From the Director: A Hopeful 2021


Many of us are taking time to turn the page and are thinking ahead to a new year in Arlington Economic Development. While I think we can all agree we were happy to say farewell to 2020, and even with a tumultuous start to the new year, 2021 is a year of hope for Arlington’s business community. Additional resources are becoming available, health news provides reason for optimism, and we see a strong desire from our business community to continue Arlington’s place as a leading technology hub on the East Coast. Overall, we remain hopeful for a more optimistic year.

The first days of the new year were very promising for our business community, as Microsoft made the announcement that it was bringing its U.S. regulated industries team, including Microsoft Federal, to Rosslyn’s Commonwealth Tower as well as the DMV Global Sales and Marketing team and a Microsoft Technology Center. The company plans to start construction on the new space in a few months with the goal of being open in mid-2022. This announcement expands on Microsoft’s robust commitment to the Northern Virginia region after its announcement of a new software and R&D hub in neighboring Fairfax County.

Amazon’s HQ2 is progressing on schedule, with more than 1500 employees already working for the Arlington headquarters. The company has also exceeded its promises as a true community partner, donating billions in recent months for programs like affordable housing, education and in assisting its neighboring small businesses affected by the pandemic.

Here at AED, we’re also continuing our efforts to assist our small businesses with some of the hardships they’ve experienced as a result of the pandemic. The Board recently authorized an additional $250,000 to continue to support small businesses by developing online technology solutions and other services, and we are hopeful that those resources, along with the new round of PPP loans that opened this week at the Federal level, will help our business community get through these difficult months ahead.

These indications, along with the exciting news that some of our essential workers are already being scheduled to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, give us hope that once again, Arlington’s innovation and resilience will prevail. Our team has continued its service throughout this process and is diligently working with our existing businesses, and marketing our community to prospective businesses, future residents.  Of course, we continue to collaborate with our partners throughout the region and we owe them a debt of gratitude because it truly takes a team effort to support this wonderful community. I envision a light at the end of what has seemed to be a very long tunnel, and I am confident Arlington will emerge soon.

Topic: Economic Update, From the Director
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