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.

northern va digital marketing agency

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.

nova digital marketing agency

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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Virginia provides transit cash to bridge shutdown gap

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WASHINGTON — Virginia is providing advances on state transit funding to avoid problems due to the federal government shutdown.

“We’re going to be forwarding our next two months of state funding to all of the transit systems, so that if they need to draw down on those state funds because they can’t access their federal funds that they can do that,” Jennifer Mitchell, director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, said this week.

She sent a letter to transit agencies across Virginia on Jan. 11 outlining plans to provide February payments one month ahead of schedule.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action if the shutdown continues into February,” the letter said. 

On behalf of Arlington’s ART, the City of Fairfax’s CUE, Alexandria’s DASH, Fairfax Connector and Loudoun County Transit bus systems and the VRE rail system, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission thanked the state for the flexibility on funding to help stave off potential service cuts due to budget issues.

“NVTC and its member transit agencies appreciate the advancement of state operating assistance given the uncertainty surrounding the reinstatement of federal payments,” Northern Virginia Transportation Commission Chair and Loudoun Supervisor Matt Letourneau said in a statement.

Fairfax Connector and Loudoun County Transit are offering free rides to federal workers who show federal ID being forced to work without pay during the shutdown. Fairfax Connector will launch a previously planned new service on Tuesday with rush-hour express bus from Vienna Metro to the Pentagon.

Transit systems face more of a burden from the shutdown than highway projects because most Federal Transit Administration staff are furloughed, but federal highway programs have remained active.

In addition to a delay in federal transit funds, the government shutdown has also driven down ridership for a number of transit systems across Virginia.

Metro reported a system-wide decline of approximately 16 percent in weekday rail ridership and 8 percent in weekday bus ridership due to furloughed workers, an amount that adds up to about $400,000 in fares and revenue lost each weekday.

In the hopes of averting additional ridership declines next month, Metro extended the deadline for February 2019 SmartBenefits orders and cancellations to Monday. Metro said federal workers should check their benefit status later in the week so see if their agency is providing February benefits.

If SmartBenefits are not provided by the government and commuters have not cancelled their automatic MARC, MTA Commuter Bus or VRE pass purchases, the personal credit card linked to the account will be charged. Metro will offer refunds to commuters who get the passes charged to a personal card as long as the pass is mailed back to CommuterDirect with a postmark of Jan. 31 or earlier.

Other shutdown impacts possible

Significant statewide rail projects expected to move forward this year could also be disrupted by the shutdown since federal approvals are critical pieces for the Long Bridge expansion between D.C. and Virginia and for Virginia’s DC2RVA rail improvement plan to speed up trips and increase service between Richmond, Fredericksburg and the District.

“We’re a little concerned right now, with the effects of the shutdown, if that’s going to hold that up,” Mitchell said.

Federal furloughs could also theoretically create problems for on-time federal certification of the Metrorail Safety Commission and other rail state safety oversight agencies across the country, Mitchell said, with federal law requiring certification by mid-April.

At this point though, the commission does not believe the shutdown will create any problems.

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Rain and strong winds rattle DC area on Sunday

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WASHINGTON — After a cold, dry morning in the D.C. area, light to heavy rain moved into the region in the afternoon hours and continued overnight.

The National Weather Service had originally issued a winter storm warning for parts of the D.C. area, but has since canceled the warning. A winter weather advisory for northern Maryland remains in effect until 6 a.m. Sunday.



D.C. officials said in a news release Friday night that roads will be monitored and treated throughout the weekend, including Monday, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The city is asking residents to drive cautiously.

The D.C. area won’t be the only region feeling the effects of wintry weather. The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center said in a tweeted graphic that over 116 million people fall within its winter storm warnings, watches or advisories.

The storm is expected to make its way across the Midwest and into New England; Amtrak announced that it was modifying train service in affected regions due to the weather.

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FORECAST

Rain is expected to continue Sunday, then it will turn to snow with rapidly falling temperatures. The temperatures are expected to be in the low 40s in the morning, falling to below freezing by the afternoon to in the 20s and below in the evening. Strong winds are expected throughout the day — a wind advisory for the D.C. area goes into effect at 11 a.m. 

Storm Team4 meteorologist Somara Theodore said that wind gusts of 20 mph will start early Sunday but will increase to around 50 mph by evening.

“This means the wind chill, what the temp actually feels like, will range from the teens to 10 degrees below 0 Sunday into Monday morning. The wind gusts could also cause damage so be careful,” Theodore said.

A hard freeze should set in any time after 6 p.m. Sunday, according to Storm Team4 meteorologist Matt Ritter.

“Temperatures will fall below freezing Sunday afternoon, leading to icy spots on our roadways,” Storm Team 4 meteorologist Mike Stinneford said.

Monday is expected to be “blustery and very cold,” said Ritter. The highs are in the 20s for Monday with wind chills below zero for much of the day.

SUNDAY: Rain/mix ends by morning. Windy and turning colder. Icy spots possible overnight.
Highs: 40s, falling into the 20s by sunset

MONDAY/Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Dangerously cold. Mostly sunny and windy.
Highs: low to mid-20s

TUESDAY: Partly sunny. Lighter winds and not as cold.
Highs: low to mid-30s

CURRENT CONDITIONS

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source

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Va. business offers free ‘anger room’ sessions for furloughed workers to smash away their feelings

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Break It in Fredericksburg is offering free smashing sessions for furloughed government workers. (Courtesy Break It)

Break It in Fredericksburg is offering free smashing sessions for furloughed government workers. (Courtesy Break It)

WASHINGTON — There isn’t a “you break it, you buy it” rule here for those affected by the government shutdown.

The Break It “anger room” or “rage room” is offering those who are furloughed a place to take out their frustrations free of charge with complimentary smashing sessions at their Fredericksburg, Virginia, location.

“It’s something cathartic for them and especially with what’s going on with their lives I think that it’s the perfect fit for them,” said Monica May, owner of Break It in Fredericksburg.

Furloughed workers simply email the location through their website to receive a 5-minute session with 10 breakable items.

Items to break vary, as they are donated through local businesses, but they often include things, such as liquor bottles, computer monitors, modems, stereos, DVDs, furniture, chairs and dressers.

The business is all about keeping those “raging” safe during their sessions. Break It provides all of the safety equipment, along with the items to break.

May said that the business has already received close to two dozen calls in the last couple of days. She said that they’re going to keep offering the free sessions until they reach capacity.

“I’m just going to keep going, and I will let everyone know if we reached our cap and there’s a waiting list. But, we’ll try our best to take as many people as we can,” May said.

Availability for the stress-relieving offer mostly depends on whether they can keep up with donations of stuff to break.

“As long as we can keep those donations up we can still be able to provide the services for the furloughed workers,” May said.

For May, she said that she can relate to the furloughed workers and their frustrating at this time in their lives.

May and her husband were going through a devastating time and decided that opening up a way for others to relieve stress brought them comfort in their lives as well.

“My husband and I lost a child in 2017, and we got sick ourselves and almost died of the flu; and it was just a bunch of anger and things that were out of our control in our lives that kind of made us feel like we needed a change,” May said.

Someone brought up the notion of anger rooms that were offered in Japan and starting to pop up in the United States and they decided to take the leap.

“We thought that the idea was just crazy and out there,” May said. “We saw that it was successful all across the world and even in the United States there were a few that were already up and running and we looked at each other and said, ‘Why not? Let’s give it a shot.’”

Source

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In protest, Virginia lieutenant governor leaves dais again

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax stopped presiding over the state Senate for the second year in a row in protest when senators again honored a Confederate general.

News outlets report Fairfax left the dais Friday just before Republican Sen. Richard Stuart spoke in support of Gen. Robert E. Lee and adjourning Friday’s session in Lee’s honor. Lee’s birthday was Saturday.

Fairfax is the second African-American elected to statewide office in Virginia history. The Democrat said Friday he wanted to be firm and respectful in his opposition to honoring Lee, pointing to Confederate efforts to preserve slavery.

Stuart said his request had nothing to do with slavery but with celebrating a “great Virginian.”

Last year, Fairfax stood down when another senator called for adjournment in honor of Gen. Stonewall Jackson.

Source

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In protest, Virginia lieutenant governor leaves dais again

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax stopped presiding over the state Senate for the second year in a row in protest when senators again honored a Confederate general.

News outlets report Fairfax left the dais Friday just before Republican Sen. Richard Stuart spoke in support of Gen. Robert E. Lee and adjourning Friday’s session in Lee’s honor. Lee’s birthday was Saturday.

Fairfax is the second African-American elected to statewide office in Virginia history. The Democrat said Friday he wanted to be firm and respectful in his opposition to honoring Lee, pointing to Confederate efforts to preserve slavery.

Stuart said his request had nothing to do with slavery but with celebrating a “great Virginian.”

Last year, Fairfax stood down when another senator called for adjournment in honor of Gen. Stonewall Jackson.

Source

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Virginia judge dies following car crash earlier this month

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A Virginia judge and former local school board chairman has died less than two weeks after being involved in a car accident.

Norfolk police announced that Virginia Beach District Judge Robert Hagans Jr. died Thursday from his injuries. The 66-year-old Hagans had been taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital following his Jan. 6 accident. A police news release says it appears Hagans rear-ended another car at a traffic light.

Attorney and longtime friend Kathryn Byler told The Virginian-Pilot that Hagans suffered a stroke moments before the crash. She said Saturday that Hagan had been in the hospital’s trauma unit.

The General Assembly appointed Hagans to the bench in 2015. Hagan was elected chairman of the Virginia Beach school board in 1996 and served in that role for two years.

Source

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Fairfax Co. residents buy groceries for those in need, including hungry feds

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Volunteers load donated food outside of Giant Food in the Fox Mill neighborhood of Herndon. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

A bus full of donated food for those in need sits outside of the Giant Food store in the Fox Mill neighborhood of Herndon. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Fairfax County Board Of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova helped to load donated food for those in need, including federal government workers onto a bus in Herndon. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Volunteers loaded donated food outside of Giant Food in the Fox Mill neighborhood of Herndon. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

HERNDON, Va. — Shoppers at several Northern Virginia grocery stores reached into their hearts and dug into their pockets to help buy groceries Saturday for those in need, including federal workers who have missed a paycheck.

“We are a company town and so many people who live here in this community are associated, in some way, with the federal government,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Sharon Bulova, outside the Giant Food store in the Fox Mill neighborhood in Herndon.

“This year it’s more important than ever. Our nonprofits have seen an uptick in people … asking for help — people who had never thought that they would need it. So these are federal employees and federal contractors. Folks who have been living responsibly, get a paycheck and now they’re not,” Bulova said.

The county teams with area nonprofit organizations to help replenish charitable food pantries, which typically run short in the winter months.

Bulova joined a group of volunteers loading boxes of groceries, including pet food, that will eventually be distributed to families who are in need. Donations were also collected Saturday at the McLean Giant and at Mount Vernon Plaza Shoppers Food Warehouse.

“We always think that Fairfax County people aren’t hungry, but obviously they are,” said Cheryl Freeman, a volunteer with “Helping Hungry Kids,” a 10-year-old Fairfax County group that provides food packs, including granola bars to kids in schools who don’t have enough to eat.

The county and the nonprofits will team up in February food drive collections at eight other locations in the county.

One shopper at the Herndon Giant was particularly generous on Saturday.

“I saw a gentleman … with a grocery cart and he said, ‘Fill it up, just fill it up,’ and they stuffed as much into this grocery cart as they could,” said Bulova about the anonymous donor who purchased more than $300 of groceries for those in need.

Source

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Coal ash removal bill clears first Virginia Senate committee

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A bill requiring the disposal of coal ash stored in Dominion Energy ponds across Virginia has cleared its first General Assembly committee.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Senate committee handling conservation and natural resources moved the bill ahead Thursday, voting 9-5. Its next hurdle is the Senate Finance Committee, which asked to also take it up because costs could likely be passed to Dominion customers.

Gov. Ralph Northam supports the bill Sen. Scott Surovell introduced. It requires Dominion to dig up its coal ash, recycle as much as possible and haul the rest to modern landfills.

Coal ash is heavy metal-laden waste left from burning the fossil fuel to produce electricity.

Bill Murray, Dominion’s vice president of public policy, says mandating recycling or anything tends to make it more expensive.

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

Source

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Coal ash removal bill clears first Virginia Senate committee

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A bill requiring the disposal of coal ash stored in Dominion Energy ponds across Virginia has cleared its first General Assembly committee.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Senate committee handling conservation and natural resources moved the bill ahead Thursday, voting 9-5. Its next hurdle is the Senate Finance Committee, which asked to also take it up because costs could likely be passed to Dominion customers.

Gov. Ralph Northam supports the bill Sen. Scott Surovell introduced. It requires Dominion to dig up its coal ash, recycle as much as possible and haul the rest to modern landfills.

Coal ash is heavy metal-laden waste left from burning the fossil fuel to produce electricity.

Bill Murray, Dominion’s vice president of public policy, says mandating recycling or anything tends to make it more expensive.

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

Source

from http://bit.ly/2T2zdDD

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