This article was written by Telly Tucker, Director of Arlington Economic Development.
These are unprecedented times. Like so many other communities, Arlington is working through the effects and global impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Arlington Economic Development, a division within the Arlington County Government, is continuing to update and support the local business community throughout this pandemic and is following the lead of local and state authorities. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has now issued a Stay at Home order in response to the spread of the coronavirus and has prohibited people from gathering in groups of more than 10 people.
Under the direction of the Governor, Arlington restaurants have closed their dining rooms, and quite a few are providing meals on a takeout basis. Other businesses, such as gyms, theaters and shopping malls have closed as well.
The Governor has asked that people stay home unless it’s essential that they go out. However, there are many ways we can all support the Arlington business community. You can see a list of Arlington businesses offering specials and online ordering/curbside delivery options on our website.
For the business community, and especially our small business community, this situation can be devastating, if not catastrophic. More than 90% of Arlington County businesses employ 50 people or fewer, and some have already had to make very difficult decisions when it comes to employees.
We at Arlington Economic Development are reviewing the newly enacted federal CARES Act legislation to better understand how our local businesses can take advantage of this stimulus. We are also keeping track of other resources at the state and federal levels designed to help our business community weather this global situation.
Locally, the Arlington County Treasurer will not impose penalty and interest for those affected by COVID-19 for tax due dates between now and April 30. We are also collaborating with our regional partners in the NOVA EDA to study the short and long term economic impact of coronavirus. We will be sharing those results once the study is complete.
Arlington is a resilient community. We have weathered hardships before and learned the lessons to come out even stronger on the other side. But to echo the thoughts of Governor Northam, we must work together to do so. We will continue to share available resources with our business community.
In the meantime, we ask all of you to make responsible decisions for the health and welfare for yourselves, your employees and your neighbors in Arlington.