opportunities (with Fairfax County, Dominion Energy, and Virginia Innovation Partnership), participation in Smart City Works and Dominion accelerator programs, membership at Refraction’s innovation hub, and business coaching. Click here to register.

May 17 — NVBCC Economic Forum. The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce Economic Forum will take place at the Fairview Park Marriott 3111 Fairview Park Dr. Falls Church, VA. 22042. The event will consist of the Economic Directors in Northern Virginia, with the goal to provide our members an overview of opportunities planned in the region, rebounding from COVID-19 and to have open dialogue on how to continue transforming the community. Click here to register.

May 19 — Ignite for Growth Mixer Series. The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce presents an in-person event discussing what’s happening in real estate in the Town of Herndon. Click here to register.

May 25 — Business Education Series: 3 C’s to Keep Them Coming Back – Culture, Change and Communication. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents an virtual event featuring master trainer and thought leadership director Pete Hinojosa who will discuss the “3 C’s”: creating a climate of communication, tackling the concerns of change, and strengthening your culture. Click here to register.

FCEDA is Here to Help Your Business Thrive!

Fairfax County EDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and 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.