Tysons, VA

More Falls Church Businesses Get Micro-Grants — “This round was open to a wider range of small businesses and non-profit applicants than those awarded to 84 businesses in a first round in May… All 42 eligible applicants will receive funding thanks to the [Falls Church] EDA.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Ransomware Attack — “A DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC) subsidiary has experienced a ransomware attack on some of its systems, the Tysons tech firm disclosed Monday. Xchanging is a global standalone insurance managed services business, according to a release from DXC. The company does not believe that the attack compromised any customer data, however, some customers currently do not have access to the platform.” [Washington Business Journal]

“Vienna is for Lovers” — “To aid small businesses during the pandemic, the Vienna-based owner of custom apparel maker French Press Printing has held T-shirt fundraisers in Vienna and Oakton. Now French Press Printing’s Sarah Bohn is featuring a local artist’s original work and donating a portion of proceeds.” [Vienna Patch]

Citizens Group Backs Subdivision — “The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board of directors passed a resolution July 1 in favor of a rezoning that would allow a three-house subdivision to be built at 8801 Jarrett Valley Drive.” [Inside NoVa]

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Latest Unemployment News — “The Virginia Employment Commission reported Thursday that 5,279 Northern Virginia residents filed initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending June 20. That was down 9.2% from the preceding week and marks the 11th straight week of declines since a high of 47,708 claims filed in the week ending April 4. However, it is still 10 times pre-pandemic levels.” [Inside NoVa]

Finding the Funding — “McLean’s ID.me Inc. is raising new capital while riding a wave of momentum fueled by the pandemic. The digital identity management company has nabbed about $8.3 million out of a $12.5 million equity offering that began June 9, it reported in Securities and Exchange Commission filings.” [Washington Business Journal]

Sights Set on Space — “Los Angeles-based aerospace manufacturer Relativity Space announced Wednesday that McLean-based Iridium Communications Inc. has signed a contract to deliver up to six of Irdium’s satellites into orbit.” [Virginia Business]

New Merrifield Park — “The Fairfax County Park Authority Board on June 24 approved initial scoping work to develop a new park on the eastern edge of Merrifield.” [Inside NoVa]

https://twitter.com/TheBoroTysons/status/1276170836903370752?s=20

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Two Tysons companies are among the 15 tech employers listed for an upcoming virtual job hosted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

The fair is targeted to mid-career tech professionals, especially ones with security clearances, and the companies represented will have a total of 3,000 open jobs in the Northern Virginia region, according to FCEDA.

“While the fair is primarily for those in tech fields including data science, software engineering, IT, cybersecurity, defense and aerospace, some companies are featuring non-tech positions such as marketing, sales, finance, human resources and legal,” according to FCEDA.

Companies signed up for the fair include:

Previously, FCEDA hosted a virtual career fair for recent college graduates.

“Every job represents a household, so when we connect people — whether newly minted graduates or those midway through a career — to thousands of open jobs, we are really improving lives, saving households and communities,” Victor Hoskins, FCEDA’s president and CEO, said in a press release.

People will be able to browse companies in a virtual lobby before entering “virtual booths” to view open positions and video conference with recruiters.

The job fair will be hosted on Tuesday, July 14, from 1-4 p.m. People can register online.

Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

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Tysons-based MicroTech is working to address shortages in personal protective equipment (PPP), adding a risk-free component to its delivery service.

The company teamed up with Thermal Safety Systems to revamp their Just-in-Time PPE Delivery, which provides low-cost access to PPE, medical equipment and medical technology.

The companies say it “leverages supply-chain management to sync orders to suppliers with production and delivery schedules designed to meet customer’s needs,” according to the press release.

The companies decided to redesign the delivery of raw materials and finished products.

“Under these arduous conditions, it became obvious that new strategies for optimizing Just-in-Time Delivery
needed to be implemented,” the press release said.

“Risk-free orders are another game-changing aspect of the MicroTech-Thermal Safety Systems alliance,” the press release said. “Under this partnership, the MicroTech financing department will fully fund PPE purchases, and collect on delivery.”

Just-in-Time PPE Delivery has also improved supply management and inventory, less production pressure, increased quality control price stabilization and consolidated orders that decrease manufacturing and transportation costs.

Photo via MicroTech/Facebook

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Nightlife is zilch in Tysons at the moment due to the pandemic. After a brief hiatus, the “Tysons After Dark” series is back to highlight different online and at-home activities from local organizations and offerings from eateries that keep people busy once the sun goes down. 

A Falls Church comic book and game store is keeping people at home entertained with supplies for creating and customizing miniature figures.

Shoppers at Victory Comics can find paints, primers, brushes and a “wide variety” of miniatures, Gareth Hoskins, the store manager, said. Some of the store’s miniatures require assembly, while others need to get primed before they are painted. Others come pre-primed.

Before the pandemic, the store had “Paint and Take” events — painting classes capped at 12 people where participants would learn from Hoskins how to paint different miniatures.

When COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and the stay-at-home order happened in Virginia, Hoskins said that the store saw an upsurge in the number of people who hadn’t painted miniatures before.

So Hoskins created a Google Doc guide, which he said is constantly getting updated, as a “one-stop for any kind of miniature work.” The guide covers tools, brushes, glue, color theory, assembly, painting and techniques to create effects.

“We get a lot of people asking us, ‘Where do we even begin?’ and having something to point them towards seemed like a good idea,” he said. “We found ourselves answering the same questions over and over.”

For novices, basic supplies usually cost around $20-$25, Hoskins said.

“It’s a lot easier than most people think. A lot of people get worried about how a complex model will work,” Hoskins said. “There are easier techniques that will make details pop without doing a lot of work.”

For people starting off, Hoskins recommends that they get a handful of paint pods, one or two brushes and a miniature — some at the store are already pre-primed.

Hoskins said that he’s been painting miniatures — mostly Warhammer and D&D minis — for more than 10 years, noting that his Death army has lots of vampires and skeletons.

“I tend to like minis that have a lot of detail to them,” he said, adding that most of the miniatures on the market are large enough so that people won’t need a magnifying glass or specific brushes to paint tiny details.

While Hoskins said that people have been playing D&D virtually over Zoom and using websites like Roll20, “those only go so far for customization,” he said.

The great part about miniatures is that people can paint them exactly how they envision them, he said, adding that monster ones tend to be a popular choice.

The store’s offerings help entertain people who aren’t playing D&D in person at the moment and have extra time on their hands to customize miniatures for their game setups.

The store (586 S. Washington Street) is open until 6 p.m. every day and opens at 11 a.m. except for Saturdays, when it opens at 10 a.m., Hoskins said. Shoppers are required to wear masks inside the store.

The store also delivers within a 10-mile radius and offers curbside delivery and people can place orders by contacting the store via Facebook, email or phone.

Image via Victory Comics/Facebook

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tysons Corner Center is working with community members to help those in need by providing an &pizza meal to healthcare workers. Anyone who wants to sponsor a healthcare worker by providing a meal can text #FEEDTHEM to 200-03, the page said.

Those seeking live entertainment can choose to check out 1st Stage Theatre’s Facebook page, where the arts organization posts videos of its talented cast members posting videos of them performing various songs and acts.

Tuesday (May 19)

  • Stuff the Bus — People can drop off non-perishable goods to help community members in need at both the  James Lee Community Center (2855 Annandale Road) Falls Church and the Patrick Henry Library (101 Maple Ave E.) in Vienna from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • Virtual Mystery Fiction Book Group — At 7 p.m. people can join a virtual conversation about “My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel.” People must pre-register online to receive the link. This event is hosted by One More Page Books.

Thursday (May 21)

Saturday (May 23)

  • Performers in Quarantine — Starting at 2 p.m. 1st Stage Theatre will hold one of its community conversations via Zoom with performances by actors in the upcoming show “The Nance share.” The actors will share what their creative experiences have been like during the pandemic.

Photo courtesy Caboose Commons

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In celebration of Virginia Business Appreciation Month, the Town of Vienna launched a new campaign called ViennaUnited.

ViennaUnited consists of community activities throughout the week and will benefit 1,800 of the town’s small businesses, according to a press release.

Events include bingo, a drive-by business challenge and “people’s choice awards” to local businesses given in an array of categories.

For the drive-by business challenge, people are encouraged to make signs supporting and encouraging their favorite spots by flashing the signs, the press release said. People are welcome to post pictures on social media and use the hashtag #ViennaUnited.

To score bingo points, people can engage in activities such as letter writing, ordering lunch from a local eatery and visiting a community coffee shop.

Though COVID-19 impacted small businesses, according to Natalie Monkou, the town’s economic development manager, event organizers hope this event will give business owners a boost.

“More than ever before, we need to show appreciation to our business community as we also consider the next steps toward recovery,” Monkou said in the press release. “This is a small but visual step in showing our support and showcasing the innovation and resiliency that is present in our town.”

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Black Dog Beer Shop has been open for less than three months in Merrifield, but already its owner has seen a recent uptick in sales — partly thanks to a federal loan.

As craft brewers face coronavirus challenges and many breweries pivot to making hand sanitizer, Tyler Cohen says he thinks his new local craft beer store is faring well, all things considered.

While he doesn’t have months and months of data to compare, he said sales grew 10% from March to April: “That’s a good thing, I guess.”

Cohen, who lives in the Mosaic District, opened the store in February at 2672M Avenir Place near the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

Before the coronavirus pandemic prompted the governor to enforce restrictions on businesses, Cohen said 10-15 people would be at the store “at all times” on Fridays and Saturdays.

When businesses started to close or switched to delivery, take-out and curbside pickup services, Cohen said most of his customers initially ordered online, but now he’s starting to see more and more people trickle into the store.

“This last weekend we had to stop people from coming in,” he said.

What the Federal Loan Process Was Like

Receiving a loan during the first round of funding for the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program made a big difference to the store’s finances and ability to keep growing, Cohen said.

“We were getting close where we could probably survive another month and then need to pay payroll out of my own pocket, but as soon as we got that [loan], we were able to breathe a sigh of relief,” he said.

Cohen said M&T Bank was “awesome” with telling him what he would need to submit before the application became available and then communicating with him — even on weekends — about the process.

“It was a pretty quick process,” Cohen said, adding that it took about a week after he submitted the application to hear that he was approved for the loan and then another week to receive it.

Cohen said he’s been able to keep all of his staff employed. One employee, who used to work part-time, now has longer shifts and is covering for another employee, who is over the age of 65 and decided to stay home, he said.

As for rent, the store’s landlord offered delayed rent payments for a few months, but Cohen declined. “I think we can afford rent now.”

COVID-19 Changes 

The store already had a stockpile of personal protective equipment, but Cohen still teamed up with a friend to make homemade hand sanitizer when his supply got low.

“We went from cleaning a couple of times to cleaning all of the surfaces constantly,” he said.

Another change has been allowing people to buy single cans and bottles of beer.

“Instead of buying a four-pack on something they haven’t had, people will try one or two,” he said.

And the store’s growler fill-ups are less popular too now that customers “want to avoid the touching and contact,” he said.

Speeding up some of his longer-term plans has been one of the biggest challenges Cohen’s faced due to the pandemic.

“The online store was something I was planning on rolling out later,” Cohen said. “[The pandemic] forced my hand.”

But, the pandemic did cause one positive thing Cohen’s black dog, Ash, who inspired the shop’s name — there’s now more time for hour-long walks.

“It’s been an interesting time with him because we’ll both get stir crazy,” he said.

Local Community Support 

To get ideas for how to manage the store during the pandemic, Cohen said he and his team talked to local businesses including nearby Inca Social and listened to podcasts about the beer industry.

“The store manager is constantly trying to come up with new ideas,” Cohen said.

Local businesses in the community are trying to show support, he noted.

“I probably buy more beer and take out food to support local businesses,” he said. “We’re trying to help each other.”

Photos via Black Dog Beer Shop/Facebook

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Tysons Reporter is proud to serve our communities, and we are fortunate to have sponsors that have stuck with us during this tough time.

Thank you to Laura Schwartz, 3Summit Investment Management, Eli Residential, The Signet condominiums, Three Stones Residential, WhyHotel, and Berry & Berry for your support.

To give back, starting today we’re using our platform to help local small businesses that might be hurting due to the coronavirus crisis. Any small business in Tysons, McLean, Vienna and Falls Church that would like to get their message in front of our 10,000s of readers can now publish a short Community Post on our homepage and email newsletter free of charge.

Tysons Reporter will be providing this as a free service until we see a substantial recovery in the local economy. We hope it helps connect readers with great small businesses and provides a bit of a boost to the local business community in the process.

Photo by Prateek Katyal/Unsplash

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Though many in-person events are canceled, organizations and businesses are setting up digital events to keep people occupied.

Tuesday (April 28)

  • How to Market When Nothing is Business as Usual — noon to 1 p.m. — This free webinar will help business owners attract clients despite the economic concerns with COVID-19. Hosted by the Tysons Chamber of Commerce, people can connect with other entrepreneurs in the area. Susan Trivers will be the primary speaker for this event.
  • Sweatworking — 5 to 7 p.m. — People have the chance to combine networking with their daily exercise schedule with a Vinyasa Flow Yoga class led by Candace Harding and the Tysons Chamber of Commerce followed by an hour of networking with other participants, the event page said. This event is free. Registration is optional.

Wednesday (April 29)

  • Playwriting Workshop — 7 to 8:30 p.m. — This adult workshop is part of an eight-week course beginning this week. People will learn about character development, plot and best practices for emotional impact, according to the event description. It is taught through Creative Cauldron in Falls Church and the price is $240.
  • An Evening With Local Poets — 7 p.m. — One More Page Books is hosting a free poetry event with Katherine Gekker and others who will be sharing their works. The event is free and open to the public, the event page said, adding it will be hosted on Facebook Live.

Thursday (April 30)

  • Virtual Tasting With Tröegs — 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. — Black Dog Beer Shop will be doing a virtual tasting on Facebook Live for anyone who wishes to watch, according to the event page. People can order prearranged four-packs beforehand and get them delivered or just pick them up with curbside drop, the event page said.

Sunday (May 2)

  • Traveling Players Auditions — time slots vary — The Tysons-based theater group is still hosting auditions for its summer series. Kids ages 4-12 are invited to audition through Zoom for their spot in an upcoming performance, according to the website. Parents can sign their kids up online for a spot.

Photo via Carl Barcelo/Unsplash

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