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.

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 tourism hit $25 billion in 2017

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WASHINGTON — Tourism in Virginia continues booming.

The tourism industry, the state’s fifth-largest employer, reached $25 billion in revenue in 2017. That’s a 4.4 percent increase over 2016, according to new statewide data released Tuesday.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said tourism in Virginia supported 232,000 jobs last year, a 1.1 percent increase.

Overall, the industry provided $1.73 billion in state and local revenue, up 2.8 percent.

Domestic visitors spent $68 million a day in Virginia last year, the state said.

The tourism industry in Virginia was responsible for $5.9 billion in payroll income last year, up 4.8 percent from 2016.

“Our tourism industry is an important and vital component of economic growth and job creation in Virginia,” said Brian Ball, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “As the tourism sector continues to grow and new product is developed, our communities across the state become even more dynamic and vibrant.”

The Virginia Tourism Corporation is sticking to its “Virginia is for Lovers” marketing brand, which marks its 50th anniversary next year.

Virginia is for Lovers is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country.

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Arlington’s newest farmers market: Arlington Forest

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WASHINGTON — The Arlington County Board has given nonprofit Field to Table Inc. approval for a farmers market in the parking lot at Barrett Elementary school.

That brings the county’s various farmers markets to nearly a dozen.

The Lubber Run Farmers Market, at 4401 North Henderson Road, will be open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. through November.

The Lubber Run Farmers Market, in Arlington’s Arlington Forest neighborhood, will have up to 20 vendors. It is within walking distance of both the Buckingham and Ballston neighborhoods.

“This farmers market is in a great location, in a school parking lot near the Lubber Run Community Center. We wish it success,” said Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol.

Field to Table runs several farmers markets in Arlington County, including the Westover Farmers Market, the Fairlington Farmers Market and the Marymount Farmers Market on Marymount University’s main campus.

The Arlington Mills Farmers Market on Columbia Pike opened earlier this month, the county’s 10th regularly scheduled market.

Arlington County residents can find at least one farmers market open almost every day of the week.

Others include Clarendon, Rosslyn, Ballston, at the Arlington Courthouse, and another on Columbia Pike at S. Walter Reed Drive.

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2 toddler boys killed in separate gun accidents in Virginia

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LOUISA, Va. (AP) — A 2-year-old boy whose brother shot him was the first of two toddlers to be killed in gun accidents in Virginia on Tuesday.

Louisa County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Donald A. Lowe tells news outlets that Tyson Aponte’s 4-year-old brother mistook a gun for a toy Tuesday morning and fired it, hitting the toddler in the chest. Aponte died after rescuers attempted CPR.

Lowe says the boys’ mother was home at the time. Authorities are investigating.

Later Tuesday, a couple flagged down Roanoke police. Police spokeswoman Caitlyn Cline says that the man and woman told officers their 2-year-old son had accidentally shot himself at their apartment. The boy was pronounced dead at a hospital before 1 p.m.

The boy’s name and the circumstances leading to the shooting haven’t been released.

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School system halts motorized partition use after boy dies

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A school system in northern Virginia has temporarily halted the use of motorized room partitions after a 9-year-old boy was fatally injured when he was caught between the partition and a wall in an elementary school’s gym.

Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman John Torre tells The Washington Post in an email that Superintendent Scott Brabrand imposed a moratorium on the use of the doors Sunday that will remain in place until further notice is provided to the schools.

Police say Wesley Lipicky and a teacher simultaneously pressed a button to open the partition. The Franconia Elementary School student was caught between the wall and the partition. He suffered traumatic head injuries and was later pronounced dead.

Torre says the employee involved in the incident has been placed on leave.

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Northam wants strategic plan to boost offshore wind

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration says it is looking for advice on how to make the state more attractive to offshore wind power.

Northam’s office announced Tuesday that the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is seeking a contract to provide a strategic plan to make Virginia an east coast hub for the offshore wind energy industry.

Virginia currently doesn’t have any offshore turbines.

Dominion Energy is working on two offshore wind turbines that are part of a pilot program the state’s largest utility says could eventually lead to the development of a much larger wind farm.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission will review the plan to determine whether it is reasonable and in the public interest.

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Fairfax Co. police investigate ‘suspicious death’ of missing Chantilly man

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WASHINGTON — Fairfax County homicide detectives are investigating what they call the “suspicious death” of a missing man after his body was found in a wooded area near Clifton, Virginia, Monday night.

James McDonald, 26, of Chantilly, was found on May 21 in the woods off Union Village Drive in nearby Clifton after detectives traced the location of his cell phone, police say.

McDonald was last seen by a family member on May 15, police say. He was officially reported missing on May 19.

He was found with trauma to his upper body and the death is being considered “suspicious,” according to a news release.

Anyone with information about McDonald is being asked to call detectives at 703-691-2131.

Below is a map showing the location were McDonald was found.

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var trafficLayer = new google.maps.TrafficLayer();
trafficLayer.setMap(map);
var marker = new google.maps.Marker({
position: lnglat,
map: map,
title: ‘The White House’
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}

https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/js?key=AIzaSyAUgwUVDbpkDzjtqaM9s73ohlXdWjsSukg&callback=initMapArticle

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Virginia Senate put off budget, Medicaid debate

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WASHINGTON — Virginia senators have put off the debate on the state budget and whether to expand Medicaid, drawing sharp criticism from the governor and House speaker.

The Senate did not take up budget discussions Tuesday, but instead scheduled a meeting next week for the Senate Finance Committee to take up a newly proposed budget plan.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Tommy Norment said he expects the upper chamber to pass a budget May 30, and it is “probable” that it will include Medicaid expansion.

Democrat Janet Howell accused a minority of the Senate of delaying and obstructing action.

House Speaker Kirk Cox, a Republican who backs Medicaid expansion, canceled a planned House meeting for Wednesday, since the delegates would have had no new bill to vote on. The House passed its budget in this special session more than a month ago and had expected to act Wednesday on a Senate version.

Republicans are currently split on whether to expand Medicaid after years of near unified opposition. The disagreement has led to a stalemate on the state budget.

“The time has come to finish the budget. Our teachers, local school boards, and local governments are waiting to craft their budgets and the national bond rating agencies are carefully monitoring Virginia’s AAA bond rating,” Cox said in a statement.

Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat who made Medicaid expansion to about 300,000 more low-income Virignians part of his campaign last year, was even stronger.

“The continued delays and procedural stall tactics that we are seeing from the Senate create uncertainty for families and local governments, threaten Virginia’s bond rating, and run afoul of this Commonwealth’s reputation for efficient and effective government,” Northam said in a statement.

“This unnecessary delay is made more insulting to Virginians by the reality that the house of delegates passed a budget that expands health care weeks ago, and a majority of Senators have indicated they would vote for a similar measure if the Senate would simply put one on the floor. Virginians have waited long enough,” he said.

Pro-expansion lawmakers have a majority in both chambers, but some Republican Senate leaders oppose Medicaid expansion and said they need more time to study a new budget deal released Monday by pro-expansion Republicans.

Sen. Emmett Hanger, Republican co-chair of the Finance Committee, had apparently been prepared to join Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw Tuesday to bypass the Finance Committee and get the budget bill to the floor. Instead, Norment assured pro-expansion lawmakers that the Senate would finally hold a vote on its budget next week.

Norment insisted Tuesday that the months of delay — with no deal in the regular session this winter or any Senate action yet since the special session convened in April — has helped resolve the dispute since additional tax revenue above previous forecasts can be used to bolster the state’s rainy day fund.

“Raise your eyebrows and twitch your ears, but that is a financial fact,” he said.

He maintains his opposition to Medicaid expansion, and said he has no plans to leave the Senate.

“I tell you what, I’m going [to] be here in 2019 and 2020 to kick your ass,” he said on the Senate floor.

He also called for better decorum in the chamber.

Impact of budget delays

Senate Democrats said the wait for local budgets, teachers, and those who would benefit from Medicaid expansion could not go on any longer. The federal government would pay 90 percent of the Medicaid expansion costs.

“These are real people, with real stories and real challenges. They didn’t ask for this,” Prince William Democrat Jeremy McPike said.

“While we’re diddling and dawdling on the Senate floor, people are suffering. Some people are dying,” Howell, a Fairfax County Democrat, said.

Republican Sen. Bill Carrico said he would not listen to a lecture, since Democrats support abortion-rights.

That was just one piece of how Republicans opposed to expansion pushed back on the Senate floor Tuesday evening, during what effectively became a debate over Medicaid expansion despite no bill sitting before the body.

“Government dependency breeds more government dependency and takes away freedom,” Republican Bill Stanley said.

He argued that free trade agreements and warnings that tobacco has negative health effects have been the key drivers of economic problems in southwest Virginia, and more people with Medicaid coverage could simply put more of a strain on hospitals.

A number of Republicans who remain opposed to expansion have focused on potential costs of the system.

“Spending the taxpayers money on other people … is the most inefficient way to spend money,” Sen. Mark Obenshain said.

Democrat George Barker of Fairfax County responded that Virginia’s Medicaid program is run efficiently.

“It’s been effective in helping people receive the care they need. It’s been effective in holding down costs, and in many instances, it’s been effective in actually reducing costs,” Barker said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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