E-Bird Newsletter

Please take our survey on how the COVID-19 emergency is affecting your business

Fairfax County business survey: How is your business being affected by the virus emergency? Click here to fill out a short survey prepared by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. It should take 5 minutes to answer, and will help us better understand how different businesses are being affected and how the FCEDA and other agencies 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 until at least April 30, 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.

Helping small businesses

Virginia is for restaurant lovers: “Virginia Is for Restaurant Lovers Takeout Week” is through April 5. Virginians are encouraged to order takeout, delivery or curbside pickup from local restaurants. Click here to see the list of participating Fairfax County restaurants.

Visit Fairfax… virtually: Our friends at Visit Fairfax launched the Fairfax First online hub to help people who are social distancing with ways to keep busy at home, including how to support local businesses, take out and to-go food options, virtual attraction tours, kids activities and wellness links. Find out more by clicking here.

Gift cards for a cause: McLean-based Gannett, owner of USA TODAY, launched a website: supportlocal.usatoday.com, to help local small businesses hit hard by coronavirus crisis. Users can select local businesses in their community to support by buying gift cards for use in the future. Visitors and business owners can also add local businesses to the platform, according to USA Today.

Yelp for help: Yelp announced $25 million in relief, primarily focused on supporting independent local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products and services, during this period. As part of this relief effort, restaurants and nightlife businesses that remain open will receive free access to Yelp page upgrades, including Business Highlights and Call To Action, as well as Connect, which will help them communicate timely information to their customers. Restaurants will also receive three months of free access to Yelp Reservations and Waitlist. More details on Yelp restaurant and nightlife business relief program can be found here.

Fairfax County companies helping in the crisis

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 or 703-790-0600 with relevant information that we may possibly share with our readers. Thank you for your assistance in these unprecedented times.

Tracking health: Reston-based GoCanvas started as an idea from the company’s work in automating data collection during the Avian Influenza epidemic. Now GoCanvas’ platform is being used for everything from tracking COVID-19 test kits, tracking the cleaning of key facilities and automating the data collection of everything from logistics, repairs, healthcare operations and more.  Click here to find out more. We are proud to note that GoCanvas Co-founder and CEO James Quigley is vice chairman of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Commission.

Providing masks: Bechtel, based in Reston, posted on LinkedIn that it’s donating roughly 7,500 N95 respirator masks to hospitals and a fire department in Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. Bechtel also donated 800 respirators to the local emergency authorities in Los Vilos, Chile through the regional government. “We will continue to check our inventories for supplies that can help in the global fight to protect our communities against this pandemic,” Bechtel posted. The company has also given out respirator masks in Virginia, according to a spokesperson.

App assistance: Tysons-based Appian CEO Matt Calkins appeared on Cheddar to talk about Appian’s COVID-19 Response Management app, available at no cost to help enterprises and agencies manage employee health and safety during this pandemic. Watch the clip here.

Workspace initiative: Tysons-based ID.me and San Francisco-based Slack have partnered to create a secure workspace that healthcare providers can use to share real-time information about the coronavirus. It’s limited to doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners only. There is no cost and it takes only a few minutes to set up. Click here to find out more.

Rapid response services: Tysons-based OST provides expert personnel, technology, and mobile equipment and rapid response capabilities to include a wide range of services from benefits/claims processing and medical personnel to isolation facilities and medical equipment for any surge requirements, according to the company. Find out more by clicking here.

Amazonian donation: Amazon donated $1 million to the four largest community foundations serving residents in the HQ2 area in response to the impact of COVID-19: the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, ACT for Alexandria, Arlington Community Foundation and Greater Washington Community Foundation, according to a March 18 announcement. “They (Amazon) reached out to us and the three other community foundations in our region… a $1 million grant to the four… we were immensely, immensely grateful,” said Eileen M. Ellsworth, president and CEO of The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, an organization that serves residents in Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun and Prince William Counties, and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park. The Connection Newspapers covered the story.

Help needed for Fairfax County students: The Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools is asking for help to support students In need while schools are closed. The Foundation has established the “Access for All Fund” to provide support to our most vulnerable students and their families as we navigate through this crisis. Funds raised at the Foundation will go to provide ACCESS for the nearly 60,000 students who live in poverty. These students need access to technology, school supplies, and connectivity, as well as nutrition. Please help us provide these items to students in need so they can continue to be connected to their classrooms and learning environments. Please click here to direct your donation to “Access for All.” FCPS is providing Grab & Go meals for students at many sites around the county. For information on meal distribution and organizations that are helping with food insecurity, please click here.

Food donations, help needed: Fairfax-based Food for Others is one of the largest distributors of free groceries in Northern Virginia and is anticipating increased demand for food, as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. Springfield-based Interstate Moving is assisting Food for Others with food transportation. To find out how an individual or company can help support our neighbors in need click here.

Designs for hunger: Fairfax-based Custom Ink is partnering with Feeding America to get essential supplies to communities and people facing hunger in this time of uncertainty. Custom Ink’s artists have created three social distancing message designs on a variety of products, including t-shirts and totes. Custom Ink will donate 10% of the purchase price (excluding taxes and shipping fees) to Feeding America. Find out more by clicking here.

And some community spirit during unprecedented times… Residents of a cluster of high-rise buildings in Reston Town Center are applauding, waving and generating good cheer from their balconies nightly at 7 p.m. to honor first responders and healthcare workers. Reston Patch covered the story.