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Business

Entrepreneurs Swap Ideas on Success, a Better Prince William

Dr. John Kim, of Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialist, said giving back to the community is one of the best things an entrepreneur can do.

“There’s always something inside of you that keeps pushing you”

 

A panel of business owners Monday shared insights into the characteristics of what makes a good entrepreneur.

The panel, Entrepreneurs on Leadership, assembled by Leadership Prince William, featured leaders from businesses like manufacturing, auto repair, communications, medicine, and retail.

The majority of those who spoke said they never intended to become a successful business owner. However, they decided it was a goal worth pursuing.

“I didn’t want another business,” said Sarah Pitkin, owner of Pitkin’s Hardware in Dale City.

She bought the store from her father, and she said owning your own business is a mix of trial and error.

“There’s always something inside of you that keeps pushing you to keep moving for and having ideas and seeing what works,” said Pitkin.

Many entrepreneurs search for their niche and some niches may not always be the most popular ideas.

“I listen for things like ‘you shouldn’t do that,’ or I listen for ‘I wouldn’t do that’ when talking to others. That is a trigger point for me to look into something,” said ST Billingsley, owner of Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge.

Teamwork was also a much-discussed topic at Monday’s session.

“Entrepreneurism is taking advantage, taking risk, and saying ‘it’s going to work’ and ‘I can figure it out with other people helping me,’” said Patty Baisden, owner of QMT Wind Chimes.

The discussion later morphed into a conversation about how to better promote Prince William County, its amenities, and the quality business community it has to offer. Many said only negative news is reported about the county and few “good news” stories are told about Prince William.

Mark Shaaber, of SCS Integrated Support Solutions, hosted the event. He chose to retire from his job at the Pentagon in Arlington and live in Prince William County.

“I heard the community options were good and the price of housing was lower. What got me to stay here in prince William County is when I looked at a map of Prince William and saw I can take a ride on a country road, and saw it was a place that had a tree or two left we could be proud of,” he said.

While there were many comparisons between Prince William’s larger neighbors Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

“We’re a really great community, but were not [Fairfax], and that’s OK because we have enough. It’s just a sense that we’re good, and that’s enough,” said Baisden.

The Prince William Association of Realtors building in Woodbridge hosted the event.

The Bone Brings High-Quality Barbecue to Historic Downtown Manassas

Ribbon cutting at The Bone

Ribbon cutting at The Bone

The ribbon was sliced on Monday, November 3rd celebrating one of Historic Downtown Manassas’s newest foodie hot spots, The Bone.

More from a press release about the opening:

The Bone Barbecue opened on July 4th, 2014, at its location, 9420 Battle Street. The restaurant offers high quality barbecue with meats that are smoked in-house, and sauces and sides made from scratch.

The Bone is the second barbecue joint for owners Mike, Chase, and Bobby Hoover. Their first, Bad to the Bone Smokehouse, in Gainesville, Virginia, has received much local acclaim for its barbecue– including a win of a lengthy, bracket-style competition called the “BBQ Brawl,” where they were selected as the winner over 32 other restaurants. The Bone is the fast, casual version of Bad to the Bone, with the same quality cuisine.

Chase Hoover says they “let the meat do the talking,” when it comes to their recipes, by using quality and simplicity in the preparation. Meats are pulled and sliced with little to no sauce. Guests can add flair by choosing one of their five sauces, two of which feature beer from Manassas brewery, Heritage Brewing Company. Local, craft beer is also available for purchase to drink while you dine or to take with you. The interior has an industrial rustic feel featuring many touches put together by the owners themselves. Outdoor seating is also available.

The team at The Bone is pleased to join the Historic Downtown business community stating, “It was a no-brainer for us in terms of a second location.” They were impressed by the development of downtown and “saw a great opportunity to be a part of the growing area.” The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday, 11am-9pm, and on Sundays from 11am- 3pm. More information can be found at www.thebonebbq.com

Bella Cafe Opens Earlier, Greets Morning Commuters

Bella Cafe in North Stafford, Virginia.

Bella Cafe competing with new chain store rival Peet’s Coffee & Tea

 

Peets Coffee in North Stafford, Virginia.

Peets Coffee in North Stafford, Virginia.

There’s coffee competition in Stafford’s Boswell’s Corner. It’s one of the last places in the world you would think there would be competition between coffee shops.

On the north side of Route 1 is locally-owned coffee shop and eatery Bella Cafe, and regional chain Peet’s Coffee  and Tea are now fighting for their share of customers looking for coffee and breakfast items during their morning commute.

“This little coffee shop came up, over next door to us, and I didn’t think they were going to do anything, but they’ve really taken a chunk [of business] from us,” said Bella Café owner Will Wobbe.

Previously the café was only open for lunch and dinner, but Wobbe was not solely motivated to open for breakfast because of the competition.

“We’re not doing this just because [Peets] opened up next door – that’s just something that happened. I’ve always wanted to open early, but I’ve never really been in the right situation,” Wobbe said.

The new hours for the café are 5:30AM to 10:00PM, which began in the first week of November. For the morning service at the café, Wobbe wanted to stay local, offering coffee from a Virginia company, along with grab-and-go breakfast items, including sandwiches and muffins.

“They can’t be as good as us – our food is really good,” Wobbe said.

With the growing Quantico Corporate Center nearby, this section of Route 1 is quickly developing as a business destination. Bella has an advantage of being on the northbound side of Route 1 — morning commuters on their way to Prince William can more easily stop at Bella because its on the right (northbound) side of the road. For customers stopping at Peets, there is a difficult left turn back onto Route 1 for those heading north.

Bella Café has faced struggles in past years, with the closure of its old location last year, before Wobbe reopened the café across the street from the old site, and this expansion of morning hours could bring further business that were limited with their lunch and dinner hours.

The cafe is popular with musicians and live performers. It is one of few places in Stafford that has live music regularly, is locally owned, and teen friendly.

Bella has seen its fair share of locations, from first being located in Aquia Town Center, to its new place in Boswell’s Corner (Route 1 near Quantico Corporate Center / Prince William – Stafford County line), to its new spot just across the Route 1 from its old one.

“I was getting ready to leave after the situation where they wanted to put a car shop [on the site], and the community really rallied and said, ‘Please don’t go, our kids love Bella, you’ve done so much for the community,’” said Wobbe.

No one from the Peets Coffee location across the street was available for comment for this story.

El Taco Owners Looking to Cash Out

El Taco Mexican Restaurant off of Route 28 in Manassas may soon be under new ownership and management.

The restaurant was listed for sale last week on Craigslist.

The establishment has gained mixed reviews for its food and atmosphere over the years, according to reviews placed on Google.

The property, which has been an El Taco since 1970, is being sold with owner financing for $195,000. This includes all of the fixtures, menu and recipes.

More from the online post announcing it’s sale:

Restaurant for sale with some owner financing, El taco since 1970 is for sale at $195000 business only and is need of new management. The price is for the menu recipe and all fixtures. Rent is $7500 a month with about 2900 sq ft of retail space and about .91 acres of parking. The freestanding building is on busy Centreville Rd.

Stafford Airport Runway Extension Means More Planes

The Stafford Regional Airport wants to extend its runway at an estimated cost of $8 to $12 million.

The project would bring more air traffic to the airport from the north, and opponents worry it would bring more airplane noise to surrounding neighborhoods.

Facilities manager Ed Wallis said that with the growth and use of the airport in its current operations, the extension has already been a part of their master planning process.

“Currently the airport runway traffic pattern is all to the south. A normal airport has traffic on both sides of the runway…there’d be very few aircraft on that side of the runway…we wouldn’t come near the areas [Sterling is] worried about,” Wallis said.

A longer runway would also mean aircraft taking off from the airport could carry more fuel and reach destinations further away, such as the U.S. west coast.

“Right now, on a hot and humid day, one of the largest aircraft that use [the airport] could not take a full load of fuel or a full load of passengers and go to the West Coast, because the runway’s too short. By lengthening the runway, it gives planes the stopping distance they need, should there be an emergency right at takeoff.”

“We are not increasing the capability of the runway, size wise. What we’re doing is increasing the capability of the aircrafts that currently use us, to use the maximum capacity of fuel and passengers,” said Wallis.

Before any work to the runway can begin, an ongoing environmental assessment needs to be completed. Public hearings will be held in spring to discuss the findings in the assessment with the community. 

The project to extend the runway, which could top out at $12 million, would see 90% of funding from the FAA, 8% of the Virginia State Dept of Aviation, and the remaining 2% from the Stafford Regional Airport Authority, said Wallis.

This extension would mirror similar work completed at the Manassas Regional Airport in 2012. An additional 500 feet was added to their runway.

Juan Rivera, the director of the Manassas airport, understood the need for a runway extension to ensure that planes could take on a full load of passengers and fuel, that Wallis cited as a major reason for Stafford’s intended extension.

“It’s been good for [the airport]… We have not had any major issues as far as noise and safety,” Rivera said.

This comparison between the two airports could become important as some individuals are not in support of the potential runway extension. For Cord Sterling, Stafford County Rock Hill District Supervisor, there are safety and financial concerns related to the airport’s plans that need to be addressed.

“You’ve got to look at what they’re planning. They’re not only expanding it – they’re adding that Northern route. The route takes [planes] over Stafford High School and over neighborhoods,” Sterling said.

Sterling also said the plans for the runway extension contradict earlier comments made by the Stafford Airport Authority about safe use in the neighborhoods surrounding the airport.

“The Stafford Airport Authority has come out saying that the things like schools and neighborhoods are not compatible for those flight paths, that it’s a danger to people on the ground. It’s a danger to the quality of life,” said Sterling.

Sterling also pointed to the Airport’s financial dependence on subsidies from the Stafford County budget as further concern for the extension.

“I think they should just continue to operate how they’re operating. What’s the need for the expansion? [The airport hasn’t] been able to show us they can the deliver,” Sterling said, citing County money loaned for a terminal, the removal of an airplane pass and addition of fuel station at the airport.

Wallis insisted that there were no major safety concerns and that the addition of north side air traffic as they have currently planned, will not be a noise issue. Stafford County officials showed the latest plans for the runway expansion at a recent public meeting.

George Mason Green Job Networking Fair

The public, alumni and students are welcome to attend George Mason University’s second annual Green Job Networking Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Nov. 10 in the Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall on George Mason’s Fairfax campus.

Mason’s Office of Sustainability and University Career Services are teaming up to host major employers including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and environmentally friendly businesses and nonprofits.

Organizers recommend registering, dressing for success and bringing a resume — not only to possibly find a career, but to find a purpose.

“Creating solutions for a more sustainable world and Earth contributes to the greater good and enables our students to make a meaningful difference in the world,” says Margaret Lo, Office of Sustainability director.

Christine Cruzvergara, director of University Career Services in the Division of University Life, says attendees should research green industry trends even before they arrive. “Be prepared with thoughtful questions about how these employers are playing a critical role in their contributions toward conserving energy, developing alternative energy, reducing pollution or recycling,” she says. 

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MOM’s Organic Market, Above Green, Walnut Hill Farm, Traderoots LLC, Fairfax County Farmers’ Markets, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, Clean Fairfax and Earth Sangha also will be speaking on panels and answering questions.

 

Davis Ford Shopping Center Gets a Face Lift

Davis Ford Shopping Center in Manassas, Virginia.

When it opened, Davis Ford Road carried shoppers to the shopping plaza of its namesake.

Today, Davis Ford Road no longer runs past the center. It’s now Prince William Parkway. Now, the center sees its first major renovations since the original construction in 1989.

The old wood cladding façade is being replaced with newer materials to give the plaza a modern look. New canopy lights and signs for the merchants is also part of the renovation.

“Davis Ford Crossing remains the best-located center in the market.” said Susan Bourgeois, director of leasing and brokerage at Rappaport. “The renovations will give the center a fresh, more modern look that will raise the standard of construction in the area.”

The center remains open during the renovation, which is expected to be completed in early 2015. While the center recently lost Dollar General, it was quickly replaced with a new Sleepy’s mattress retailer. An LA Fitness is also now a major tenant at the center, joining Staples, CVS Pharmacy and Petco.

The center sits at the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Liberia Avenue in Manassas.

Hometowne Auto Celebrates 1 Year in Business

Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge, Virginia celebrated one year in business with a ribbon cutting event.

Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge, Virginia celebrated one year in business with a ribbon cutting event.

Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire celebrated one year in business.

Hometowne  Auto at 15698 Jefferson Davis Highway in Woodbridge held a ribbon cutting celebration to mark the event. Several members of the community, including business owners, members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, and elected officials from Prince William County attended the event.

The independently-owned shop offers free tire repairs for their customers no matter where they bought their tires. Many customers who drive into the shop from Route 1 often take advantage of the offer, as well as other repair and maintenance services offered by Hometowne, said shop owner ST Billingsley.

The shop is open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

hometowne ribbon 3 hometowne ribbon 7 hometowne ribbon 6 hometowne ribbon 5 hometowne ribbon 4

 

Hampton Inn Stafford/Quantico Conference Center Upgrades Complete

Hampton Inn Stafford/Quantico Conference Center owners and elected officials gather to celebrate the newly renovated hotel.

Hampton Inn renovations include new suites, conference space, saltwater pool

 

The newly renovated Hampton Inn Stafford/Quantico Conference Center hotel is open in North Stafford.

New additions to the hotel allowed for larger suites, a dining hotel area, conference space, and a saltwater pool. Known as the Hampton Stafford / Quantico and Conference Center, the 17-year-old hotel sits in what has become an increasing crowded market of hotels nearby catering to business travelers.

“Over the years, the quality of our hotels has been going up and you have been a leader in Stafford in building a quality product which matters when you live here. There was a time when you couldn’t find a decent hotel in Stafford,” said Stafford County Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde.

Four new hotels have opened along the Route 1 corridor in North Stafford in just the past two years. Milde says hotels last year generated $1.2 million in tax revenue for the county.

The Hampton hotel is valued at $7 million, according to tax records, and is unlike any other in the chain. The 2,600 square foot conference space and meetings rooms inside the hotel will provide much-needed meeting space for the county.

Milde said his county government had few options when it came to meeting outside the county government center to conduct business. He will petition Stafford County Administrator Anthony Romanello to hold some business meetings at the newly renovated Hampton, he said.

The renovation will also allow hotel owner Dhiren C. Patel to carry the Hampton branding on his hotel for another 17 years. He involved his family in the remodel and put his wife in charge of the overall aesthetics over the interior makeover.

“I want to thank the staff that has been working and kept the lights on during construction over the last 16 months, even during construction we kept our occupancies very high and this allowed us to pay our bills,” said Patel.

The Hampton is located at 2925 Jefferson Davis Highway near the intersection of Garrisonville Road, at the interchange for Interstate 95 in North Stafford. For more information, call 540-657-0999.

hampton inn stafford quantico 5 hampton inn stafford quantico 4 hampton inn stafford quantico 3 hampton inn stafford quantico 2

Whitlock Wealth Management Holding Ribbon Cutting

Whitlock wealth managment, financial, lake ridge, tacketts mill

Whitlock Wealth Management celebrating 20 years in business

 

Whitlock Wealth Management will hold a ribbon cutting for their newly renovated offices in Lake Ridge.

The company is celebrating 20 years in business, and the ribbon cutting event is free to attend.

The celebration will take place Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. at their offices 12848 Harbor Drive, Suite 101, in Lake Ridge, near Tacketts Mill shopping center.

For more information visit whitlockwealth.com.

New Medical Director Stafford Hospital’s Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

Dr. Peter VanDerMeid Medical Director at Stafford Hospital's Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

Dr. Peter VanDerMeid Medical Director at Stafford Hospital’s Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

The Woodbridge Wound Healing Center for Stafford Hospital, which offers state-of-the-art treatment practices and protocols to reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal, has appointed Peter VanDerMeid as medical director.

Dr. VanDerMeid will be responsible for reviewing patient care and results, evaluating new clinical products and providing oversight and guidance on policies and procedures. A member of the Healogics™ network, the Woodbridge Wound Healing Center of Stafford Hospital employs a rigorous scientific approach to explore, test, find and develop the clinically proven methods and technologies that help people heal faster and more completely than before.

A Stafford resident, Dr. VanDerMeid most recently served as Medical Director in Somerset, PA at Somerset Hosptial’s Wound Care Center.

Dr. VanDerMeid holds a Medical Degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. He then did his family practice residency for the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir. He has practiced at two family medical care facilities in Virginia and is a Certified Wound Specialist.

The Woodbridge Wound Healing Center of Stafford Hospital is located at 14010 Smoketown Rd., Suite 103, Woodbridge, VA 22192. The center offers leading-edge treatments including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues and biosynthetics.

Chronic wounds affect more than 8 million people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy.

 

Christmas Shoppers Expected to Spend More

Black-Thursday-1-e1353680263235

Average consumer to spend about $800

 

There will be turkey and shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

Potomac Mills mall says they will open their doors at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 27 and will keep them open for 26 hours straight. The upscale retail outlet aims to attract budget-conscious shoppers looking to grab gifts early in the season.

“Those looking to start their holiday shopping early will discover unbeatable deals on Potomac Mills’ name brand merchandise throughout the weekend,” said Sam Hosn, general manager at Potomac Mills. “From designer fashions to the top trending toys and electronics, Potomac Mills has more stores with unmatched savings than anywhere else in the area. Our Black Friday hours will give shoppers the greatest opportunity to find the perfect gifts within budget for everyone on their holiday list.”

The mall has 220 stores as well as restaurants for “guests looking to take a break from bargain hunting,” according to Potomac Mills.

South of Woodbridge in Spotsylvania County, Spotsylvania Towne Center will also open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The mall will remain open the following day, always known as Black Friday, from midnight to 10 p.m.

The shopping center has also become known for its annual Concert in Lights in the outdoor town center portion of the shopping center. Flashing Christmas lights are put to music for live shows several times per night throughout the holiday season, beginning Nov. 8

“This fabulous feast of music and lights takes place in The Village at Towne Centre every evening until Christmas Eve, with shows at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.” said Towne Center spokesman Joe Bell.

Retailers are hoping to pack more shoppers in earlier as there are only four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. The National Retail Federation says the average shopper will spend about $800 this year, up 5% over last year.

Anytime Fitness to Open in Stafford

AF-logo

Working out is about to get a lot easier. No more excuses about an inconvenient gym location or limited hours. Anytime Fitness is coming to Stafford.

Anytime Fitness franchisees, Alex Diaz and Brian Scanlon, confirmed that they have signed a lease for a 5,100 square-foot space at the Shoppes at North Stafford Shopping Center; located at 25 Tech Parkway. Construction will start in the next 6 – 8 weeks and be performed by Willow Brook Construction. The target date for the club’s grand opening is early 2015 with pre-sale promotions being announced in late 2014.

“What differentiates Anytime Fitness from other clubs is our focus on helping members get the results that they’re seeking,” said Scanlon. “Our gym will be small enough that we can provide personalized attention for all of our members. Whether weight-loss is your goal, or increased strength or improved balanced and flexibility – or a combination – we’re committed to helping you achieve those goals.”

Nationwide, the average Anytime Fitness club has about 800 members. The gyms are staffed roughly 8 hours a day, but members can access the club whenever they like – even during unstaffed hours – using a computerized key-fob system.

“We make it easy for our members to exercise whenever and however they like,” said Diaz. “We’ll have personal trainers available to help you learn how to use all of the equipment and to develop an individualized workout plan, if you like. We’ll also have a state-of-the-art video projection system that allows members to choose from dozens of video classes whenever it’s most convenient for them.”

Membership at one Anytime Fitness club gives members access to nearly 3,000 clubs worldwide at no extra charge.

The layout of every Anytime Fitness club is designed for quick and effective exercise. At the new club in Stafford, members will have full use of top-quality equipment and amenities, including:

• Circuit and resistance training machines
• Free weights
• Cardio equipment, including treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes
• Small group fitness classes, including a dedicated functional area space
• Private bathrooms, changing rooms and showers

Membership and pre-sale specials is will be announced through facebook at www.facebook.com/anytimestaffordva or call directly at (540) 877-6933.

Neibauer to Speak to Entrepreneurs, Sales Teams

Dr. Chris Neibauer, Founder of Neibauer Dental Care, is scheduled to be the guest speaker at a luncheon hosted by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 16 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Entrepreneurs and sales teams are invited to hear his inspirational story at the Best Western Battlefield Inn in Manassas.  The luncheon is sponsored by MTCI-Management Training and Consultants, Inc.

According to his bio, Dr. Neibauer’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from his earliest years when he sold potholders door to door to make money.  But it was not until he returned from Cameroon, Africa where he was a missionary that he decided he wanted more. 

He opened a one-man dental practice and after years of study and applying the principles of Unconditional Responsibility, he expanded that single practice into 25 dental practices in 6.5 years with annual revenues greater than $55 million.

As our guest speaker, he will teach us the same 7 Principles that he used to create the life he wanted.  No matter where you are in your pursuit of a life of health, happiness and success, this seminar will prove invaluable to you.  You will want to bring your staff to this!  

Stafford Wawa Store Under Rennovation

wawa-market-stafford,-virgi

Wawa to reopen Oct. 31 with deals on food, drinks

 

A busy convenience store on Garrisonville Road closed for remodeling.

The Wawa market and gas station at 105 Garrisonville Road will be closed for four weeks as crews work to update the popular roadside stop. It will reopen at 8 a.m. Oct. 31 with a new look on both its exterior and interior.

“We thank our customers for their patience while their Stafford Wawa was renovated,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s president and CEO.  “In 2014, we made a vow to expand the Wawa experience to more customers than ever before, and we’re excited to complete the remodeling of 22 stores by year’s end…”

When it reopens, the store will have new items like milkshakes and more flavored fountain sodas. The store will also offer free coffee, fountain sodas for 89 cents each, and sandwiches under $3 each for 10 days.

Outside, the Wawa will have new fuel pumps as well as new signs and graphics. This location is one of 22 stores in the Wawa chain to be remodeled this year – the most the convenience store chain has done at the same time, according to Gheysens. The company plans to remodel 22 more stores next year as the company prepares to turn 50 years old.

The store at 105 Garrisonville Road opened in 2004. Another nearby Wawa on Garrisoville Road at Eustace Road remains open for business.

Another Wawa store is located in North Stafford on U.S. 1.

Start-up Business Expo Held at NOVA Woodbridge

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“Your business plan doesn’t have to be some big, elaborate, 30-page document”

 

The Prince William Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated held its first business building workshop, on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 at the Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge campus.

The Chapter’s Economic Development Committee, partnered with the Delta Education and Public Service Foundation of Prince William County, and the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College, sponsored a free event with the theme and the goal: “Come with your Dreams … Leave with a Plan”.

The event was exemplary of the outpouring of community support from more than 20 local businesses and sponsors such as the NAACP- Prince William Chapter and the National Coalition of 100 Black Woman of Prince William County.

The morning presenters included Mr. Carl Knoblock, District Director Richmond Small Business Administration (SBA); Mr. George Harben, Director Prince William County Economic Development Office of Existing Business; Ms. Sonja Caison, successful business owner and Women’s Business Center (WBC) Assistant Director.

Mr. Knoblock’s told seminar participants, “You have to stay competitive. Change is going to happen. You always have to be ready.”

He identified four stages of a business: Pre –“kick the tires”; start up- less than three years in business; growth and mature or possibly getting out of business. While the SBA provides assistance to small business owners at all stages, he recommended that business owners know the stage their business in because the assistance the SBA provides differs based on the stage.

Wilson Tarpey, owner of My Mind on Sports, identified his business as being in the start phase. He attended the workshop because he wants to move his business to the growth phase. Based on the information provided, Tarpey noted, “I learned the SBA is there to help me, it’s a great resource.”

Market research and Marketing Opportunities in Prince William County was the focus of the presentation given by Mr. Harben. He shared examples of the rich data mining opportunities available to business owners on the County’s Economic Development website. Currently, he admitted, the data can be a little difficult to find, but the information can be quite valuable to businesses in the Prince William market. He also noted the site is being revised to make it easier to navigate.

Mr. Harben also shared with would be Prince William County vendors and service providers the importance of registering as county vendor.

“It is incumbent on you to register with us,” he explained, “if you’re not registered and you want to do business with the County, get registered. It is a very simple process.”

Frances Walker, an attendee in the pre/”kick the tire phase” of starting a business, noted that even though fellow entrepreneurs may do research on their own, the workshop information was important. “There are resources and research available to us here in this area that we may not have discovered,” she said.

In keeping with the theme, “Come with your Dreams … Leave with a Plan”, Ms. Sonja Caison presented, Building Your Business Plan. Ms. Caison provided a business plan template resources like SBA.gov and even Microsoft Word. She also provided workshop guests with the five parts of a business plan: Executive Summary, Mission Statement, Marketing Plan, Organizational Matters; Financial Plan.

Although the WBC’s primary outreach is to organizations that primarily serve women, Caison noted, “We have clients male and female, all demographics, so everyone’s welcome at the organization (WBC).

The business plan outline and tips that Ms. Caison shared also provided Tarpey with this insight, “Your business plan doesn’t have to be some big, elaborate, 30-page document. It just has to stay true to your business.” For business woman Marlo Watson, the business plan session, “confirmed the importance of a business plan and the need to identify your target market.”

Workshop attendees were able to select from seven different topics presented by subject matter experts.

Session included:

Successful Small Business Franchising – Ms. Miriam L. Brewer, Senior Director of Education and Diversity for the International Franchise Association

Contracting 101- Mr. Al Thomas founder Thomas Solutions Incorporated, a small business government contractor

Veterans Business Building –Ms. Chanel Bankston-Carter, Director, of Strategic Outreach at the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Legal/LLC- Attorney Kiah D. Spinks;

Affordable Health Care/Small Business – Ms. Melissa Herd, Health Insurance Specialist Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; below – Ms. Kathleen Driver, owner and Chief Business Coach of Mind Your Business, LLC provides a breakout session on the importance of Branding & Social Media to business building.

The overall feedback from the attendees was positive. Ms. Robin Benson, a future non-profit entrepreneur, expressed her appreciation stating: “Thank you for having this wonderful event. The speakers have been right on point, what was presented was very current and very applicable to what we’re doing.”

The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a sisterhood of women, actively engaged in programs of public service. This commitment is demonstrated by sponsoring a myriad of community projects for the public good. For more information please visit us a www.pwcacdst.org

North Stafford’s Brafferton Center Sells for $22.3 Million

[Submitted photo]

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – That shopping center you drive by on Garrisoville Road — you know the one with Sport and Health gym, restaurants like Mainstreet Grill and Bar, and North Stafford’s late-night staple Dunkin Donuts – we bet you didn’t know it was called Brafferton Center. We also be you didn’t know it just sold for $22.3 million.

Mosaic Realty Partners, based in Baltimore, bought the new center. We were tipped off to the sale in the press release from Larry Lichtenauer, president of Lawrence Howard & Associates, Inc., in which this information was included:

Located at the intersection of Garrisonville Road (Route 610) and Brafferton Boulevard, the retail center is currently 98% occupied and anchored by Sport & Health, a health and fitness club which occupies approximately 50% of the project. Additional tenants include Dunkin’ Donuts, Massage Envy, Avis Car Rental and Sweet Frog. The center is within close proximity to North Stafford Plaza, Walmart, Target and Lowe’s Home Improvement and is less than one mile from the Garrisonville Road exit of Interstate 95.

Brafferton Center is comprised of a retail strip of stores containing approximately sixteen separate retailers, as well as two free-standing out parcels that house an additional eight retailers. Approximately 70,000 consumers and 23,000 households reside within a five-mile radius of the project with an average household income of more than $112,000.

 “Brafferton Center is positioned within a high density residential section of Stafford County, and the entire retail group has established a loyal and consistent consumer following in the community,” explained Neil Markus, Principal of Finmarc. “The new owner acquired an excellently-maintained and visible asset contained within an environment that features among the most recognizable retail brands in the country.”

“Our team was able to identify a number of viable buyers for this asset with Mosaic Realty Partners, a locally-owned and managed real estate company, emerging as the most suitable purchaser,” stated Mat Adler, of the KLNB Retail Investment Sales Group. “This property, which represents the firm’s initial acquisition in the Virginia area, complements the company’s existing portfolio.”

The photo we used in this post is, we’ll admit, kind of polished, but we used it anyway since we don’t have a file photo of Brafferton Center. It was also submitted to us by Lichtenauer.

Sorority to Host Free Business Building Workshops at Woodbridge NOVA Campus

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – On Saturday, September 20, 2014, the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will host a day of Business Building Workshops from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge Campus, located at 15200 Neabsco Mills Road.

The event will consist of a variety of speakers from federal, state and local government, as well as experienced entrepreneurs offering insights on topics including running a home-based business, developing a business plan, veterans transitioning to business owners, affordable health care and small business, marketing, contracting, franchising and more. One of the speakers for the day is George Harben, Director of the Prince William County Development Office of Existing Business.

This free event is for anyone interested in starting a business or a current business owner interested in learning more about relevant topics. Space is limited, so register today at dstbusinessbuildingworkshop.eventbrite.com. We hope you can join us for this exciting business building day themed, “Come with your dreams – leave with a plan!”

About The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.:

The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a sisterhood of women, actively engaged in programs of public service.

This commitment is demonstrated by sponsoring a myriad of community projects for the public good guided by our 5 Point Program Thrust: Educational Development; Economic Development; International Awareness & Involvement; Physical & Mental Health; Political Awareness & Involvement.  For more information please visit us a pwcacdst.org

Yoga Space ‘Infused with Hawaiian Spirit’ Opening in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Eva Morgan says she’s opening Woodbridge’s first combination hot yoga & fitness studio, spa, nutrition & wellness center.

She’s the director and owner of Hot Yoga Spa Nutrition & Wellness Center located near the intersection of Smoketown Road and Prince William Parkway and will open in October.

A graduate of Gar-Field Senior High School, Morgan is a certified Laser Aesthetician and Thai Yoga Massage practitioner. While running a business in Fairfax County, she was voted “Best in Fairfax 2013.” Morgan says she closed that business in November, 2013 in preparation of opening the Woodbridge location.

The new space in Woodbridge is “infused with the Hawaiian spirit of Aloha, where you could practice various styles of hot yoga (Bikram, vinyasa flow, hatha, power, yin), fitness (hot pilates, hot barre, Zumba, hot hula and others), receive spa treatments (facial, massages, Thai yoga massage, body scrubs, far-infrared sauna, oxygen bar), nutrition (nutrition consultations, grocery store tours & kitchen consultations) and wellness services (acupuncture, herbalist consultations and Reiki),” penned Morgan.

Morgan started practicing hot yoga in 2010 and became a Yoga Alliance certified hot yoga teacher in 2013.

Morgan grew up in eastern Prince William County and then moved to Hawaii. She returned to the area in 2011.

Hot Yoga Spa Nutrition & Wellness Center is located at 3310 Noble Pond Way #108 in Woodbridge. For more information go to hotyogaspava.com or call 571-989-1668.

Thousands Pack Potomac Mills Mall on Tax-Free Weekend

080314 pot mills

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – There were no signs of a national recession on Saturday as thousands of shoppers packed the halls of Potomac Mill mall.

In Woodbridge and throughout Virginia, shoppers this weekend are taking advantage of not paying sales tax on clothing and school supplies. The annual tax holiday in effect since 2009 is seen as giving parents a break on back-to-school expenses while drawing more shoppers out to spur the economy.

Several signs were posted along the mall’s corridor reminding shoppers of the tax-free weekend which expires at midnight tonight.

Dollar Tree Acquires Family Dollar

Dollar Tree will purchase Family Dollar in an effort to diversify it’s product offering and customer base.

The Chesapeake, Va. – based retail chain said the acquisition would produce annual sales of more than $18 billion in more than 13,000 stores across the U.S. The cash and stock transaction is worth $8.5 billion, according to the Associated Press.

Here’s a statement from Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser:

This is a transformational opportunity,” stated Bob Sasser, Dollar Tree’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the acquisition of Family Dollar Stores, Dollar Tree will become a leading discount retailer in North America, with over 13,000 stores in 48 states and five Canadian Provinces, sales of over $18 billion, and more than 145,000 associates on our team. We will continue to operate under the Dollar Tree, Deals, and Dollar Tree Canada brands, and when this transaction is complete, we will operate under the Family Dollar brand as well. Throughout our history, we have strived continuously to evolve and improve our business. This acquisition, which enhances our footprint and diversifies our company, will enable us to build on that progression, and importantly, positions Dollar Tree for accelerated growth. By offering both fixed-price and multi-price point formats and an even broader, more compelling merchandise assortment, we will be able to provide even greater value and choice to a wider array of customers.

Dollar Tree has a long record of consistent, profitable growth, strong financial performance, prudent capital management, and outstanding total shareholder returns. The acquisition of Family Dollar is consistent with our vision to be the leader in value retailing.”

Dollar Tree brands itself as the leading fixed price retailer in the nation, selling everything in its stores for under $1, with its stores in suburban areas targeting middle income residents. Family Dollar sells a mixture of groceries and home goods at various prices, and has stores in lower income areas in urban and rural locations, according to a press release.

The acquisition is expected to be complete early next year. Afterward, the company will have more than 145,000 associates.

The company plans to use cash from the acquisition to pay down debt, grow its presence in existing markets, and expand to new markets.

Dollar Tree has multiple locations in the region. Family  Dollar has four stores in Woodbridge, three in Manassas, and one in North Stafford.

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