WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia




Study: Cut Biz Taxes, Expand Sales Tax

By Brian Hill
Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. – The rich may be rich and the poor may be poor, but a nonpartisan think tank says there’s a way to eliminate state income taxes on the poorest Virginians while providing as much as a 10 percent tax cut to everyone else.

The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy on Friday unveiled a plan to restructure Virginia’s tax system – which the group says could generate substantial economic growth.

The nonprofit group’s report recommends slashing certain business taxes and income taxes while expanding the sales tax to currently untaxed services.

“By expanding the current sales tax to most of the industries that do not currently collect it from their end-user individuals, every individual taxpayer can be substantially helped,” said Michael Thompson, president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute.

“The competitive business environment in Virginia can be enhanced, and our state and local governments would not lose a penny.”

The institute, based in Springfield, advocates a philosophy of “limited government, free enterprise and individual responsibility.” Its new economic study, “Tax Restructuring in Virginia: Revenue Neutral Path for Improving Virginia’s Economy,” was prepared by Chmura Economics and Analytics, a Richmond consulting firm.

“Basically, this is a collaborative team effort,” Xiaobing Shuai, Chmura’s senior economist, told reporters during a telephone news conference. “What Chmura Economics did in this study is go through probably 100-plus sales tax exemptions, and then try to estimate the value of those sales tax exemptions.”

A computer model developed by economists at the Beacon Hill Institute, an independent public policy foundation at Suffolk University in Boston, tested various scenarios for overhauling Virginia’s tax system.

Nine economic scenarios were put through the tax model.

“We took Chmura’s numbers, which is a static model that doesn’t account for the positive economic benefits of the tax restructuring, and put them in our dynamic model and ran the nine scenarios that you see in the study,” said Paul Bachman, director of research at Beacon Hill Institute.

“The model resolves for new values, and we get new values for jobs, investment and disposable income. What we are doing, in economic terms, is shifting some of the tax burden away from businesses and households in some scenarios and putting it onto an untaxed service sector.”

Virginia currently exempts almost all services from sales taxes.

A major goal of the Thomas Jefferson Institute’s plan is to eliminate three taxes that businesses consider onerous and an impediment to creating jobs:

• The Business Professional Occupation Licensing tax, which is levied on gross receipts.

• The Machine and Tool tax, which is levied on equipment a business buys.

• The Merchants Capital tax, which is levied on a business’ inventory.

Virginia businesses must pay those taxes regardless of whether they make a profit. Thompson called them “job-destroying taxes,” saying they discourage businesses from expanding and hiring more employees.

The Thomas Jefferson Institute initiated its study to see if it was possible to eliminate those taxes and restructure the state’s tax system in a revenue-neutral manner that could improve Virginia’s economy.

The nine scenarios outlined in the study range from a relatively small impact to a radical overhaul.

The first scenario, for example, would simply eliminate the BPOL, M&T and Merchants Capital taxes and make up the revenue by extending the sales tax to certain currently untaxed services. The study said this would create 900 private-sector jobs.

Other scenarios suggested not only eliminating the three business taxes but also eliminating the lowest income tax bracket and cutting other personal income rates. Under these scenarios, the sales tax would be expanded to more services. In some scenarios, the sales tax would be cut, too. (It’s currently 4 percent for the state and 1 percent for local government.)

The scenarios did not specify exactly what types of services would be taxed. The study acknowledged that taxing medical bills, health insurance premiums, private school tuition and financial fees probably wouldn’t fly.

The more extensive scenarios would create at least 40,000 jobs, the study said.

“We know the facts in this new study and in our tax model will dramatically improve Virginia’s economy while giving every taxpayer a substantial reduction in their state income taxes,” Thompson said. “We encourage our leaders to pursue a sensible tax restructuring that can help everyone in our state.”

Prince William Chamber Praises BPOL Tax Relief

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — The Prince William Chamber of Commerce expressed strong praise for the Prince William Board of County Supervisors following a unanimous board vote to increase the BPOL (Business/Professional/Occupational/License) tax income threshold from $200,000 to $250,000. The new threshold will provide BPOL tax relief to companies with revenues of less than $250,000. The Board also directed County staff to engage the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 2,000 area businesses, in dialogue about initiating significant business tax reforms.

“Both of these decisions represent progress for the prosperity of our community. A balanced approach towards business taxation and regulation is essential to nurturing our robust rate of jobs creation and economic growth,” said Nancy Hiteshue, Prince William Chamber Director of Public Policy.

The Chamber has long advocated for BPOL reform at both the local and state levels. Hiteshue said that the group ultimately seeks elimination of the tax, which was originally instituted to help fund the war of 1812. At issue is the fact that is based on a company’s gross revenues rather than profits. Therefore, a business operating at a loss could still be liable for BPOL tax.

Read the entire press release.

New Restaurant Brings Chick-fil-A Mania

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — It’s not what you would expect to see in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant.

A makeshift open canopy city sprung up early Wednesday in Springfield filled with fans of Chick-fil-A restaurants, the so-called inventor of the chicken sandwich.

They brought sleeping bags, propane tanks, and their appetites for free food, which the first 100 people camped out here will get for an entire year – 52 coupons for free number one chickens sandwich combo meals.

Northern Virginia’s newest Chick-fil-A sits in a small shopping plaza on Backlick Road in Springfield. While it’s not a standalone restaurant like ones in Woodbridge and Stafford, it does have a drive-through lane. And a lot of hungry chicken lovers who camped out, as well as Chick-fil-A fans in the area, are expected to use it.

“We’ve got a lot of folks doing this for the first time. They hear about it from friends and then decide to come out. But some do this all the time, almost like NASCAR fans, you just see them go race to race to race – people are raving fans and are so excited about Chick-fil-A and getting more free food,” said restaurant spokeswoman Maggie Hammond.

Chick-fil-A preopening madness began in 2004 when the company began giving away free food to loyal fans. Hammond says $26,000 worth of free food will be given away at this grand opening event.

With the Springfield store included, the Atlanta-based company plans to open 96 new Chick-fil-A locations this year, creating more than 7,000 new jobs.

Kyle Warfield, number 99 of the first 100 in line that will win free food for a year, is no stranger to camping out for free Chick-fil-A. He came from Baltimore to wait Outside the Springfield store, but two weeks ago also camped for the grand opening of a Chick-fil-A in Maryland, where he was also awarded free food.

“I’m probably going to give some of [the chicken sandwiches] away. What am I going to do with 100 of these?”

Another waiting in line said his military background helped him prepare for sleeping outside for free chicken.

“I work nightshift anyway, and sleeping outside doesn’t bother me coming from military,” said Matthew Goldbitz of Fairfax.

The Springfield Chick-fil-A opened its doors for the first time at 6 a.m. today.

Cheesecake Factory Announcement Premature

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Apparently it was too soon to report that Cheesecake Factory and Bahama Breeze restaurants were coming to the Potomac Mills area.

Posted to Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi’s Facebook and Twitter pages this morning was an announcement that both popular restaurant chains were eyeing Woodbridge and could open as early as fall. The posted information, which was reposted to PotomacLocal.com’s social media profiles, had been removed from Principi’s Facebook page but remained on his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon.

“While we do have several exciting announcements coming down the pike in the next few weeks, at this point it is a bit premature to provide specifics. We have already spoken with Supervisor Frank Principi’s office, and they have retracted the information that was posted,” stated Potomac Mills mall spokeswoman Lauren Horsley.

Potomac Mills said they plan to release more information on new shops and restaurants coming to the area as details become available.

Last year, the popular shopping mall ended an agreement with Prince William County that allowed commuters to park at the mall’s front, underused parking lot on weekdays. The number of spaces at the lot was reduced from 1,000 to just 250, forcing commuters to find other places to park in the area.

At the time, Potomac Mills officials said they needed the additional spaces for new development.


Successes Shared at Prince William Business Awards


PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Dalena Kanouse never thought she would lead a company of 100 employees who work for a business started in her home by her husband.

But her husband passed away in 2009 leaving the business in her name, and Kanouse faced some challenges.

“I had no idea what I was doing other than supporting him,” said Kanouse, of the Dumfries-based Management and Training Consultants, Inc.

Now doing business in 24 states and three U.S. territories, the company is partnered with the National Guard and Central Texas College to help returning military service veterans get reacquainted to civilian life. Their non-clinical programs called “Boots to Books” and “Boots to Work” help returning service members cope with the everyday stresses of life.

Kanouse and her business partner, Kent Milliken, were nominated Wednesday by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce for Business of the Year award. MTCI didn’t win — that prize was award to Prince William Living Magazine — but they did attribute their successes this year to holding a new networking sessions, being involved in the chamber of commerce, and by working closely with other small businesses.

“There’s a number of businesses that are significantly smaller than us but look at us as being big. So, everything being relative, we’ll do anything we can to help the small business,” said Milliken.

That same spirit of helpfulness is also shared by Jen Jones who founded Alpha Pets Inc. in Lake Ridge. Jones won the chamber’s 2012 Business Award for Community Outreach. She volunteers with community groups like ACTS, and The ARC of Greater Prince William.

“With community outreach, our slogan at Alpha Pets is “professionals with a personal touch,” and that’s how we view our pet care business but that’s also how we view our community,” said Jones.

For her, it’s not enough to just make a simple donation to charitable organizations – she likes to get her hands dirty and volunteer.

“That’s how to build relationships, and that’s what we do when we volunteer. And, you know what, if do what you do well the [poor] economy doesn’t even bother you,” said Jones.

Alpha Pets was founded in 2009 and won Business of the Year in 2010. This was the company’s first award highlighting their community service efforts.

Stafford Tech Hub a Done Deal

STAFFORD, Va. – It’s official: Stafford County will have a new technology research park outside the bustling Quantico Marine Corps Base.

The new tech hub, Stafford Research Park at Quantico Corporate Center, will initially occupy 1,400 square feet on the third floor at 800 Corporate Center Drive in North Stafford. Within five years, a new 30 to 40,000 square foot building will be constructed at Quantico Corporate Center for a standalone building, as agreed upon in the details of this public-private partnership with Fredericksburg developer Silver Companies, Stafford County, University of Mary Washington, George Mason University, ManTech International, and Germanna Community College.

“It really shows everyone coming together with a shared vision, which is the most exciting thing about this…this is really starting to happen and I hope the Board agrees this is a big step to make and will support us…” said Stafford Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde.

According to plans outlined in county documents Silver Companies, which owns the developing corporate center near just outside Quantico Marine Corps Base, will contribute $315,000 toward the initial lease of 1,400 square feet of academic and/or business incubator space on the third floor at 800 Corporate Center Drive. Stafford County has contributed $600,000 for transportation improvements to the area, to allow for better traffic flow from U.S. 1 and nearby Telegraph Road, and will be faced with the task of staffing the center.

Officials said educational classes are already underway at the corporate center and will come with the addition of this new center.

Prince William Chamber Focuses on Clean Energy

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce have been invited to participate in a briefing call on Clean Energy: The Next Economic Development Solution The call, hosted by Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy – a national network of chambers of commerce that connects local businesses with clean energy opportunities that can grow the nation’s clean energy economy.

The Prince William Chamber is a formative member of the group. Chamber President & CEO Rob Clapper is a member of the steering committee. on Thursday, April 5 at 11:00 a.m.

Member businesses are being encouraged to take part in the call where they will learn about how to get ahead of the clean energy movement, including creating clean energy clusters, incubators and other solutions. They will find out how local chambers of commerce can take advantage of current clean energy economic development potential.

“We are pleased to be on the leading edge when it comes to growing the nation’s clean energy economy,” said Rob Clapper, President & CEO of the Prince William Chamber. “Our involvement in the Chamber for Innovation and Clean Energy underscores our commitment to creating jobs while promoting the energy resources and innovations that exist here in Prince William.”

Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy is an active network of more than two-dozen chambers of commerce from across the nation, more than 35,000 160 chambers of commerce representing more than 163,000 businesses. This growing network was created and is led by chambers of commerce, with the goal of driving business innovation and accelerating American competitiveness through clean energy initiatives. Thursday’s call is a first step in providing valuable information, tools and best practices for member businesses to grow their bottom line while pursuing local, state and national clean energy incentives.

For more information about the Prince William Chamber and other ways the group is stimulating economic opportunity in Northern Virginia, go to www.pwchamber.org. For more information about the Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, go to www.chambersforinnovation.com.

-Press release

New Marumcso Shops Approved

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — New shops are coming to Marumsco Plaza as part of ongoing revitalization efforts in Woodbridge.

Prince William County Supervisors unanimously approved special use permits for a Walgreens Pharmacy, a Pollo Campero restaurant, and a new BB&T Bank that will be built at the shopping center. Each of the new buildings will have drive-through lanes, which were not permitted under current commercial zonings at the plaza.

The new shops will be built in the existing sprawling parking lot of Marumsco Plaza on U.S. 1. — a one-time shopping mecca that is undergoing a renovation. New construction of shops that will occupy the northern section of the shopping center’s parking lot is already underway.

Of the three newly approved shops, the restaurant will sit near the center of the parking lot, and the bank and pharmacy will sit closer to East Longview Drive, where an old Five Guys restaurant was located. The shops will join a locally-owned grocer Todos Supermarkets, which recently moved into to an old Giant Food location inside the plaza.

“We are all very excited about the revitalization of Marumsco Plaza in Woodbridge, its’ called a new Woodbridge,” said District Supervisor Frank Principi.

New improvements to the entrance of the shopping plaza are also coming. Developers will remove what some residents and officials referred to as a “gully” or deep groove in the pavement at the plaza’s East Longview Drive entrance. More capacity will also be added to East Longview Drive where it intersects with U.S. 1 and Prince William Parkway.

While planners and officials say the shopping center is on an upswing, neighbors urged its owners not to rest on their laurels.

“The revitalization of Marumsco Plaza can be a trend setter and the gold standard for North Woodbridge. We see numerous signs of activity along this stretch of Route 1, as well as improvements to Route 1 itself, and we encourage the owners of the plaza to set their sights high, and make the plaza one to be envied and copied as other properties are redeveloped,” said Woodbridge Potomac Communities Civic Association Chairman John Karhnak. “Don’t stop at ‘good enough’ or ‘that’s all that is required’ – make the plaza look like a place we and others will want to go and stay a while.”

A stretch of U.S. 1 between Mary’s Way to the Occoquan River will be widened from four to six lanes. Marumsco Plaza sits just outside the area identified for widening. Developers of the new shops proffered the land right-of-way for the future widening of the commuter highway in front of the shopping plaza.

Revitalizing Marumsco Plaza

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Three new businesses have their eyes set on Marumsco Plaza in Woodbridge. If they have their way, you’ll be able to stop in or simply drive through.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will hold public hearings on whether to allow the new shops — a Pollo Campero restaurant, a Walgreens Pharmacy, and a BB&T Bank – to be built in the area and have them to include drive-through lanes.

The county’s planning commission has given approval of the three new facilities to be built in the parking lot of Marumsco Plaza, which sits in the heart of Woodbridge’s busy U.S. 1 corridor. The Board of Supervisors must give final approval.

The bank and pharmacy would be located near the intersection of U.S. 1 and East Longview Drive, the former site of A Five Guys restaurant. the Pollo Campero restaurant would sit further north in the parking lot, according to county documents.

The shopping center already features a BB&T Bank branch with a drive-through teller complex in the parking lot and a walk-in bank inside the plaza. A newly constructed BB&T Bank at Marumsco Plaza would stand alone.`

The shopping center along busy U.S. 1, once the go-to shopping destination along the corridor, has seen a decline in business. However, in the past two years, Todos Supermarkets opened a new location in the plaza, as did a furniture retailer, and the Virginia ABC relocated a store to the shopping center which recently had its façade redone.

The shopping center sits in a redevelopment district inside the Potomac Communities. To improve traffic flow in the area, county officials plan to widen U.S. 1 between Mary’s Way – near the north end of Marumsco Plaza’s parking lot – and the Occoquan River.

Also in Woodbridge, officials will widen U.S. 1 between Neabsco Creek and Featherstone Road. Construction is expected to cost $30 million and take 24 months to complete.

Chamber Scholarship Deadline Extended

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — The Prince William Chamber has extended the deadline for its 2011-2012 Scholarship Program. Application packages are now due to the Chamber no later than Monday, March 19.

Through this program three scholarships of up to $2,500 each will be given to high school seniors who have shown a commitment to academic excellence and community involvement. Additionally, to be eligible, students must be an employee of a Chamber member company or the dependent of an employee.

“We have long supported academic success and giving back to the community through our scholarship program. Now, we are also able to reward the members of our local business community for all that they do to enhance the economy and quality of life in the Prince William region,” said Prince William Chamber President and CEO Rob Clapper.

The Prince William Chamber is the largest chamber in the Metro Washington, DC area, representing nearly 2,100 organizations and their more than 90,000 employees. Clapper noted that every employee of a member company is in fact a member of the Chamber, and can take part in programming and services.

“We look forward to learning more about the extraordinary young people living and working right here in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park and helping them to achieve educational success,” said Clapper.

Information on the scholarship, including the full criteria and application packet can be found at pwchamber.org by clicking the “Scholarship Info” button. The Chamber will also host its annual Frostbite Scramble golf event and luncheon on March 21 to raise funds for the program.

Members of the public are invited to participate. Registration information can be found online under “events” or by calling 703-368-6600.

-Press release

Pr. William Hires New Economic Development Director

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — After a nationwide search, Jeffrey A. Kaczmarek has been named the Economic Development Director for Prince William County because of his expertise, experience and documented successes in local economic development efforts. The Board of County Supervisors approved his hire during a special meeting on March 5, 2012, and he is expected to begin work April 2, 2012.

“Economic Development is a key strategic priority for the Board of County Supervisors,” said At-large Prince William Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart. “We have become one of the top areas for job growth in the country, and Mr. Kaczmarek has the talent and proven track record to allow us to continue our success.”

Kaczmarek comes to Prince William County from Kansas City, Mo., where he served as the President and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City from 2005-2011.

During his time in Kansas City, Kaczmarek had several accomplishments:

-Announced 135 projects with $2.1 billion in private sector investment and 14,000 new jobs;
-Oversaw a $4 million budget, with a 30-member agency;
-Helped to develop a new marketing brand for Kansas City – “America’s Creative Crossroads;”
-Developed a life sciences cluster in Kansas City, including the creation of an animal health corridor;
-Provided technical support to technology driven projects, including animal health, alternative energy and information technology;
-Facilitated the opening of a biotechnology micro-incubator;
-Launched the KCBizCare initiative to retain existing businesses and increase job growth; and
-Worked to develop partnerships with the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Council of Kansas City.

Newspaper Company Seeks to Shed Print Division

News & Messenger is published five days per week and serves Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park.

Prince William County, Va. — The parent company of the News and Messenger announced today it is looking to sell some of its newspaper properties.

Richmond-based Media General, Inc., which owns the local newspaper and its companion website, Insidenova.com and the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Tampa Tribune, stated the company is exploring the potential sale of newspaper operations. No specific newspapers in its collection of community and metro newspapers predominantly located in the southeast U.S. were named, and no timeframe was given as to when the properties could be sold.

In addition to newspapers, Media General also owns several TV and internet properties.

News & Messenger and Insidenova.com covers Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park.

Media General changed the name of the Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger to News & Messenger in 2008, consolidating both papers. Late last year, the Manassas-based newspaper reduced the number of days in circulation from seven to five days per week.

The organization in recent months has put more focus on its web presence, branding its web and print publications as part of the “Insidenova Network,” which includes staffordcountysun.com, belvoireagle.com, quanticosentryonline.com and their respective companion print publications.

Editor’s note: PotomacLocal.com publisher Uriah Kiser was a Media General employee from 2006 to 2010 and worked at News & Messenger and Insidenova.com.

TitleMax Coming to Parkway

TitleMax loans will open a new location in an old convenience store in Woodbridge, according to bills posted on the building.

Woodbridge, Va. — Changes are coming once again to a corner of Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge.

The Tienda Santa Rita convenience store that for at least 10 years sat near the intersection of the parkway and Russell Road, near Hillendale Drive, will be replaced by TitleMax Car Loans, according to bills posted in the building’s windows.

A fresh coat of blue and red paint has been applied to the building and work is taking place inside the small shop to ready the place for the opening of the loan store, which has yet to be announced.

TitleMax allows customers to borrow money against their car loans. The company was founded in 1998 and has expanded to 600 stores nationwide, according to their website.

Within the last two weeks, the Noble Gourmet restaurant and shop advertised a closing sale. The shop was dark this past weekend.

The restaurant, which specialized in Mediterranean cuisine, filled a space once occupied by a Minnieland Academy daycare facility.

Facebook Push Prompts Ice Cream Stand to Open Early

(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Dumfries, Va. — A popular ice cream stand opened for the season two weeks early.

Jo Jo’s Original Soft Serve in Dumfries opened for business Saturday. The shop on U.S. 1 was slated to open March 10.

“We took a poll on Facebook and a lot of our customers said they wanted us to open early,” a store employee said.

That poll was actually a push made by the owner of the store to get more fans to “like” their Facebook page. If the page received more than 6,000 fans, the shop would open in February.

The store Saturday also used their reach on Facebook to offer a special deal: the first 10 customers who purchased $10 or more received a $5 gift certificate.

Jo Jo’s opened Saturday for the first time since mid-November

Burger King to Reopen at Tacketts Mill

Lake Ridge, Va. — Whopper lovers in Lake Ridge can rejoice as Burger King looks to reopen their doors in that neighborhood.

Owners of the standalone Burger King restaurant that now sits boarded up in the Tacketts Mill Shopping Center at Old Bridge and Minnieville roads said they plan to reopen it early this summer.

The owner of the restaurant, Ron Devine, spoke to Prince William Occoquan Supervisor Mike May about the reopening the once popular fast food joint.

“We are all looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition. It is going to drastically improve and revitalize that part of Tackett’s Mill,” stated May in an email to PotomacLocal.com.

Men in hard hats were moving in and out of the building Wednesday morning, apparently preparing for the restaurant’s reopening.

When it reopens it will be in good company, as a McDonalds and Taco Bell restaurants also sit nearby.

Tacketts Mill opened in 1985 and was once home to a multi-screen movie theater. After years of decline, the shopping center has recently attracted a series of new tenants including a soon-to-be built urgent care emergency clinic, and it will also be the new home for the Lake Ridge Community Library.

Pack ‘N Ship Store Moving

Pack 'N Ship Store in on U.S. 1 in Stafford.

North Stafford, Va. — The owner of the Pack ‘N Ship Store in Aquia Park said he’s moving one building over in search of cheaper rent.

Store owner Doug Madison is moving within the Aquia Park Shopping Center on U.S. 1, just south of Va. 610 in North Stafford, and is headed to a new space next to Papa Johns pizza. The shopping center is home to the Zibebo 73 Italian restaurant, and is the new home of Revolution Cycles after they relocated from a shopping center across the street.

Madison said will save over $1,000 per month when he moves to his new location at 2769 Jefferson Davis Highway, unit 111. The move is expected to be complete by March 1.

Madison used to own Mailbox Junction on U.S. 1 in Woodbridge along with the Pack ‘N Ship Store, but sold the store last year to focus on his operation in Stafford. Most of his customers are now comprised of military and government workers who rely on him for their shipping needs, he said.

Also offered at the Pack N Ship store is mailbox and notary services, and fax machine and internet access.

PotomacLocal.com Launches Deals Pages

PL Deals on Facebook.

At PotomacLocal.com, one of our duties is to beat the drum for small business as loud as we can. After all, our readers come to us not only for the local news and events happening where they live, but to learn about special offers at the locally owned shops and restaurants around their corner.

More and more readers and businesses are turning to PotomacLocal.com every day, so we decided to given them a new, quick and easy, trusted place to find information on special offers from PotoamcLocal.com advertisers.

Potomac Local Deals is a free service on Facebook and Twitter that lists deals from local merchants who advertise with us. It’s an added value to our advertisers, who we cannot thank enough for their support for our organization — the area’s only independent source of local news in Dumfries, Prince William and Stafford counties.

We hope you will support the businesses that support PotomacLocal.com, and we hope you will like Potomac Local Deals on Facebook and Twitter.

-Uriah Kiser


Business Recycling Reports Due Feb. 15

The seal of Prince William County, Va.

All Prince William County businesses are asked to complete the annual recycling report by Feb. 15, 2012. The 15-question report can be accessed by clicking here. The report can be completed in 5-10 minutes preferably by the property manager or the person most familiar with trash and recycling services for the property. The Department of Public Works is conducting the annual program to gather information on recycling activities from all businesses and non-residential properties, a requirement of the Prince William County Code and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Recycling is mandatory for everyone in PrinceWilliamCounty.

Annually, about 58% of the County’s waste gets disposed each year at the Prince William County Landfill and the County encourages residents and businesses to do more to reduce, reuse, and recycle their waste so that we can conserve natural resources and landfill capacity for future generations.

Home-based businesses and businesses located within the cities of Manassas and ManassasPark or the incorporated towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, or Quantico are exempt from filing this report. The recycling information is needed in order for the County to comply with recycling reporting requirements established by the Commonwealth of Virginia under Code of Virginia, Section 10.1-1411 and 15.1 – 11.5.2. For more information on the annual non-residential recycling report or to learn more about ways that you can reduce, reuse and recycle in PrinceWilliamCounty, please visit www.pwcgov.org/trashandrecycling or call the Solid Waste Division at (703) 792-4670.

-Press release 

Staffing Agency Recognized

Stafford, Virginia, January 31, 2012 – Express Employment Professionals announced that it has been named to Inavero’s 2011 Best of Staffing™ Client list. Best of Staffing, presented in partnership with CareerBuilder, is the nation’s only satisfaction award that recognizes exceptional client service within the staffing industry.

“Less than one percent of staffing firms in the U.S. and Canada have been named to the Best of Staffing List for Client Satisfaction,” said James Matthews, franchise owner of the Express Stafford office. “We are proud and honored to be recognized for our efforts in this way.”

Staffing firms competing to make the Best of Staffing list underwent a rigorous client survey process followed by careful analysis of responses to determine satisfaction levels. Express received satisfaction ratings of 9 or 10 out of 10 from 74 percent of their clients, significantly higher than the industry’s average of 47 percent. Best of Staffing participants secured a place on the list by earning an average Net Promoter Score? that was more than double the national staffing industry benchmark for client satisfaction.

“These are exciting times as the staffing industry is helping lead the way to renewed economic vitality,” said Eric Gregg, Inavero’s Founder and CEO. “It has been estimated that staffing firms have helped to fill at least one quarter of the 93,000 new jobs opening up each month in North America over the past year. Along with the increase in demand for talented job candidates, companies engaging with staffing firms expect impeccable service more than they ever have. It is our hope that businesses searching for a staffing partner use the Best of Staffing List as a guide to firms that have truly outperformed the industry for the service that they provide.”

Inavero designs and manages satisfaction surveys for a global list of clients in more than 15 countries. Inavero’s proprietary technology platform gathers and reports staffing firm client and talent satisfaction information through online surveys. Inavero’s team analyzes satisfaction feedback from more than 300,000 staffing firm clients and talent each year, and serves at the American Staffing Association’s exclusive research partner. The firm’s surveys protect more than $4.3 billion in staffing firm annual revenue. Inavero’s complete Best of Staffing list can be viewed at www.bestofstaffing.com.

In addition to making the Best of Staffing list, Express’ International Headquarters was named a World Class Franchisor by FranSurvey for the sixth year in a row and Best Staffing Firm to Work for finalist by Staffing Industry Analysts.

The Stafford Express Employment Professionals franchise began operation in 2008 and serves Fredericksburg, Stafford, and the surrounding areas. Express provides expertise in evaluation hire, temporary staffing, professional search and human resources and works across a wide variety of industries. Worldwide, Express employs nearly 300,000 people each year and has more than 550 offices in four countries.

-Unedited press release 

IKEA Has Gift Cards for First 100 Customers Saturday

Woodbridge, Va. — IKEA on Saturday is celebrating 25 years in business in Woodbridge by offering free gift cards to the first 100 adult customers.

Store employees will hand out the gift cards, valued between $5 and $250 to the first 100 customers in line. They’ll also be things for children to do, like free face painting and a children eat free at the store’s restaurant between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Radio Disney is scheduled to appear at the store for music and giveaways on Sunday, said IKEA spokeswoman Wendy Rogers.

IKEA first opened its doors inside Potomac Mills mall after it opened in 1985 and used to sit where AMC Theaters is located. In 2002, the store opened at its current location outside the mall off of Telegraph Road.

The IKEA store in Woodbridge is the company’s only retail location in Virginia. It’s one of nearly 300 IKEA stores worldwide.

Woodbridge Chick-fil-A Sales Top in Nation

Woodbridge, Va. — It has one of the most confusing drive-through lanes of any of the fast food restaurant in the Potomac Communities, but that hasn’t kept away the thousands who clamor for chicken sandwiches.

Chick-fil-A on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge has been recognized at the top-performing restaurant in the fast food chain.

Restaurant owner/operator Luis Hevia asked PotomacLocal.com not disclose the store’s annual sales figures for 2011, but did say sales rose over several million dollars in 2011.

Chick-fil-A Woodbridge spokeswoman Heidi Dykstra said the location is tops in the country because of where it sits.

“We are blessed with a tremendous location that is so close to I-95 and Potomac Mills. Many of the restaurants located near us do very well here,” said Dykstra.

If any given Saturday afternoon at this fast food restaurant is any indication, Chick-fil-A in Woodbridge does very well with its faithful who order fried and grilled chicken sandwiches with signature waffle fries. In recent months the company has rolled out their version of a spicy chicken sandwich, specialty soup, lighter options like salads, all coupled with breakfast served six days a week – all Chick-fil-A stores are closed on Sundays.

The food is so popular, Prince William police officers are often called on Saturdays to direct traffic in and out of the parking lot, ensuring drivers properly navigate a forced loop around the restaurant’s parking before they can enter the queue for the drive-through window.

There is discussion of opening a second Chick-fil-A location in the Woodbridge area, however, it’s not yet known where it will be built. Dykstra said a new Chick-fil-A will soon be opened this spring in the Springfield area off Backlick Road. Another location in the Potomac Communities sits in on Va. 610 in North Stafford.

Since 1967, Chick-fil-A has opened 1,540 restaurants across the U.S., and continues to close on Sundays, according to its website.

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