Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI)

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8:30AM-4:30PM M-F
703-324-5171 TTY 711
12015 Route 50, Suite 510
Fairfax, VA 22033
Rebecca Moudry
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What We Do

Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI) leverages county resources and develops policy recommendations to foster economic development and position Fairfax to be an economically competitive and prosperous community. It also works closely with small, local businesses to advise and guide them as they grow.


November 30, 2023
Applications Open December 12 FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA —  On December 12, Fairfax County will launch THRIVE a technical assistance program aimed at bolstering the resilience and growth of small businesses in the area. Through this initiative, approximately 600 businesses will receive consulting services valued up to $10,000, helping them reach their business goals and continue their post-pandemic recovery. Eligible small businesses in Fairfax County will benefit from free coaching and consulting services in areas including marketing, financial planning, commercial lease negotiation, web development, human resources and more.  To qualify for the THRIVE program businesses must be located in Fairfax County, have been in operation since 2021 or earlier, employ 49 or fewer individuals, and be able to demonstrate a negative economic impact during the pandemic.  The program will include two open application periods.  The first application for THRIVE opens on December 12 and closes on December 21, 2023.  The second application period is scheduled to be open from January 16 to January 26, 2024. Interested businesses can access the Online Application Portal during these periods. Detailed application instructions and eligibility criteria are available on the official THRIVE page.  In consideration of the county's diverse population, language assistance will be provided to ensure a seamless application process for all eligible business owners. A webinar is scheduled for December 7, offering additional insights for those keen to learn more about the THRIVE program. THRIVE is the latest addition to Fairfax County's comprehensive set of programs to bolster small businesses. Since 2020, the county has allocated more than $70 million in funding for local business recovery and support. Initiatives such as the Microloan Program, RISE Small Business Grant Program, PIVOT Recovery Grant Program, and the Economic Recovery Framework have been instrumental in the county's ongoing economic recovery efforts. Learn more about THRIVE at by searching THRIVE, or email questions to  
November 27, 2023
Building on a successful first round of funding where five local startups received capital, Fairfax Founders Fund (FFF) is opening applications for its second cohort of companies on November 27, 2023.  FFF will accept applications to award product-focused companies up to $50,000 in capital and expertise to further develop their business and prepare them for later stage investments. FFF is a Fairfax County initiative that aims to cultivate innovative businesses and jobs and grow competitive technology in the county. This total $1,000,000 pilot program is funded from the county’s Economic Opportunity Reserve Fund.  A small change to the eligibility requirements in this second round increases the total amount of allowed start-up funding raised by applicants to a maximum of $1,000,000 (up from $500,000 in the first round). This is expected to increase the number of companies that would be eligible for the opportunity. Applications for the second cohort will be accepted from November 28, 2023, through January 8. 2024. The program seeks companies who can demonstrate their company has innovative technology, a path to commercialization, a clear market opportunity, and development milestones. Examples of eligible uses of the funding include prototype or product development, market research, customer acquisition, technology validation, legal costs and/or other approved areas. Importantly, Fairfax County will not take any equity in the companies supported through the fund. Applicants must provide a 50% match, which can be in capital or “sweat equity” and provide progress reports over a 5-year timeframe.   FFF program promotion will continue to focus on reaching diverse and disadvantaged groups and encouraging them to apply, including women, people of color, people with disabilities, and veterans who are traditionally underrepresented in tech product start-ups. Through Founders Fund the county hopes to foster economic mobility among founders of all backgrounds. Fairfax County is home to 10,000 large and small IT companies in a diversity of sector specializations. Businesses and research teams in Fairfax County are defining the cutting edge. From cloud computing and software development to artificial intelligence and data analytics, the “Silicon Valley of the East” continues to grow with more than 1 in 4 jobs being technology related. Related: Fairfax Founders Fund Announces Inaugural Cohort of Grant Funding Winners - November 2023  
November 3, 2023
  Fairfax County, VA – Fairfax County announced the winners of the first cohort of grant funding for the Fairfax Founders Fund. The five companies represent a group of visionary startups that exemplify local innovation and entrepreneurship. They were selected because of the potential of their innovative tech products and demonstrated business growth opportunities. The up to $50,000 in grant funding per business will provide a significant boost to their ventures, help them grow in Fairfax County, and showcase the region's dynamic and thriving startup ecosystem. The Fairfax Founders Fund is a Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives program designed to support early-stage, high-growth startups. The program provides grants and technical assistance to product and technology-based companies on the path to seeking institutional investments or awards and expanded customers. The primary objectives of the fund are to stimulate economic development, connect startups with local resources and partnerships, and promote economic mobility by ensuring that early-stage capital is accessible to entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. The Fairfax Founders Fund plays a pivotal role in nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship in Fairfax County and the region at-large. The grant recipients for the inaugural cohort are: NearStar Fusion, Chantilly, VA    BloomCatch, Centreville, VA   3D Orthobiologic Solutions (3DOS), Herndon, VA   Healp (fka Riley App), Fairfax Station, VA   Anapact / The Smart Headgear, Alexandria, VA (More information on these companies can be found here.) Fairfax Founders Fund is committed to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in the Fairfax area by providing financial support and mentorship to startups. The grant recipients represent a diverse range of industries, demonstrating the potential for diversified economic growth in the region. "We are delighted to recognize and support these exceptional startups in Fairfax County," said Rebecca Moudry, Director Fairfax County’s Department of Economic Initiatives. "These grants will empower our local firms to advance their innovations, meet business goals, and drive economic growth and technological progress in our community." Applications for the second cohort for the Fairfax Founders Fund will open in late fall, 2023. Exact dates will be posted on the Founders Fund website.  For more information about Fairfax Founders Fund and the grant winners, please visit Fairfax and search “Founders Fund.” _______________________ The Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI) leads programs and initiatives to foster economic development and position Fairfax County to be an economically competitive and prosperous community for all. DEI delivers innovative solutions to cultivate a diverse and thriving local business base, facilitate development through public-private partnerships that address strategic priorities, and foster an entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem within the County and the region, building on competitive economic strengths.    

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