Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI)

Fairfax County, Virginia

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Our office is open 8:30AM-4:30PM M-F

703-324-5171 | TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 432
Fairfax, VA 22035

Rebecca Moudry, Director

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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.

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PIVOT GRANT APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. 

RELAY

Fairfax County and Dominion Energy are partnering launched an autonomous electric shuttle, Relay, operates between the Dunn Loring Metrorail Station and the Mosaic District in Fairfax County. It is be the first test of driverless public transportation in the D.C.region, and it’s also the first state-funded autonomous transportation project in Virginia. RIDE THE LOOP - CHECK OUT RELAY TODAY!

DEI Newsletter

STAYING IN THE "KNOW" IS EASY!

Sign-up today for Fairfax County's Economic Initiatives Listserv and get the latest information that will help you expand, enhance and grow your business.

Each month we, the Department of Economic Initiatives, receive important and relevant business information, that we will send to our local business community.

Fairfax Peak

Alpine-X, a Virginia-based company, has submitted a proposal to build a 450,000-square-foot snow-sports center with plans for a 1,700-foot long, 280-foot high ski slope. If approved, this project, known as Fairfax Peak,  would sit  on the I-95 Lorton landfill, owned by Fairfax County.


PIVOT logo

June 10, 2021 | 05:10PM
County Creates Second Grant Program To Help Local Businesses And Nonprofits Pivot From The Pandemic Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted today to create a new grant program to support businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program is called “PIVOT” and it will provide grants to local businesses in the hotel, food service, retail and services, and arts and culture industries. PIVOT will use $25 million provided through the Federal American Rescue Plan Act to provide targeted assistance to the most hard-hit sectors of the Fairfax County economy. The goal of the program is to help those businesses continue their recovery by providing needed capital for ongoing operations and to sustain business sectors. The grant portal will be open from June 23rd through July 9th.  “Fairfax County is committed to helping businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic. Through the PIVOT grant we will help those businesses who saw the greatest financial impact regain their momentum so they will be able to thrive in the reopening marketplace,” said Board of Supervisor Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “It also directs recovery towards sectors that employ disproportionately higher numbers of low income and minority workers, making it all more important that we target recovery efforts to these communities who have been hardest hit." In early 2021, Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority commissioned an Economic Recovery Framework study that illustrated that the county lost an estimated 48,200 jobs (through December 2020) and employment losses were heavily concentrated in food service, hospitality, and retail sectors. The study provided a “road map” that highlighted opportunities to create a just and resilient recovery through specific steps and programming. A small business grant program was one of the recommendations. Using this data, PIVOT will target businesses in the retail, food service, hospitality/lodging and arts sectors.  Research shows customer-facing businesses – such as retailers, hotels, and restaurants – are the most vulnerable to closures and losses in revenues because of the pandemic. In the Washington D.C. Metro area, 45% of small businesses have closed either temporarily or permanently, and for those that remain open, small business revenue is down nearly 55%. Restaurants and retailers are particularly at-risk; over half of closures across the country in these categories at the end of August were permanent. Notably, the accommodation and food services; retail and other services; and arts and entertainment sectors accounted for approximately 50 percent of total job losses in Fairfax County in 2020. According to an Americans for the Arts COVID-19 impact survey, arts organizations and artists in Fairfax had cancelled 98% of their events and 43% reported that an inability to make payroll is a major financial obstacle. “Through PIVOT, Fairfax County will strategically invest to support businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to help them make the turn towards prosperity,” said Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust.  The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) has been identified as the grant administrator of the program and is experienced in supporting small businesses and non-profits across many economic sectors. They are also experienced in administering large-scale grant programs and providing technical assistance and capital financing to businesses and non-profits.  Funds will be disbursed via four programs:  Lodging;  Food service and food trucks; Retail, services, and amusements;  Arts organizations, museums and historical sites Businesses must be located in Fairfax County, including the Towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna and have a have a commercial storefront (no online only or home- based businesses will be eligible for awards). Businesses must be open or temporarily closed, planning to reopen by August 31, 2021 and have a valid Business and Professional License (BPOL). Grant award amounts, eligibility criteria and other requirements will be available on the Fairfax County website. Two webinars will be offered on the PIVOT program. The webinars will be recorded for those who cannot join the event live and copies will be posted on the PIVOT web  page. .  June 15 at 1:00pm  (In English) Link to Join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89159301360 June 17 at 2:00pm (In Spanish) Link to Join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89975257361#success **Note this link was updated on 6/16. Attendees using the original link will be redirected to the new meeting. Event will also be broadcast on You Tube Since March 2020, Fairfax County has developed a number of programs designed to support various members of the business community, the non-profit community, and its workforce. These include the COVID-19 Recovery Microloan Fund; the RISE Grant Program; the Social Safety Net Nonprofit Sustainability Grant Program, Emergency Rental Assistance Program; and the administration of vaccines.  More information on the PIVOT program can be found at FairfaxCounty.gov/Economic-Initiatives/Pivot  PRESS RELEASE PDF English | Arabic | Korean | Spanish | Vietnamese (translations coming soon)   SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHICS Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn MARKETING COLLATERAL Flyer

Restaurant Revitalization

March 17, 2021 | 12:03PM
  $28.6 Billion Available as Part of Restaurants Act Info in: Spanish | Arabic | Korean The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, authorized by the March stimulus bill, is now taking applications for grants for restaurants, bars, and other similar places of business that serve food or drink. The purpose of this funding is to provide support to eligible entities that suffered revenue losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program provides restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. Additionally, $5 billion of that total will be set aside expressly for businesses with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000. Eligible entities include: Restaurants Food stands, food trucks, food carts Caterers Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts) Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts) Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts) Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts) Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts) Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products SBA will prioritize providing grants to small businesses owned and operated by women, veterans, and/or socially or economically disadvantaged individuals for the first 21 days. Funds will  be available until expended, so it's important to gather your paperwork now and be ready once the grant portal opens.  For more information visit the SBA RRF website | Program Guide | Sample version of  application. Info in: Spanish | Arabic | Korean

Beanstalk Produce

May 24, 2021 | 02:13PM
With an AFID grant from the Commonwealth and a match from Fairfax County, Beanstalk will expand its innovative vertical farm company.  Governor Northam and Fairfax County announced today that the agtech company, Beanstalk, is receiving a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, and Fairfax County will contribute $100,000 as a local match to expand its innovative vertical farming company. Beanstalk will invest over $2 million and create 29 new jobs as it moves its headquarters to a former data center in Herndon. “I am pleased to support a project that brings together Virginia’s oldest and largest industry, agriculture, with one of our newest and fastest growing sectors, technology,” said Governor Northam.  “Innovative entrepreneurs like Mike and Jack Ross are demonstrating how STEM fields can bring together exciting, new growing techniques cultivated from advancements in biology and technology.   Beanstalk uses proprietary hydroponic technology and heirloom seeds to produce leafy greens, herbs and vegetables, which it currently sells to Harris Teeter and also sells via a storefront in its current location. In addition to growing crops in the new location, the new facility will house a larger storefront; a retail presence; space for research and development; and will offer spectators tours and a glimpse of the growing process through a large picture window into the farm. Their headquarters will also breathe new life into an empty space in the heart of Herndon. Beanstalk is also a member of the Made in Fairfax network, which connects local small production manufacturers to networking groups, marketing opportunities and potential customers. “We are always looking for innovative investments to move our economy forward in Fairfax County. Beanstalk’s new facility will not only bring new jobs to the community, but it also is a creative solution to using advancements in technology to increase access to fresh food options,” said Fairfax County Board Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. For Fairfax County, investing in technology companies like Beanstalk reinforces the role of technology to  address community needs, in this case the need for healthy foods. By making strategic  investments in emerging industries the county can find and test solutions that can make a difference in the lives of county residents.  This also parallels the county’s commitment to sustainability. As a local company Beanstalk supports the regional food chain with eco-friendly produce.  The firm produces its goods using 95% less water, 99% less food miles and lower CO2 emissions, when compared to processed foods. Finally, the county seeks to cultivate more agtech businesses as part of its strategic plan to grow and diversify the economy. Agriculture is a major employer and economic driver. The industry is responsible for 6,021 jobs in Fairfax County, and it produces $780 million in economic impact, according to a University of Virginia study.  And Fairfax County is a leader in tech, with 8,900 technology-focused enterprises and growing. Agtech is the intersection of these two industries and a strategically poised to expand.   “We are thrilled to support the expansion of Beanstalk, an innovative technology company committed to very high standards of sustainability. Beanstalk’s expansion is an example of how ground-breaking companies are recognizing our very talented work force and the potential opportunities for productive collaboration,” noted Dranesville District Supervisor John W. Foust. Beanstalk’s founders are brothers Mike and Jack Ross who co-founded the company from their apartments in Charlottesville in 2017. Jack, a computer engineer from University of Virginia, and Mike, an Aerospace Engineer from Georgia Tech, used their engineering knowledge and skills to invent hardware, software, and robotic technology that to grow pesticide-free heirloom produce year-round.  While the brothers lived in Charlottesville, the local restauranters’ emphasis on produce and healthy food changed their diets and brought to light the need for better produce. So, they set about building technology that would create farms that were sustainable, produced nutritious food, and made better use of water and land. In addition, as crops are grown closer to the consumer, Beanstalk allows for a shorter distribution chain which preserves the nutrients in food sold. After winning an entrepreneur competition at UVA, they went on to participate in Y Combinator in Silicon Valley, the accelerator behind companies like Airbnb and Stripe, before returning to their mid-Atlantic roots to expand Beanstalk.  “The Town of Herndon is thrilled to welcome Jack and Mike Ross’ Beanstalk Farms to our community,” said Mayor Sheila Olem. “Theirs is exactly the kind of innovative, jobs-producing business we are looking to attract to our town’s commercial sector, and we applaud their application of technology toward provision of healthy, locally-grown produce.” The move to Herndon is expected to be completed in the fall. Beanstalk is equipping the space with the growing towers, processing rooms, environmental controls, harvesting machines, and packaging systems necessary for production. In the meantime, they expect to launch their first food truck, operated by Chef Daniel Penningroth, that will serve their produce in healthy salads to people all over Fairfax County.  As their business grows, they continue to keep engineering at the forefront and are building new robotics to grow more crops – which creates the question: Are they a technology company who grows food or farmers who creates technology? Regardless Jack and Mike Ross are setting a course for all of Fairfax to have healthy, nutritious food only a short walk away.   

UPCOMING EVENTS

Sep

25

11:00AM, Public Opportunity to Learn More about Indoor Ski Slope Proposed for I…

Oct

26

9:30AM, Public Meetings 10/26/2021 9:30 am   Event Description The Board of…

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