As Fairfax County business (businesses) and nonprofits continue their recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Department of Economic Initiatives and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority contracted with HR&A Advisors to create a roadmap to recovery. This road map, or Economic Framework, provides an in-depth look at the pre-pandemic economy, the economic impact of COVID-19 and gives recommendations to support a full and robust recovery as well as strengthen the resilience of businesses and nonprofits to withstand any “future shocks”.
The consultant came to their conclusions from analyzing key economic indicators, holding virtual roundtables with business and nonprofit stakeholders, and by reviewing responses to online questionnaires that surfaced specific impacts of the pandemic and detailed perceived barriers to and strategies for recovery. This data was used to document and address pre-existing as well as new economic and social disparities, and to identify strategies to help Fairfax County build toward a new normal. The report has an 18-month timeline. The recommendations are broken down into “first moves” or immediate impact opportunities, which will begin within six months to address critical needs and challenges and immediately boost economic activity. Longer term strategic initiatives that will strengthen Fairfax businesses and workers’ economic resilience to follow. Many of these strategic initiatives may continue beyond this 18-month recovery.
The plan recommendations are categorized into: Business Recovery and Resilience; Regulatory Action; Workforce Talent and Support; Physical & Community Planning and Support for Workers and Families, making it easy to clarify the needs, responses and roles and responsibilities for the work.
Rebecca Moudry, Director
Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives
Implementation of the plan has begun with principal agencies within the county being selected to lead the identified initiatives. The Board of Supervisors has also engaged with the plan and established its priorities within each category. Next the agencies will locate and partner with community organization and businesses to begin execution. As each recommendation moves forward, reports to the Board of Supervisors and the public will be provided. Detailed descriptions for each action, including the existing county response, description, funding sources, potential partners, and metrics relevant for each suggested recommendation are included in the full report that is available online.
As the Economic Framework, like the pandemic, is dynamic, periodic reports and updates will be provided. Also new initiatives, tied to the report, will be highlighted by the Department of Economic Initiatives as they are introduced.