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by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 30, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

What if the art and design students teamed up with engineers, business majors and programmers to tackle issues in banking and health care? What if scientists using data for biocomplexity and behavioral research tapped creative thinkers for breakthrough results?

What if your creative ‘side hustle’ is now contributing to a $6 billion online sector? And what if the competitive advantage in a 104-year-old blue chip ‘startup’ company is a big team of creatives?

Hearing these questions — and answers — is what galvanized those who came to hear the presenters of Return on Creativity: An Arlington Asset at Virginia Tech Research Center on April 26.

It was off to an energetic start with Arlington Economic Development’s Director Victor Hoskins, who knows a thing or two about what it takes to be competitive and uniquely positioned to attract business. “We’ve been driving the idea of a creatively-driven commerce for years — through policy, support and development you quite frankly don’t see in many communities.”

Matt Woolman, Director of Creative Entrepreneurship in the School of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University, opened the presentations. Pioneering a new workforce, Matt strives to keep his students out of the classroom and in real world problem solving environments.

Design may be the entry point for students in the School of the Arts, but it’s simply foundational for the exit strategy.

What has creativity got to do with biocomplexity research and behavioral science? Just ask Gizem Korkmaz from the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech and Sean Marsh, CEO of Fors Marsh Group and you’ll hear how digging deeper than the surface analysis, deploying creative tactics and atypical data sources, has been the key to novel outcomes.

Is what you do outside your day job contributing to a growing sector minimally estimated at over $5.9 billion? The findings in Robert Shapiro’s report, Unlocking the Gates: America’s New Creative Economy, is just the tip of the iceberg of how many in our workforce are creating unique content.

Finishing out the program was Michael Dumlao, Director of Brand, Booz Allen Hamilton.

Part super creative, part social scientist, Michael found himself at the epicenter of overseeing the company’s shift in internal and external culture. Growing a creative team from 7 to 140 in 4 years was instrumental in transforming a strictly suit and tie, government core brand to one of powerful innovation.

Want to join more programs about the impact and influence of creatives in business? Sign up for ongoing news and updates here.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 23, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Tara Palacios

Arlington is comprised of people from all walks of life.

Immigrants journey here for many reasons. Some individuals flee to escape social injustice, others to reunite with family or to seek economic independence by living the American Dream.

Starting a business is daunting for most people who are born here in the United States. The risk for immigrants is much higher. Each day immigrant entrepreneurs face: language barriers, cultural nuances, different laws and regulations as well as access to capital to name a few challenges.

As an immigrant, the risk of failing at launching a business can be devastating. And yet — immigrants start businesses every day. They have a huge impact our economy.

Their entrepreneurial journey is riveting.

We would like to share their stories with you.

On behalf of Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, BizLaunch and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, it is our honor to invite you to attend our upcoming Brunch and Business on June 6 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Arlington Economic Development. Hear the entrepreneurial journeys of three local Arlington business owners:

We would be honored to have you join us! For more information or to register click here.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 16, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Tara Palacios and EmilyJane McLoughlin

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 25% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster.

Disasters come in all shapes and sizes, something like a broken pipe that causes a leak can be catastrophic to a business. Even a small fire can lead to water damage, therefore we are asking the question, is your business waterproof?

The Arlington County Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management (DPSCEM) has kicked off a new Public-Private Partnership initiative to engage the Arlington County business community and support overall community resilience.

This initiative will support the business community developing resilience as individual businesses and as a part of a larger whole community effort. DPSCEM is partnering with BizLaunch to hold a webinar entitled “Is Your Business Waterproof?”at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30 to help businesses take steps to get back to work faster and talk more about the initiative.

EmilyJane McLoughlin, the department’s Regional Emergency Management Planner is spearheading these efforts. She brings continuity planning expertise from her time working with FEMA’s National Continuity Programs Directorate.

She explains, “…the value of this program cannot be understated. Today’s best practice for whole community resilience focuses on ensuring the economic base can stay in business or get back to it quickly.” It is with this in mind that the program was created.

As the first public engagement opportunity for the initiative, the webinar will address simple steps businesses can take to be ready for all types of disasters, even small ones like water damage.

The tools that will be offered during the webinar will make it easier for businesses and their employees to get back on their feet and get back to work. If you are interested to attend the Webinar you can register here.

If you can’t join us for the webinar, please email EmilyJane McLoughlin at [email protected] for more information about the Public-Private Partnership initiative.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 9, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Shopping local took on a new flavor over the holidays with Made in Arlington items featured on the shelves of the Plaza Shop in the Courthouse branch of Arlington Public Library.

Underscoring local talent and unique products, the initiative took shape as a new partnership between Arlington Economic Development and Arlington Public Library. What had been a steady source for Arlington logo decorated accessories, the offerings now began to reflect the makers and artisans calling Arlington home.

Patrons stopped in to find a book and were now greeted by an emporium of individually made chocolates, handmade textiles, locally roasted coffee, home accessories made from Arlington fallen wood, 3D printed puzzles and artist designed t-shirts.

While you’ll still find locally made items central to the shop, a new array of weekly pop-ups will be appearing in the lobby of 2100 Clarendon Blvd. for five weeks this summer.

Starting Thursday June 28, from 12-3 p.m., individual Made in Arlington vendors will be on hand to sell unique items, talk about their craft and sometimes have an edible sample!

Interested in being part of Made in Arlington or having a featured time in the lobby pop-ups? New vendors are welcome to apply and should contact AED for more information.

Supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses and creatives is all part of Arlington’s creative economy initiative. With the resources and partner relationships developed within the public sector and with private sector business, growth of these endeavors is an important part of business diversity and economic sustainability.

Check here for ongoing Creative Economy listings and opportunities. More Creative economy stories on the blog.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 25, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

Today’s Small Business Focus is guest written by Justin Gooderham, owner of Dalton Digital in Arlington. This column is sponsored by BizLaunch a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Growing your small business is no walk in the park. You’ve honed your skills, you’ve ventured out on your own and set up shop, virtually or otherwise, now you just sit back and wait for the customers to roll in, right?

Well, not so much. As most small business owners will attest, starting and then growing your business poses a unique set of challenges. With the help of these simple yet effective digital marketing tips and a little effort and determination, you’ll be off to a great start building your customer and referral base.

1. Your Website Matters

A solid digital foundation starts with your website. It’s a virtual front door that often makes the very first impression a potential customer will have of you, so you must make it count.

This holds especially true for businesses that rely heavily on referrals: the first thing a new customer will do is ‘Google’ your business. That’s why it’s vital that your website reflects positively on the quality of your work.

In addition, it’s critical that your website follows the 10 second rule. Within 10 seconds, a visitor should clearly understand:

  • Who you are and what services you provide
  • What locations you serve
  • How to get in touch with you easily

2. Get Found on Google

Unlike in the 1989 acclaimed film “Field of Dreams,” if you build it, they won’t always come. Many small business owners think that just because their business is focused on a certain industry, they will naturally appear at the top of Google when someone does a search. It doesn’t quite work that way.

Google has a secret formula for showing websites in its search engine results pages (SERPs). There are several factors that influence which websites Google will show for a search, such as the content of your website and how many other important websites are linking back to you.

You should include keywords in the copy of your website when describing your service. However, they should be integrated into your copy in a way that sounds natural, not forced. Then, when a potential customer ‘Googles’ the keywords related to your business, you will have a better chance of showing.

Much like high school, search engines are a popularity contest. Google likes websites that other people like. For example, if you are a photographer, offer to write a blog post on the Top 5 Tips for taking the perfect picture.

Reach out to influential websites and offer to let them feature your blog post. If they do, that link to your website serves as a ‘popularity vote,’ signaling to Google that your site is important and relevant. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 4, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Retail in 2018 feels different.

There are many contributing factors which directly impact how we buy goods and services today. Technology has played a tremendous role in changing the landscape of how, where and when we make purchases.

The malls of the 1980s have been replaced with more outdoor, walkable options and online retail gives us the flexibility of being able to make purchases without leaving our homes.

Innovative and interactive storefronts are a definite trend for retail in 2018 which also includes state of the art mobile trucks, pop-up shops and unique fitness and health opportunities. Augmented reality and robots will also play a role in defining the future of retail.

If you own a retail shop — what are you doing to remain competitive?

If you shop for goods and services how will these trends affect the way you buy? Today many people are concerned about privacy, and may not be interested in sharing their data with retailers; however, online shopping is a fast-growing retail market. Opportunities still abound for brick and mortar retail stores.

We will be tackling the issue of the Changing Face of Retail with our partners from the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, April 18 at our free Brunch and Business event from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Experts will be addressing the future of retail and its many changes in 2018. Confirmed speakers include representatives from Ballston Quarter, Arlington Economic Development, Kinder Haus Toys and Bash Boxing. We hope you can join us to delve into this timely topic!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 21, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

What’s really getting people’s attention is the color. Lots and lots of color.

Right next door to an all white store, the fanfare of dazzling colors is stopping pedestrian traffic. A bright pink print velvet sofa, vivid paintings, an orange lacquered cabinet, swatches of fabrics, textures, wallpaper and almost everything but candy.

Is it an art gallery? A home accessory store? A design center? Inspiration? Yes, yes, yes and yes. In this Clarendon Market Common store, a pop-up shop in a former women’s clothing store is waking up the neighborhood.

First opened in the fall, artist Sabrina Cabada put her imprint on the vacant shop for a bustling holiday market. Re-opened in February alongside textile designer Kate Hougen of Mira Jean Designs and interior designer Nicole Lanteri, these artisans together total way more than three.

Walls of patterns and floors covered in one of a kind throw rugs are an invitation to buy original art, explore home design options as you get guidance from a pro and rethink textiles that will transform your rooms.

Much the way Arlington has supported the Made in Arlington pop-up markets, this venture is taking the spirit of artisan entrepreneurs to the retail streets.

Can this be the new wave of experience retail? For the property management, the lively shop is advertising in real time. And for the consumer, it’s the local creative economy and full of surprises.

Sabrina Cabada pop-up gallery is at 2700 Clarendon Blvd (next to the Apple Store). Gallery hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday by appointment.

Events coming to the gallery:
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with DC Style Factory Owner and stylist Rosana Vollmerhausen on April 12, 6-8 p.m. Purchase tickets here.                 

Gunston Art and Video Showcase Party, Friday April 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Celebrate creative Arlington students and their short films. Free.

Interested in starting a business and finding retail opportunities? Check Arlington’s BizLaunch programs.

Check here for ongoing creative economy listings and opportunities.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 14, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Businesses sometimes fall prey to tax scams especially during the tax season. BizLaunch reached out to our partners at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to find out what business owners should be concerned about in 2018. The following blog post by IRS Senior Stakeholder Liaison Anna Falkenstein provides tips on what to do to secure your information and scams to be aware of this tax season.

Guest BizLaunch Blogger: Anna Falkenstein, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Senior Stakeholder Liaison

While the Internal Revenue Service reports that the number of reported fraudulent returns have decreased, the number of incidents and the variety of scams makes it a major focus again in the current filing season. Fraudsters are creative and consistently find new ways to scam innocent taxpayers (individuals and businesses).

The IRS has posted their annual list of the “Dirty Dozen” scams annually. You can check this year’s list at Annual List of Dirty Dozen Scams.

The IRS encourages business owners to take these scams seriously and take steps to try to prevent them. Create unusual passwords and change them periodically. Don’t use the same password for every system. Update/change passwords if an employee departs the business. Provide training regarding emails, links and attachments. Publication 4557 Safeguarding-taxpayer-data  is a good tool to use to train and refresh employees on protecting data on behalf of employees and clients. Don’t forget to update anti-virus protection, encryption software and firewalls.

Should you receive an IRS notice or find something in your records that leads you to believe that you have become a victim of Tax Identity Theft, there are steps you should take to immediately circumvent the fraudsters.

Notify the IRS immediately! The faster you act, the better chance the processing units at the IRS has at stopping the fraudsters from using your information. Individuals can contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490 or File a Form 14039 (Identity Theft Affidavit) with their tax return.

Businesses who suspect a data loss from hacking can email [email protected] to start the initial reporting. Businesses should also follow state requirements to report the data loss as well.  They can start this at [email protected].

Once you have determined that you are a victim of tax identity theft, you have several other steps that you can take to minimize the damage.

These include reporting to the FTC, your Insurance company, police and credit bureaus. If your theft includes personnel or client information, you will want to notify them as well. News Release 2018-27 provides the steps a business victim should take to minimize the effect of data theft: Steps Business Victims Should Take

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 7, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Let’s face it. We live in a fickle marketplace.

Shoppers have a short attention span and consumers are easily bored and quickly want the next cool thing.

Entrepreneurs are notorious for being spurred on by a single idea, that literal lightbulb moment, that drives their passion and turns their focus to producing one item or service. Some invest all their savings and resources into the promise of a profitable future, and if you’re lucky, smart, well timed and well promoted, that one product or service could be the only one you’ll ever need.

But even for hugely successful items (like the dizzying fidget spinner?) there can be a quick peak and never return to popularity.

Few have the opportunity or resources to get input, organize focus groups or engage deep demographic analytics that will help grow their business or keep their ideas competitive.

But for startups and small businesses in Arlington, more options for creating a stable path are all part of the County support for creatives.

For Lorilee Stultz at Dennison Lane, participating in Made in Arlington was the first step to a new product idea. Using a hand stamping process and natural fabrics, Dennison Lane was already well versed in table linens and home accessories that blended tradition with craft.

So when a fan of Made in Arlington said, “wouldn’t it be great to have the Made in Arlington logo stamped onto baby onesies?” Lori didn’t hesitate to say, “let’s try it!” Welcome to the prototype stage. Picking samples of soft baby onesies and using the Made in Arlington stamp in colors for girls, boys and ‘we don’t know yet!’ The items are now getting ready for sales.

Where can creative Arlington entrepreneurs look to test the market?

  • Limited edition items in small shops
  • Pop up retail like Made in Arlington at Plaza Shop
  • Local boutiques
  • Farmers markets
  • Seasonal opportunities such as Art on the Plaza

Alongside the vast array of business development services available through BizLaunch, the path to success is often taken in baby steps.

Check here for ongoing listings and opportunities.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 21, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” — Walt Disney

We recently held a BizLaunch Webinar on “What to Do with Your Fabulous Business Idea.”

This got us to thinking we need to share the content of the program with our ARLnow Small Biz Focus readers. What are the quick steps one needs to take to launch your idea(s) successfully? We know you have a ton of ideas. How do you execute them? How did you get the momentum to start doing and quit thinking and talking about it?

Bringing your business idea to life is the step you need to take before you write your business plan. What do you need to know that you don’t know as an entrepreneur?

BizLaunch’s 6 quick tips to launch your fabulous business idea:

  • Step One: Get Organized. Clear out the clutter, and clear your desk. Invest (minimally) in the tools you’ll need to launch your business. A computer. A notebook. Pen. Paper. Use a calendar system to incorporate milestones you need to accomplish to successfully launch your business. Also invest in a constructive way to maintain your notes and information you need to help bring the idea to fruition. Understand how much cash on hand you need to launch your idea.
  • Step Two: Write Down ALL of Your ideas. Brainstorm. List all of the ideas you can think of to construct into a business. Ideas should include where you have the most background and expertise. Ideas of which you have passion, and are committed to. There are no right or wrong answers. You’ll want to capture everything, and write them down.
  • Step Three: Use a System to Rank Your Ideas. Place your top ideas into four distinct categories. There is an “A,” “B,” “C” or Trash category. As you rank your ideas – ask & score the following questions up to 10 points:
    • Are there opportunities in this industry?
    • Do you have experience in this field?
    • Are their regulations and policies which make it easier or harder to enter the market?
    • How many influencers do you know in this space?
    • Do you have enough cash?
    • What is your potential target market?
    • Does this idea make you happy just thinking about it?
    • Do you have the time to dedicate to the launch of the idea?
    • Do you have access to legal representation?
    • Do you understand accounting?

(more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 14, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

The World Economic Forum defines social entrepreneurs as people who harness the power of market forces and business principles to solve social problems.

Many people around the world, especially young innovators, are striving to disrupt business norms and have an impact on some of the toughest problems imaginable. We know that using innovation and technology for social good has been around for some time.

We’ve been buying shoes that are ‘buy one give one,’ fair trading our product sources, sipping coffee with a cause and buying more shoes in the name of contributions to cancer research. But never before has the world seen today’s growth in social responsibility as a sector that attracts investment.

While the makeup of most social entrepreneurships is one of smart, savvy people helping those disadvantaged, Arlington has pioneered a model that puts a vulnerable population on a path to their own sustainability.

It’s been over 30 years since a weaving program for adults with developmental disabilities, first called The Woodmont Weavers, originated in Arlington. Started by parents who sought meaningful activities for their adult children once they left school, the program, now called ArlingtonWeaves, Etc., is a premier feature of Arlington’s Department of Human Services and run by Service Source, Inc.

It’s a long game for sure and one that emphasizes the investment in the human spirit. Where other social services in the U.S. may be satisfied with keeping disabled adults occupied with simple crafts and activities, Arlington’s weavers learn sophisticated, often complex textile skills while improving their social skills and self-sufficiency.

One participant, now 52, doesn’t speak, but his intricate textiles, knitting and tapestries tell a remarkable story of ability.

Creating intricate patterns on textiles for tote bags, tea towels, yoga mat straps, scarves and more, the studio has now become an artisan hub. ArlingtonWeaves, Etc. has become a vendor to Arlington Economic Development’s Made in Arlington initiative, been featured on regional television news, held center stage in a textile exhibit and taken their place among the most viable of social entrepreneurs.

Shop ArlingtonWeaves, Etc. here:

Studio showroom at Sequoia, Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and at the Plaza Library shop,Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor January 31, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Tara Palacios and Amanda Gant

When is the best time to seek financing for your business? Small business owners tell us they don’t need financing… until they need it. Based on our experience, the best time for a new business or a startup to acquire financing is when you don’t need it.

Why is this? Typically, a financial institution will want to know your business can pay back a loan. As a business owner, you will want to be in the best position financially to afford to take the risk. Underwriters will also want to know that you are personally invested (some cash on hand) in the endeavor, understand what you will use the proceeds for and have background and experience in your industry.

Speaking on the topic of small business and financing, we are excited to announce BizLaunch and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) will be offering personalized one-on-one appointment opportunities for entrepreneurs who are interested in acquiring financing on Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. beginning Wednesday, February 7. If you have questions about financing any aspect of your business feel free to set up an appointment by calling us at (703)228-0808.

Below are our 5 top things to know when seeking financing for your small business:

  1. Make sure your business is registered

For your loan to be a business loan (instead of a personal loan) your business will need to be registered. The business loan will start or continue to build your business’s credit. For this purpose, if your business isn’t already registered, now is the time to do so, and BizLaunch can help with this, too.

  1. Gather the right documents

Documents are the building block of a loan application, so having your documents ready will help speed along the loan process. Documents often required for a small business loan are:

  • 3-6 months of bank statements
  • Taxes from the previous two years
  • Business plan for startups
  • Business registration and licenses
  • Business lease (if applicable)
  • Business financial statements
  1. Create a strong business plan

Many financial institutions will require a business that has been operating less than two years to provide a business plan. Your business plan will need to communicate basic ideas about how you are running or plan to run your business. When a plan is submitted, your lending officer will follow up with any points that need clarification or additional information that may be needed. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor January 24, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

It’s hard enough to be an entrepreneur, starting your own business. It’s even harder when you come from a family of entrepreneurs who ran many businesses and have lots of advice on what to do and not do. When a father tells his son not to be an entrepreneur, get a steady job with reliable income, it’s easy to let family ties replace passion. For a while.

Meet Stas Casa. He is a Moldovan-born entrepreneur and founder of Can You Solve Me, LLC, a puzzle company with a new twist on a classic idea. His passion for puzzles and brainteasers started when he first attempted to solve the Rubik’s Cube in the middle of dinner. Casa had a successful 7-year career in finance at Bloomberg LP in New York where he had advanced from data analytics to hedge fund management with a great salary.

So what did he do? He phoned a friend and asked him if quitting his job to make puzzles is a crazy idea. Naturally, the good friend friend tells him ‘if you try hard enough, you can do it.’ Goodbye, New York! Hello, startup world.

Enter Arlington’s former TechShop in Crystal City. The member based maker space (now in transition to new ownership) provided access to 3D laser printers where Stas took his puzzle ideas and fabrication to a new level. Adding to his online retail, the Made in Arlington program helped broaden the exposure and support to the startup with visibility opportunities like pop-up shops. Next up was introducing the puzzle maker to other small business growth programs through BizLaunch and being featured at Arlington Premier.

Well on his way, what keeps Stas going? “The challenge of it and then the overwhelming feeling of joy when solved is what I work every day to replicate with the Can You Solve Me? Puzzles.” He never has to find batteries, and he doesn’t think about going back to finance.

Find Can You Solve Me puzzles at Arlington’s Plaza Branch Library shop which is located in the first floor lobby of 2100 Clarendon Boulevard Arlington, Virginia 22201. Check here for hours.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor January 10, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Are you interested in doing business with the government? Have you considered expanding your target market to the government, and need help navigating the process?

Many entrepreneurs are interested in doing business with the government and need detailed information on how best to enter the market. Below are BizLaunch’s Top 3 Tips to contract successfully.

Top 3 Contracting Tips

  1. Decide which level of government you’d like to pursue. Many small business owners look to the federal government as their first opportunity to do contract business with. Many entrepreneurs forget that the Commonwealth of Virginia and local municipalities are also in need of products and services from the private sector. Doing business with the state or local governments may be able to provide you with past performance that you need to win federal contracting opportunities.
  2. Follow the Opportunities. We also like to call this following the money (I.e., budget items). Research and uncover which agencies are spending money in your industry sector, when does the fiscal year begin and end (For example, Virginia’s budgetary cycle runs from July 1-June 30 each year) and understand competitive pricing so that you position yourself to win the bid.
  3. Attend mixers and conferences. Attend industry related events where key decision makers will be in attendance. Get yourself known in your field to the “correct,” contacts. Ensure that you are networking with influencers who can help you grow your company.

Resources to Help with Top 3 Contracting Tips

  1. BizLaunch, Virginia PTAP, Strategic FAR Advisors and Professionals by Design are offering an extensive training program on January 24 to address how to get an agency to “Pick Me.” Topics include pricing to win, knowing your value, HR and contracting rules will be addressed. For more information click here.
  2. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s website portal aids small businesses who are seeking to do business on the federal level. Many services are free and national conferences are offered to businesses located in Arlington.
  3. The Virginia Procurement Technical Assistance Program offers training and one-on-one assistance to businesses looking to do business with the government. Their consultation services are free. Many of their education programs are available for a minimum fee.
  4. The System for Award Management (SAM) website is a complimentary tool if you are looking to do sole sourcing opportunities of up to $2 million dollars. Large businesses and federal agencies can find your business directly on this system.
  5. Virginia’s Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity also offers a wide range of education programs and support of local businesses.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 20, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Happy Holidays! Here’s to a recharging of the business batteries in 2018.

In BizLaunch, our one and only New Year’s Resolution is to continue developing exciting new in-depth program opportunities that will help take your business to the next level. We promise, this resolution will not end in January. Therefore, it is with pleasure we can announce our latest collaboration with a long-term partner, and to offer more ways to help build your business in Arlington in 2018.

Beginning this January, BizLaunch and SCORE DC will formally partner on a variety of entrepreneurial workshops from advanced social media training to lead generation to how to become an 8(a) contractor and much more. Currently, we have a formal relationship with mentorship opportunities and special events; however, we will be able to increase our number of educational programming opportunities in the New Year with our latest endeavor. What does this mean for local entrepreneurs? This means more in-depth programming to help our businesses succeed.

As we say hello to new opportunities with SCORE, we’d also like to formally thank a long-time supporter, mentor and overall amazing guy — local Arlingtonian — Joe Clarke. Joe Clark has mentored and volunteered with SCORE for countless hours to help guide local entrepreneurs and small businesses within BizLaunch for the past 10 years. We can’t begin to thank Joe enough for his tireless energy and ability to help others in an engaging, fantastic way.

I am sure if you look around town several local businesses have worked with Joe over the years. Joe will be “retiring,” from SCORE as of December, 2017. However, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if his latest endeavor is a brewpub. If you have worked with Joe — please give him a special shout-out in the comments below.

We have a ton of opportunities scheduled for this New Year. We look forward to seeing you in 2018. Our first small business program Pick Me will be held at Arlington Economic Development on January 24. We will be offering more networking opportunities, plus BizLaunch will continue its partnership with Arlington Independent Media offering small businesses the ability to raise their voices. Stay tuned. We hope you can join us!

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