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Small Biz Focus: What Economic Development Means to Arlington County

This article was written by Christina Winn, Director of Business Investment for Arlington Economic Development.

As a professional economic developer, I’m often asked by my fellow Arlington residents and business owners about the importance of economic development.

After all, we have a thriving community with notable businesses, excellent schools, a highly educated workforce, an unemployment rate of 1.7% and beautiful parks and green spaces. What else do we need?

Well, the problem is that our commercial vacancy rates are too high and we need to continue to broaden the commercial tax base. Arlington’s 2018 4th quarter vacancy rate is at 17.2% (which is significantly better than the almost 21% in early 2015), and it could take up to 10 years or more before we can reach a baseline level of 10%.

Arlington County lost 34,000 jobs since 2001 due to the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC), corporations right-sizing and the increased mobility of their workforce. Even with Arlington Economic Developments efforts to strategically market the county to attract new businesses, retain our existing business base and encourage our businesses to grow and expand, it takes time to recover.

So why do vacancy rates matter? And most importantly, why does it matter to you? The majority of Arlington’s taxes comes from either the commercial or residential property taxes collected.

Those taxes are what funds the services that we all enjoy as Arlington residents. Historically, Arlington is unique because our tax base is derived from almost 50% residential and 50% commercial. In most other communities the residential tax base carries the weight — which means the people that live there pay higher taxes.

If our commercial office buildings are vacant with no occupied businesses (currently almost 1/5 of the 40 million square feet of office space is empty), then that means Arlington County is not collecting as much property and business taxes, which puts pressure on the general fund in providing the services we all enjoy.

Our schools, transportation systems, parks and human services struggle for limited funds. Luckily, the recruitment of Amazon will go a long way to help broaden the commercial tax base and increase tax revenues to fund these services.

So yes, economic development is important to you. As an Arlington resident, I want to continue to have top-notch public schools for my kids. I enjoy our beautiful and convenient parks and enjoy that my trash is picked every week.

As a result, we will continue to market Arlington to attract new companies. We will expand our engagement programs to retain our existing employers and help them expand and grow. We truly understand that our mission is to generate revenue for Arlington County, and every program, service and project is focused on that goal.

Every time you read in the paper that a new business has located to Arlington, be excited because that means their taxes are paying for your services.

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Boutique Luxury at its Finest

Still planning for summer camps? Check out the great variety of art projects and fun teachers at Art House 7 in Arlington. We have morning, midday, and afternoon weekly camps for ages 5-13. Among our themes: Clay Creations; Animals Around the World; Arts & Crafts; Draw, Paint & Sculpt Faces & Animals; Drawing & Printmaking. We’ve recently added PaperPalooza (paper making and bookmaking) and Jewelry camps. You can see all our listings on our website.

Art House 7 has been a haven for artists of all ages since 2015, offering classes, camps, and workshops. We’re located on Langston Blvd. near the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. We have an ample 2-story studio, and plenty of free parking.

Weekly camps at Art House 7
– June 17-Aug. 9
– Camp times: 9-11am, 11am-2pm, 2:30-4:30pm
– Ages 5-13

5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington VA 22207

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Sarah Moore, LPC, is a therapy practice specializing in women’s mental health across various life stages.

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Our specialties include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the Gottman Method for couples and the Path to Wellness for pregnancy and postpartum.

Many of our clients are experiencing major transitions in their lives, either personally or professionally — or at school. A good portion are athletes. And many are caretakers.

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Fascination

Goth-Dark Wave Dance Party with Belly Dancing and Drag King Show.

                                         Part of Our

Alternative Thursdays for Alternave People with Alternative Lifestyles

                                      Performances By

Belladonna and the Nightshades

Ya Meena

Drag King - Ken Vegas

DJ Michelle Guided

National Chamber Ensemble – Concerto Celebration

We invite you to join us for an extraordinary evening of music at our Season Finale, “Concerto Celebration”! Enjoy several masterworks as NCE performs two famous concertos in an intimate chamber music setting, opening with a delightful work by Chevalier

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