Grow your Small Business in Northern Virginia

The Northern Virginia (NOVA) area can sometimes be overshadowed by its proximity to Washington, DC, but the fact of the matter is that it’s a great place for business. Interestingly, the tax revenue the state of Virginia collects from the northern part of the state is enough to cover over half the state of Virginia’s yearly budget. The area is no doubt a booming place for businesses to thrive. Every year, many new businesses open their doors in NOVA and hope to take in some of the area’s wealth.  In total, the cities and counties that make up the northern VA area are among the wealthiest in the nation, which provides plenty of opportunities for small businesses owners to take advantage of. Not only are there plenty of wealthy customers in the area, but there’s also numerous successful business owners that you can learn and collaborate with. So now that we covered the basic economics of the area, let’s dive into how to successfully grow your small business in Northern Virginia.

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Starting a small business is not an easy task to do and is the reason over half of all small businesses close within a year of opening. Sure, you’ve done your market research, defined your target customer, and developed a business plan, but how do you think you’ll be able to successfully reach your target audience?  Unless you have successfully opened multiple businesses or have a business partner that has, then you’re basically taking a shot in the dark.  Every decision you make in the early stages of starting your business will ultimately determine the business’ fate and lifespan.

After analyzing hundreds of new businesses, the biggest pitfalls seen from new business owners is that they cut corners on some of the most important aspects of starting a business, while spending tons of money on things that don’t matter.  I can’t even begin to describe the amount of new business owners who throw up a cheap website with no care for how they’re business is perceived online.  On top of having a bad website, they then will have absolutely no budget for any type of marketing.  If you know someone like this, please show them the light!  Neglecting to have a professionally built and optimized website is the first step of the demise of so many small businesses.

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Don’t neglect your small business, start it off the right way by hiring a professional digital marketing agency in Northern Virginia that will make sure your new business is set up for success.  Implementing the right digital marketing strategy for your small business is one of the only ways to forecast your company’s success. Sure, you could try to learn how to effectively do SEO, Social Media Marketing, PPC, Content Marketing, Reputation Management, Mobile Marketing, etc., but the time it would take to learn all those skills individually will most certainly take away time from running your business.  Therefore, successful business owners always hire professional digital marketers to do it the right way first. Your time is your most important asset, and you will be needing every second of it when you start a new business. Many successful new businesses in NOVA all share one thing in common and that is they all hired The W Agency – one of the top digital marketing agencies in Northern Virginia.

The W Agency handles all aspects of digital marketing in a strategic way, and uses proprietary search engine optimization methods that have been proven successful time and time again.  There are many other digital marketing agencies out there that charge exorbitant amounts of money for ineffective methods, so be careful who you decide to work with. Many small businesses I personally know of in the Northern Virginia area, have had great success after letting The W Agency take care of their digital marketing.

There you have it, how to successfully grow your small business in Northern Virginia. Now you know the pitfalls to avoid in starting a new business and how important a digital marketing strategy is for your business’ success.  Start by hiring the best digital marketing agency in Northern Virginia.

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Transurban: 495 Express Lanes save drivers millions of hours

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WASHINGTON — The 495 Express Lanes are marking their fifth anniversary. Transurban, the company that built and manages the toll lanes, says they are saving millions of drivers millions of hours.

Transurban says it’s had 3.5 million customers making 67 million trips in the toll lanes over the past 5 years. The company estimates that the Express Lanes have saved customers more than 5 million hours.

“We’ve seen not only time saving for customers in the 495 Express lanes, but also for customers in the regular lanes too. We’re seeing reduced travel time in those regular lanes on 495,” said Mike McGurk, spokesman for Transurban.

But the time saved for drivers may depend on exactly how far the driver must travel.

“A driver from (I)-95 to (I)-66 might say they save time, but a driver who heads north of the Dulles Toll Road would perhaps beg to differ,” WTOP Traffic’s Dave Dildine says.

The problem is the express lanes end before the American Legion bridge in Maryland. So while drivers save time farther south on the Beltway, they can get routinely stacked up north of Tyson’s Corner if they’re bound for Maryland.

“A lot of traffic gets shunted north of the (Dulles) Toll Road toward the northern end of the 495 Express Lanes, and that’s where you find a lot of unhappy campers in both the main and the Express Lanes,” Dildine said.

Transurban uses dynamic toll pricing to manage traffic flow — the higher the demand for the toll lanes, the higher the price — and that’s been a bone of contention among some drivers, some of whom derisively call the Express Lanes, “Lexus Lanes.”

“We’ve seen tolls approach $30 on the Express Lanes during peak periods, and just the sight of a $30 toll, especially for a 9 or 10 mile trip, that’s enough to make a lot of folks’ blood boil,” Dildine said.

Transurban says the Express lanes have been a boon for car poolers and bus passengers.

“Carpool trips on the 495 Express Lanes, comparing our first year to our fifth year, we’ve seen those increase by more than 4 times. We’ve seen the bus trips increase-compared to year one to year five, 75 percent more bus trips,” McGurk said.

Transurban also says that in the past five years, the Express Lanes have helped first responders more quickly reach people in need.

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FBI joins search for 3 Prince William County teens

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WASHINGTON — The FBI and Prince William County police are asking for the public’s help in locating three missing and endangered teens who may no longer be in Virginia.

An investigation reveals the girls left the Bristow area of Prince William County voluntarily on Nov. 12 at around 2:30 a.m. Originally, they were listed as runaways but on Friday, police upgraded their status to missing-endangered.

Ashley Lemus, Breonia Thomas and Chamareya Wright are believed to be in a small, silver SUV, possibly a Honda-CRV. The following descriptions were provided by the FBI:

Lemus, 17, is described as a Hispanic girl with brown hair, brown eyes and several tattoos on her chest, arms and wrists. She was last seen wearing a black Nike sweatshirt and gray leggings.

Thomas, also 17, is described as a black girl with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a multicolored romper and a purple bandana on her head.

Wright, 18, is described as a black woman with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a sweatshirt and dark-colored leggings.

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Anyone with information is urged to call Prince William County police at 703-792-6500 or the FBI at 202-278-2000. Tips can also be submitted to the FBI online.

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FBI joins search for 3 Prince William County teens

Grow Your Business in Northern Virginia with digital marketing services from The W Agency

WASHINGTON — The FBI and Prince William County police are asking for the public’s help in locating three missing and endangered teens who may no longer be in Virginia.

An investigation reveals the girls left the Bristow area of Prince William County voluntarily on Nov. 12 at around 2:30 a.m. Originally, they were listed as runaways but on Friday, police upgraded their status to missing-endangered.

Ashley Lemus, Breonia Thomas and Chamareya Wright are believed to be in a small, silver SUV, possibly a Honda-CRV. The following descriptions were provided by the FBI:

Lemus, 17, is described as a Hispanic girl with brown hair, brown eyes and several tattoos on her chest, arms and wrists. She was last seen wearing a black Nike sweatshirt and gray leggings.

Thomas, also 17, is described as a black girl with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a multicolored romper and a purple bandana on her head.

Wright, 18, is described as a black woman with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a sweatshirt and dark-colored leggings.

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Anyone with information is urged to call Prince William County police at 703-792-6500 or the FBI at 202-278-2000. Tips can also be submitted to the FBI online.

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The post FBI joins search for 3 Prince William County teens appeared first on WTOP.

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Troopers make arrest after chase reaches speeds of 130 mph

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NEW KENT, Va. (AP) — A Richmond man has been arrested after police say he approached 130 mph (209 km/h) on a Virginia highway trying to elude a state trooper.

Virginia State Police say the trooper attempted to pull over 33-year-old Derrell Keith Williams on eastbound Interstate-64 in New Kent County about 1:30 a.m. Saturday after seeing him swerve across the center line.

When troopers activated their siren, they say Williams sped off in a black Lincoln, accelerating to 130 mph and turning off his headlights.

Police say he almost hit one car before getting out of his car and running off. He left the car in drive and forced it into an embankment.

Police caught up with Williams on foot and say he had cocaine in his possession and a handgun in the car.

The post Troopers make arrest after chase reaches speeds of 130 mph appeared first on WTOP.

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Virginia becomes first to mandate computer science education

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia has become the first state to adopt mandatory standards for computer-science education.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the state Board of Education unanimously approved the new standards this week.

Board member Anne Holton supported the standards but voiced concerns that the standards might be too ambitious, given that they must now be implemented across the board.

While other states have advisory standards, Virginia is the first with mandatory standards.

The board’s vote follows legislation passed in 2016 requiring that computer-science education be integrated into the state’s Standards of Learning.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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Man dead after being struck by a car in Leesburg

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WASHINGTON — A 27-year-old man has died after being struck by a car in Loudoun County early Saturday morning.

Loudoun County police responded to the area of Sycolin Road near Gourley Transit Drive outside of Leesburg where a pedestrian was struck by a Toyota Land Cruiser around 1:40 a.m.

The unidentified victim from Bristow, Virginia, died at the scene. Police say the man was walking in the southbound lane of the roadway when he was stuck.

The driver of the Toyota, a man from Ashburn, remained on the scene.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call 703-737-8307.

The post Man dead after being struck by a car in Leesburg appeared first on WTOP.

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Tuition goes up 7 percent for new William and Mary freshmen

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — Incoming in-state freshmen at the College of William and Mary will face a nearly 7 percent tuition hike in the fall of 2018.

The Williamsburg school announced Friday that the new tuition rate for in-state students entering next fall will be $17,434. That’s a 6.5 percent increase from this year.

The increase does not affect undergrads already enrolled at the college. Since 2013, the school has frozen tuition for returning students at the rates they paid as incoming freshmen.

The college’s governing board voted to extend that policy at a meeting Friday. As a result, incoming freshman who pay the new rate beginning in 2018 will not see any tuition hikes during their four years of undergraduate study.

Out-of-state rates and room-and-board fees will be set in April.

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Man arrested after taking photo in Virginia Tech restroom

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — A 34-year-old man is facing multiple charges after police say he took photos of a college student in a restroom on the Virginia Tech campus.

The Roanoke Times reports that Aldron Adams of Pulaski is facing a March 1 court appearance on charges including filming a non-consenting nude person, marijuana possession and fleeing from law enforcement.

According to court records, a student using the restroom in Tech’s McComas Hall on Nov. 8 noticed a hand reaching under the stall with a phone in a “glittery pink case.”

The court records state the student followed Adams out of the restroom and called police, who arrested Adams and found drugs on his person and in his car.

The paper reports that Adams’ lawyer declined comment.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com

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Democrats plan to request recounts for Va. House of Delegates races

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Democrats plan to request recounts as early as next week in at least three Virginia House of Delegates races, including one that has already been the subject of legal wrangling.

In the 28th District, covering parts of Stafford and Fredericksburg, Republican Bob Thomas leads Democrat Joshua Cole by 82 votes in the results set to be certified by the State Board of Elections on Monday. A Cole campaign lawsuit aiming to get 55 absentee ballots counted in Stafford County that arrived after the required legal deadline was thwarted Friday.

“The continuation of this is making sure that every vote counts, be that a recount [or] be that continued legal action,” Cole’s campaign manager Eric Sundberg said after the lawsuit was rejected.

Candidates who lost by less than 1 percent of votes cast have 10 days after the election is certified to request a recount. The process is governed by a panel of three judges including the chief judge of the local circuit court.

“The court will then kind of set the parameters for how’s the recount going to happen, what’s the timeline for it, and it’ll move forward,” said Edgardo Cortés, Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner.

Sundberg said asking for a recount was “the logical thing to do with it being that close.”

When the margin is less than 0.5 percent, as it is in all three pending House races and Stafford’s Garrisonville District supervisor’s race, the local jurisdictions — rather than the campaigns — cover the recount costs.

“There are still outstanding issues in Fredericksburg as well … Any good system should be open to criticism,” Sundberg said.

Like initial claims regarding the 55 absentee ballots that will not be counted, House Democratic Caucus claims about hundreds of voters getting incorrect ballots in Fredericksburg appear to be mistaken. There is a smaller group of reports that a handful of voters may have truly gotten incorrect ballots, including one married couple who told local Democratic officials each of their ballots showed different house races despite the fact that the couple lives together in the same home.

In a statement, House Democratic Caucus attorney Marc Elias said he was disappointed the 55 absentee ballots that arrived after the deadline will not be counted, and he said the caucus is assessing its options to move forward with additional challenges to those ballots or any incorrect ballots in Fredericksburg.

“It will be making sure that every citizen is provided the apology they deserve for either not having their vote counted, for having their vote delivered late if it really was a clerical error,” Sundberg said.

After results are certified Monday, a recount would only deal with ballots that were already considered. In past recounts, changes to certified results have often been the result of voters marking ballots in ways the ballot readers may not have initially recognized.

In Newport News, the 94th House District race has just a 10-vote margin. In Fairfax and Prince William counties, Del. Tim Hugo leads by 106 votes. If recounts do not change any results, Republicans would maintain control of the House of Delegates 51-49.

A process called a contest, which is separate from a recount, can be filed with the clerk of the House of Delegates if the campaign has “objections to the conduct or results of the election accompanied by specific allegations which, if proven true, would have a probable impact on the outcome of the election.”

The contest may be filed after the recount is completed. After notice of the contest, additional time to file a formal petition, get a response and collect evidence, the process can take weeks or longer.

The Committee on Privileges and Elections usually hears the contest, and it would then report its recommendations to the full House.

In the event of a tie vote in the House of Delegates on whether to declare a candidate elected or to declare the election void and order a new election, Virginia law directs “a determination by lot” to decide which candidate is seated — that essentially means picking a name out of a hat.

If the House finds by a two-thirds vote that the contest was raised in bad faith, the candidate who filed it can be ordered to pay more of the other side’s financial costs.

The post Democrats plan to request recounts for Va. House of Delegates races appeared first on WTOP.

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Police chase, shoot suspect involved in GW Parkway crash

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WASHINGTON — A man who led U.S. Park and Fairfax County police on a chase on the George Washington Parkway is in critical condition.

It happened just before 7:45 p.m. Friday. Park Police pursued a man driving an SUV that was involved in a hit-and-run southbound on the GW Parkway in the area of Slaters Lane.

The suspect led police on a chase through the parkway. He left the parkway and crashed at the intersection of Fort Hunt road and Alexandria Avenue in the Mount Vernon area, Sgt. James Dingeldein of U.S. Park Police told NBC Washington.

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It is at the intersection that police shot the suspect. It is not clear if the suspect was shot before or after he crashed.

Below is the area where the chase and shooting happened.

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