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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Last week, 15 entrepreneurs spent two days training in a business “bootcamp” hosted by the BizLaunch team of Arlington Economic Development.

They came from Arlington and around the D.C. area to learn how to use software to simplify business operations, file their taxes and learn how to market their product or service, among a host of other skills entrepreneurs have to figure out for themselves.

Realtor and Arlington resident Miranda Carter came to hone her business’ value proposition. She is preparing to launch a business building net-zero emissions, sustainably finished accessory dwelling units that may have a small footprint but don’t sacrifice luxury.

“For me, it’s been good at clarifying and filling in the blanks for things I haven’t thought through,” said Carter. “I knew I needed discipline, and this would force it on me to come back with a viable plan in two days. I know I’m one of those people who’ll have a good idea but won’t do anything about it. It forces me to take action instead of having a plan for five years. I’m hopeful this takes off.”

Carter, who has showed homes to potential buyers and undertaken environmentally sustainable home renovations for years, said the program helped her identify her target customer, refine her elevator pitch and learn how to track metrics.

Arlington Economic Development small business ‘bootcamp’ on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023 (staff photo)

Another attendee, Yvonne Tazem, spent two decades selling cosmetics before deciding to launch a Vitamin C serum that would work on her sensitive skin. It has since been featured in Vogue and she’s now working on a full line of products. She signed up to learn more about online marketing and also came away with some software she could use to simplify how she tracks online sales.

“I love the ability to give women the option to wear makeup or not,” she said. “Makeup should be a choice. You should be able to have beautiful, healthy, glowing skin without it.”

Carter and Tazem are examples of subject-matter experts who need help with running a business, said Alex Held, AED’s Small Business Manager and the event’s organizer.

“They come to us because they don’t know what they don’t know,” he said. “We help them avoid expensive missteps and start on the right foundation.”

Registration for the free event “sold out” in minutes due to the number of people who recently quit their jobs to start their own businesses, and are part of an ongoing economic trend dubbed the “Great Resignation,” said AED spokeswoman Cara O’Donnell. It was the first time AED has offered something like this in 15 years.

The two-day conference was funded with American Rescue Plan Act funding, but the plan is to make it a permanent offering from AED twice every calendar year. The economic development division partners with Boston-based Revby, which works with municipal and state governments across the country to help small businesses with marketing, online presence and finances. Read More

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The Arlington location of Sweet Science Coffee in Lyon Village rang in the New Year with a new name, SIMONA Café, and more food and drink options.

Despite the new offerings, “the coffee program is still a really good program,” says owner Jad Bouchebel, who remains a partner in the business. Sweet Science continues to operate under the original brand in D.C.’s NoMA neighborhood.

The acclaimed Sweet Science Coffee opened the outpost at 2507 N. Franklin Road, near Courthouse, about two years ago, advertising some “all-day” offerings to differentiate the Arlington offshoot.

But Bouchebel says it took until last spring, with help from his associate Roberto “Tito” Peña, to get more lunch items on the menu and to put to use its ABC license for beer and wine. Last fall, the duo decided to rebrand, redecorate the coffee shop’s spartan interior and expand the menu and hours.

“We wanted to make it more of an all-day concept. That’s the reason we changed the name —  to separate from the D.C. location,” said Bouchebel, an Alexandria resident who named the cafe after his daughter. “We don’t want to confuse people. We offer totally different offerings.”

Bouchebel, still a partner at Sweet Science as well as Clarendon nightlife spot Wilson Hardware, says the cafe never really closed, but SIMONA Café had a soft opening in late December and its grand opening on Friday, Jan. 20.

Now, Peña says, the café’s interior gives people “a cool place to hang out in the afternoon,” and enjoy lunch and dinner options, charcuterie and cheese boards, beer, wine and weekend mimosas.

Like the coffee menu, Peña says the wine list is one that “people can delve into without much knowledge.”

The food menu, meanwhile, keeps the kitchen staff at SIMONA busy.

“We bake our own bread for our breakfast sandwiches,” Bouchebel said. “Everything we do in house: from salsa, to toppings, to bread and to our pastries — we bake them every morning here.”

Peña says the coffee comes from Rare Bird Coffee Roasters in Falls Church, and his baristas aim “to provide really nice coffee that’s approachable.”

“We can get nerdy if people want, but the goal is to meet customers where they’re coming in,” he said.

For Peña and Bouchebel, the expanded hours and menu pay homage to the coffee shop’s history. The space used to be home to Java Shack, a community hub at one point owned by Commonwealth Joe, which closed the location in 2019.

“We still get a lot of clients who’d been coming for 20 years,” Bouchebel said. “Java Shack was a staple — a neighborhood cafe — so instead of just offering half-day hours, we kept it going whole-day for people looking for [that experience].”

Peña says he remembers going to Java Shack in the ’90s as a high school student.

“It was my first favorite coffee shop,” he said. “It’s kind of cool: the original owner, Dale, is now a regular for us. I talk to him every week… We have some regulars who’ve been coming for 20 years.”

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

South Arlington resident Ricardo Buitrago brings an engineer’s eye to the delicate work of cutting and setting gemstones.

Trained as a mechanical engineer in Colombia, Buitrago worked with solar panels, and later glass and cars. He left all that behind and immigrated to Boston, without any knowledge of English.

Like many immigrants, he took hard jobs to learn the language and make ends meet. After 10 years, he moved to Arlington, where he has built a life with his wife and daughter over the last decade, and earned his master’s from George Washington University in systems engineering and computer science.

But Buitrago’s real love has always been energy production, and his white whale, a perpetual motion machine. These passions have taken him far from mechanical engineering and into the brilliant and — in his words — spiritual realm of gems. His deep fascination with their colors and the energy they produced compelled him to learn how to hew their rough exteriors; today, he sells jewelry made from gems he cut and fit into settings through a business called GalaxyGems.

“It was kind of a hobby at the beginning,” he said. “I was trying to make something beautiful for my daughter and wife. Later, as the pieces were getting more beautiful, we thought, ‘Maybe we can sell them as jewelry.'”

Ricardo Buitrago hand-cutting gemstones (courtesy photo)

He got his start watching videos and reading books and taught himself how to cut gemstones. He bought a cheap mechanism that he tinkered with until it could be used to make precise cuts into gems, saving himself between $6,000 and $9,000 on machinery. Everything for the company he and his wife did in-house, including videos for the website.

Like engineering, cutting gemstones gives him the satisfaction of turning a vision for a product into a real thing to enjoy.

“Every stone is a different product,” he said. “It gives us so much pleasure to start with something rough and make it something marvelous… It takes a lot of effort [to create] something that is so brilliant and perfect, in some way.”

In the near future, Buitrago says he’ll start designing his own settings and experiencing with alternatives to sterling silver settings and chains, such as wood or plastic.

“The idea is to make the whole product very original… something that is a trademark — to make a difference in the market,” he said.

What brings him the most pleasure, however, is when people move beyond the beauty of the stone, and talk to him about their power and properties.

“It’s rare to find someone like that,” he said.

Although GalaxyGems is a full-time job, Buitrago still finds some spare moments to tinker with designs for a gem-powered perpetual motion machine.

“People don’t understand how energy comes from stone and how that can translate to energy that helps us move things, but I think there is a path,” he said.

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Flags outside Arlington County government headquarters in Courthouse (photo courtesy Arlington County)

Well in advance of Tax Day, Arlington County is telling business owners they can no longer file their business tax returns via mail.

Arlington’s Commissioner of Revenue says the office is getting rid of the option and will now require people to file their taxes through an online payment portal.

On Oct. 13, the office mailed out postcards telling business customers that they will not receive Business License, Business Tangible or Custodial tax forms in 2023. Until now, the commissioner’s office has mailed out pre-printed business tax returns annually on Jan. 1, according to Susan Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Commissioner of Revenue’s office.

Instead, the office’s Business Division is encouraging customers to review and update their Customer Assessment and Payment Portal (CAPP) accounts or sign up for the portal no later than Dec. 31 of this year so they can receive courtesy reminders leading up to filing deadlines and file on time in 2023, she said.

“Our office also plans to send other courtesy reminders about the paperless initiative to customers before the end of this year,” said Anderson.

The paperless switch began in 2019 with monthly custodial tax return filings, including meals tax and transient occupancy tax, she said.

“Every year since, we have transitioned other tax types to the initiative, such as the annual business license and tangible property taxes, by phasing out the printing and mailing of pre-printed returns to customers who were already recurring online filers,” Anderson said.

Many businesses have already made the shift.

“During the pandemic, we experienced a record high of new online filings and successfully provided all business tax services electronically via phone, email and CAPP,” Anderson said. “Our goal is to aid any remaining customers without a CAPP profile to effectively manage their business tax accounts online for continued quality customer service.”

She says the paperless initiative aims to reduce recurring issues with processing business tax returns on time, such as invalid addresses and multiple submissions of the same tax filing. Messy handwriting, incomplete forms, missing or illegible postmarks, and third-party versions with inaccurate information also delay processing.

According to the Commissioner of Revenue’s office, there are a number of benefits to filing online. For taxpayers, she said it offers:

  • Fast, secure, and convenient online submission with immediate confirmation
  • The ability to file up to midnight EST on the due date
  • One-stop access to all business documents and records
  • No risk of returns lost in the mail or placed in the wrong mailbox
  • No risk of delayed postal mailings and receipt of correspondence
  • Safe and contactless correspondence
  • Reduced clutter and paper to be stored, shredded, or discarded

In addition, by going paperless, the office is able to continue its services during events “beyond our control” and saves printing, postage and labor costs that can be spent in other ways, Anderson said.

The Business Tax team at the Commission of Revenue’s office is available to assist customers with their online filings via phone at (703) 228-3060 or in-person at the customer service window 208, located at county government headquarters in Courthouse (2100 Clarendon Blvd).

“In the near future, self-service kiosks will also be available,” Anderson said.

A mailer from the county announcing mandatory paperless business tax returns (staff photo)
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Ghin Na Ree Thai at Lee Harrison Shopping Center (photo by Jay Westcott)

Ghin Na Ree Thai is currently closed at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center, having been sold to a “new family.”

The two-decade-old Thai food restaurant near the Yorktown neighborhood shut down within the past few days, with both its website and phone message announcing its closure.

“Thank you for 21 years of great food! Ghin Na Ree has been sold to a new family and will reopen under another name in the future,” reads the restaurant’s website.

Ownership began telling regulars of the impending closure several weeks ago, saying in a note that “our parents are retiring and we’ve made the decision to sell the restaurant.”

The note also says that a “wonderful Thai family will be taking over in the next few weeks” while asking customers to “please continue to support this restaurant.”

ARLnow was in touch with the now-former owners last week — when the restaurant was still open — but they have so far declined to share who that new family might be.

The restaurant was generally popular with locals, earning 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp, with recent reviews calling the owners “beyond nice” and mentioning how large the portion sizes were.

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For sale sign in front of a business district (photo illustration by ARLnow, background image generated by DALL-E 2)

In Arlington, as elsewhere, local business is not static.

Stores and restaurants are continuously being opened, closed or sold. In this ongoing series, we list some of the businesses being offered for sale via BizBuySell, an online aggregator.

The businesses are described but not named in the listings. Eagle-eyed readers who have followed our previous business sale posts this year, however, may have noticed at least one apparently listed business that has since closed and another that is changing to another restaurant.

Though this is a time of inflation and economic uncertainty, the owners of small local businesses may be looking to move on for a variety of reasons, including retirement or a desire to focus on another business venture.

Some of the businesses in Arlington that appear to have been listed for sale since our post this past summer are below.

1. Highly profitable Hair, beauty and Spa ($599,000)

This is a successful hair salon with Variety of beauty and spa services in Arlington Virginia. The owners have been in business for about 30 years. They moved to the current location in 2010. They are highly dedicated and experienced. Services offered are color, balayage, foil highlighting, skin care, manicures and pedicures for men and women. If you are looking for a designer hair cut with beautiful look and wonderful customer service and relaxing to restore your natural beauty this is the place to go to.

2. 5 Day Cafe in Prime Location ($149,000)

Prime location restaurant and cafe on a main road in Arlington opened only 5 days a week. Surrounded by office buildings, apartments and retail makes this a great location given the high volume walking traffic during work hours and evenings. This restaurant has been in business since 2016. The current menu consists of soups, salads, sandwiches and much more but can be converted to fit most menus/concepts.

3. Pizza Restaurant in DC Metro Area, Prime Location ($145,000)

Looking for Potential Buyer for my pizza restaurant Located just 5 miles from white house. Our 5 Miles delivery area covers DC, Regan Airport, Mclean, Tysons Corner, Falls church,Annandale and surrounding areas. Restaurant has Dine In Capacity and customer restroom, located on one of the busiest road that connects VA,DC & MD. Unfortunately, I cannot give enough time to store as I have another venture.

4. Fast Casual Restaurant & Bar with Outdoor Seating ($279,000)

Fast casual restaurant & bar with outdoor seating located in a prime location in Arlington. This restaurant has been in business since 2019 and has been profitable ever since. To date this business has had very little marketing attention due to the fact the current owner has another business outside of the restaurant to run full time. In need of a hands on owner operator to take this business to the next level.

5. Low Rent & Profitable Free Standing Restaurant ($299,000)

Profitable free standing restaurant in Arlington VA located on a heavy traffic road surrounded by residential. This restaurant has been in business since 1998 and has EXTREMELY LOW RENT for this area. The current menu and concept can be converted to almost any type of food or be kept the same. Very big kitchen great for catering and to accommodate large orders. With a rent of $5,700 per month and annual sales around $800,000 this is an excellent money making opportunity.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

(Updated 12:40 p.m. on 10/11/22) If you own a local restaurant, grocery co-op or healthcare clinic in an underinvested neighborhood, there’s a good chance that Arlington-based Capital Impact Partners can help find money to assist your business.

Capital Impact Partners (CIP), which has been in Crystal City for 40 years, is a Community Development Financial Institution aimed at helping lower-income and racially diverse communities secure loans as well as capital and financial assistance.

And this summer, CIP joined forces with lender CDC Small Business Finance and lending software company Ventures Lending Technologies to help clients more effectively. They are together known as Momentus Capital. The new group is already heating up the region’s economy, according to the Washington Business Journal, which named it as an honoree of its 2022 Inno on Fire Awards program.

“Small business owners, developers, and other local leaders are the engines of job creation and economic activity in communities across the country. When these leaders have the opportunity to succeed, their communities, their residents — and our country — thrive,” said Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Momentus Capital, in a statement. “We need bold thinking and a holistic approach to unleash solutions for underestimated communities. Momentus Capital was created to meet that challenge.”

Carr, who led CIP, and Kurt Chilcott, at the time the leader of CDC Small Business Finance and now the chair of both organizations’ boards, began developing the idea for Momentus in 2019. Under the new umbrella organization, the companies will still operate as one, although they will be maintained as separate legal entities, providing but their clients will now have access to more resources and products.

A small food business that Capital Impact Partners helped fund as part of Nourish DC (courtesy of Capital Impact Partners)

For instance, Momentus is developing new lending and investing products aimed at helping people who have historically been denied access to funding. It provides borrowers with training, mentorship and networking opportunities and also provides technical support to community-based organizations and lenders.

This is the kind of work that CIP has been doing since its founding in 1982. Now a national organization, with offices in Oakland, Detroit, Austin and New York, the company got its start in Crystal City, where its headquarters remain at 1400 Crystal Drive.

“We are always thinking about racial equity, the racial wealth gap, what was our role in that as lenders, and how can we create more access to capital in a more holistic way, deep in communities,” says Alison Powers, director of economic opportunities at Capital Impact Partners. “I like to think we’ve been one of the leaders when it comes to thinking about those questions.”

That might mean helping to secure a loan for a family-owned pharmacy in Green Valley or pinpointing a grant that might assist with staffing at a small, immigrant-owned restaurant on Columbia Pike.

Powers said this work reverses exclusionary systems in the U.S., such as redlining, which prevented communities of color and low-income families from getting home loans because their neighborhoods were deemed too risky for investment.

“How we think about credit and risk and underwriting has really been influenced by the history of the U.S. and who is perceived as being good candidates for access to certain financial products,” she says.

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“Haute Dogs & Burgers” is moving into the former Smoking Kow space at the Williamsburg Shopping Center (image via Google Maps)

Nationals Park favorite Haute Dogs is coming home to Arlington.

The concession stand that serves up fancy hot dogs at Nats Park, which started in Purcellville before opening a popular location in Old Town Alexandria, is opening a new eatery in Williamsburg Shopping Center.

Dubbed “Haute Dogs and Burgers,” the new restaurant is moving into the space formerly occupied by Smoking Kow BBQ, which closed earlier this year, at 2910 N. Sycamore Street.

It’s a homecoming for the family that owns Haute Dogs.

“We have been seeking a location in Arlington for as long as we can remember. My mother and founding partner, Pamela Swanson, was raised in Arlington and went to Yorktown High School,” co-founder Chloé Swanson wrote ARLnow in an email.”Our family has been rooted in Arlington for 3 generations.”

After being in Old Town Alexandria for a decade, plus two stands at Nats Park and a food truck, the family was looking to bring the business home.

“We knew we wanted a second-generation restaurant in a shopping center with a strong lunch traction, as well as a neighborhood and family friendly location,” Swanson said. “The Williamsburg Shopping Center embodies all of this to us.”

Haute Dogs’ menu consists of hot dogs like the Banh Mi, NY Reuben Dog, and Bruschetta Dog. Like the Alexandria location, the Arlington one will also sell burgers, sausages, and fries. In the summer, Food Network cited the Banh Mi dog at Haute Dogs as one of the best 50 hot dogs in the country.

The restaurant just took over the space last week and is “currently in the waiting game” in terms of obtaining permits. Swanson didn’t provide a hoped-for opening date, beyond saying they hope to open the restaurant soon.

The decades-old shopping center in North Arlington has seen some recent turnover, with a hair salon replacing a frozen yogurt shop earlier this year.

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Arlington County Board candidates Adam Theo, Matt de Ferranti and Audrey Clement at a Chamber of Commerce debate (courtesy of Arlington Chamber of Commerce)

A record-high office vacancy rate plus burdensome taxes and permit processes are just some hurdles for local businesses that Arlington County Board hopefuls are pledging to tackle.

During a debate hosted by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce last night (Wednesday), incumbent Matt de Ferranti (D) and his two independent opponents, Audrey Clement and Adam Theo, explained to a 30-person audience how they would extend a helping hand toward area businesses.

Clement emphasized office-to-residential conversions as a way of reducing the office vacancy rate, which reached 20.8% in the last quarter, and “deal with our housing crisis at the same time.”

“Office-to-residential conversion is a smart approach that both Alexandria and the District of Columbia are implementing,” she said. “There are many reasons this is a sensible strategy, and Arlington’s Missing Middle is not.”

Office buildings are readily available, have more parking than most new apartment buildings and are close to Metro, she said.

“I don’t believe honestly there’s disagreement that we should do office to residential. It’s how we do it,” de Ferranti said. “We are already working on that, but we need to move more quickly.”

Seeing as empty offices are spread throughout buildings, Theo said “conversions are not a silver bullet” and suggested filling these vacancies with schools.

“That is something that’s much easier to renovate for than residential and it helps to tackle our school overcrowding that we’ll be facing over the next decade or two,” and makes more opportunities available to young families in urban areas, he said.

Currently, the county is exploring more flexible zoning in offices to allow for “light industrial” uses such as delivery staging areas, urban farms, breweries and small warehouses.

All three, meanwhile, say they would change how businesses are taxed.

“I am concerned about excessive taxation, particularly real estate taxes, but if you can start with shaving off some of those business taxes, that would be just fine with me,” Clement said.

Theo called for removing the business tangible tax, a tax levied on property used in business that requires maintaining records of nearly every item of value that a business owns.

Personal property tax revenue in Arlington over the last decade (via Arlington County)

Business tangible tax assessments are expected to increase by 16% this fiscal year, according to the 2022-23 budget. But Theo said the $40 million it netted last year is not worth squeezing support businesses with thin margins.

“The county sneezes and it spends $40 million,” he quipped.

De Ferranti advocated for increasing the threshold for Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax, which comprises about 5% of the county’s revenue for this fiscal year, and has been steadily rising over the last decade.

Under the tax — which has long had critics both on the right and the left — businesses with revenue of less than $10,000 owe nothing, while those grossing up to $50,000 pay $30 and those grossing up to $100,000 pay $50. Beyond that, most businesses pay $0.36 per $100 in gross receipts, regardless of whether the business is profitable or not. Some businesses, like stores and restaurants, pay a lower rate while others, like printed newspapers, are exempt.

The rising revenue Arlington nets from the BPOL tax (via Arlington County)

De Ferranti, however, balked at other tax cut suggestions.

“But broad statements like, ‘We should cut’ — first, our real estate tax rate is the lowest in the region,” de Ferranti said. “Our property values are so high, so that’s why our total bills are higher than some other localities. We have to keep investing when there’s a challenge in our economy.”

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(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) Clarendon-based Axios is now officially part of Atlanta-based cable operator and media conglomerate Cox Enterprises.

The $525 million sale of the five-year-old, newsletter-centric online news company — a seismic event in the media industry — closed on Sept. 1, according to Axios’ Dan Primack, less than a month after it was first announced.

The company grew rapidly after its January 2017 founding by Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz, former stars of Rosslyn-based Politico, which itself was recently acquired.

Just a year after its launch Axios graduated from a co-working space on a lower floor of 3100 Clarendon Blvd to snazzy new digs on a top floor. In 2020, after establishing itself as a prolific publisher of scoops in the worlds of U.S. politics, dealmaking, media and other topics, it set its sight on an unlikely expansion opportunity: local news.

Axios acquired the local news website Charlotte Agenda in December 2020 for a reported $5 million, rebranding it Axios Charlotte and enlisting its co-founder, Ted Williams, to help lead the rapid expansion of Axios Local.

Not even two years later, Axios Local now has 24 local newsletters across the country, operated by two-to-three person local teams that do a mix of original reporting and curation of other local news sources. The Axios D.C. newsletter launched about a year ago.

Local news, of course, is a difficult business. Newspapers are in rapid decline, with revenue down 60% and overall employment down 70% since the mid-2000s. TV stations, which generate much of their revenue from local news, may be at or near a peak before revenue starts to decline. Cox sold a majority stake in its TV station group to a private equity company in late 2019 and sold off stations in 12 markets earlier this year.

Axios is among a newer generation of online-only local news publishers that have not yet matched the journalistic firepower of local newspapers in their pre-internet heyday, when the printed paper was the go-to route into the homes for local advertisers, from department store inserts to “help wanted” classifieds.

Google, Facebook, Craigslist, Angie’s List, Yelp and any number of other online resources have since given advertisers more ways to reach local consumers, leading to a decades-long bleeding of revenue away from local newspapers and what had been their distribution-based monopoly on customer attention.

Into the breach have stepped Axios and its fast-growing local newsletter competitor 6AM City, as well as earlier local-news-at-scale efforts like Patch and more localized, independent online-only publications like ARLnow (plus sister sites ALXnow and FFXnow).

There are currently more than 700 independent local news startups in the U.S. and Canada, according to Local Independent Online News Publishers, a trade group that ARLnow helped to found. While a handful of online news ventures have grown to rival the size of local newspapers — the nonprofit Texas Tribune has more than 50 journalists — none so far have achieved anything approaching nationwide ubiquity.

Axios is seeking to be the first.

“Our goal of 100 cities is in reach,” Axios Local publisher Nick Johnston told Poynter’s Rick Edmonds in August. “I have a list of 384 metropolitan areas in my office, and we cross them off one by one.”

It was those kind of grand local ambitions that drew the 124-year-old, privately-held Cox Enterprises — which dates back to 1898, when its founder purchased the Dayton Daily News in Ohio — to Axios.

From CNBC:

The company ramped up talks to buy Axios several months ago, intrigued by the company’s push into local journalism, VandeHei said in an interview. […]

While some current investors weren’t interested in adding more capital, Cox felt confident in the leadership’s ability to monetize local journalism at scale with a lean digital-first approach, said Cox Enterprises Chief Financial Officer Dallas Clement in an interview.

“Cox became an investor in Axios last year and has a lengthy history of supporting local news,” Axios spokesperson Lauren Shiplett told ARLnow last month. “Cox’s leadership has publicly expressed its excitement about Axios Local’s rapid growth as well as the strength of our national platform.”

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

(Updated, 8/31/22) Twenty-five Arlington-based companies are on this year’s Inc. 5000 list, an annual barometer of the country’s fastest-growing companies.

Among them are a Clarendon-based digital media company, a restaurant management software company on Fairfax Drive, and a food tech start-up in Ballston.

The highest-ranked Arlington company at No. 461 is Piedmont Global Language Solutions, which specializes in translation, interpretation, and language training. The company’s headquarters is located in Ballston on N. Glebe Road.

The median growth over the last year for the local companies is 256%.

The 23 companies with local ties on the latest Inc. 5000 list are fewer in number than in previous years. In 2021, 30 Arlington companies graced that year’s list while there were 30 in 2020 and 34 in 2019. Just under half of the companies (11) on the 2022 list were also on the 2021 list.

While looking through the list, a few trends emerge. Most of the local companies are headquartered in Clarendon or Ballston. Many are software or tech-based that count the federal government as a major client. At least a couple were founded by first-generation Americans and a few were at one time featured by ARLnow.

Here’s a list of all the Arlington-based companies included on this year’s Inc. 5000 list:

  • 1,218, HUNGRY, 534% — A food tech start-up that connects companies and consumers with local chefs, food trucks, and restaurants. It has a number of celebrity investors and is based in Ballston.
  • 1,219, SweatWorks, 533% — A software company that helps engineer and design fitness products. It’s headquartered in Ballston.
  • 1,321, Grey Market Labs, 494% — A software company with the “mission to protect life online.” The company is headquartered in Clarendon.
  • 1,486, Kasma, 432% — A compensation software management system that provides employee pay data from across the globe.
  • 1,544, C3 Integrated Solutions, 414% — An IT service that secures clients with cloud-based tech and is located on Wilson Blvd in Clarendon.
  • 1,651, DonorBureau, 378% — A software analytics company helps organizations better fundraise and get donor support.
  • 1,879, Blake Willson Group, 323% — A veteran-owned business that provides “technology solutions” to the federal government.
  • 2,148, Competitive Innovations, 276% — A government service company that’s based on N. Glebe Road in Buckingham.
  • 2,227, Axios, 264% — A Clarendon-based digital media company that covers national as well as local news often with short, punchy articles.
  • 2,294, ITC Defense Corp., 256% — A tech-based global defense business that specializes in system engineering. It has an office in Crystal City.
  • 2,296, Fors Marsh Group, 255% — Conducts market research to help companies with customer service. It’s in Ballston.
  • 2,450, PhoenixTeam, 236% — A mortgage technology firm on N. Glebe Road in Ballston.
  • 3,092, iTechAG, 174% — A tech firm that helps organizations “streamline their operations to achieve better, faster and more predictable results.” It’s in Clarendon.
  • 3,094, Association Analytics, 174% — A data analytics company in Rosslyn that helps organizations operate more efficiently.
  • 3,292, Web Development Group, 161% — An advertising and marketing company that builds websites. It’s based in Clarendon.
  • 3,364, Ostendio, 156% — A digital platform company in Rosslyn that automates security.
  • 3,422, Nuvitek, 153% — An engineering firm that provides automation and cloud services to government agencies. It was on last year’s list as well and based in Rosslyn.
  • 3,541, Changeis, 146% — The Rosslyn-based company works with federal agencies in “emerging technologies.
  • 4,020, 540.co, 120% — As the company describes itself on its website “we are a forward-thinking company that the Federal Government turns to in order to…#GetShitDone.” It’s based in Crystal City.
  • 4,199, Quantum Search Partners, 111% — A recruiting company for cybersecurity, tech, data, and architecture sectors with an office in Clarendon.
  • 4,353, DWBH, 103% — A veteran-owned company that offers subject matter expertise “in support of mission-critical functions.”
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