In the backyard of the world’s largest buyer of goods and services, the U.S. government, Arlington is an ideal location for government contractors to launch and expand their operations. While funding for defense and security projects leads the way, a significant number of contracts are also awarded in the areas of education, energy, healthcare, information technology, international development, logistics and veterans affairs.
Arlington's GovCon Ecosystem
Facts and Figures
- In FY 2019, Northern Virginia companies were awarded nearly $80 billion in federal procurement awards, exceeding the total of any single state (Source: USAspending.gov).
- Arlington companies were awarded $8.9 billion, a 32% increase from FY 2016 (Source: USAspending.gov).
- The federal agencies awarding the most contracts, by value, to Arlington companies were the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Health and Human Services, General Services Administration, and Department of Homeland Security (Source: USAspending.gov).
- In addition to GovCon leaders like Boeing and Raytheon, Arlington is home to fourteen government contractors that earned a spot on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list that honors America’s fastest growing private companies annually.
Customers and Decision Markers
Arlington is home to the Department of Defense at the Pentagon, which alone awards nearly two-thirds of federal contracts by value, plus the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Office of Naval Research (ONR). Located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Arlington is a quick trip to numerous federal agencies and the nation's policymakers on Capitol Hill.
Highly Skilled Workforce
Arlington is the most educated county in the nation, with over 70% of adults holding a Bachelor's degree or higher, offering employers access to a talented workforce.
Arlington County has an IT labor supply of nearly 28,000 employees, which is projected to grow by 11% over the next 5 years. On a regional level, there are approximately 258,000 qualified IT professionals within a 30-minute commute of Arlington, which includes workers with the following educational achievement levels (Source: Emsi):
- Over 15,000 possessing at least an Associate's degree
- Nearly 130,000 possessing at least a Bachelor's degree
- Nearly 70,000 possessing at least a Master's degree
Welcoming Business Environment
In 2019, Virginia was named as the Top State for Business by CNBC for its world-class workforce, high-performing education system, and business friendly regulations. Additionally, Arlington was ranked as the second easiest place for business operations by Arizona State University's Doing Business North America report, which highlighted the County's regulations for employing workers, paying taxes, and starting a business.
Federal Research Award Opportunities
Local and State Contracting Opportunities
- Arlington County
- Commonwealth of Virginia
Arlington's Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Performance Grants
- To help recruit or retain large, priority economic development projects typically over 50,000 square feet in size.
- Eligible industries include large office users, corporate headquarters, fast-growing tech companies, and important research, federal or nonprofit organizations.
- Award amounts are determined by the project's estimated fiscal benefit to Arlington County based on the company's industry, square footage, capital investment, and number and salary of jobs.
- Grants are only used when Arlington faces active and realistic competition with another jurisdiction.
Arlington County Gazelle Grant Program
- Designed to be a deal-closing incentive program for fast-growing or "gazelle" technology companies considering multiple jurisdictions for a business location or expansion.
- The Gazelle Grant program offers a grant of $10,000 to $150,000 for select technology companies and tech catalyst organizations like business incubators, accelerators and venture funds. Companies must meet the following base criteria to qualify:
- Be a growing, for-profit technology company or tech catalyst organization with proven business and financial success;
- Be a company new to Arlington or an existing Arlington company with at least 30% job growth over a three-year performance period;
- Commit to at least a three-year office lease in Arlington with a move-in date in the next 12 months; and
- Show proven capital-raising ability.
For more information on these programs and a full list of incentives offered by Arlington County and the Commonwealth of Virginia, please click here.
For more information on Arlington's government contracting industry, please contact Sindy Yeh, Senior Business Ambassador, Business Investment Group at (703) 228-0858 or [email protected].