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Covanta waste-to-energy plant fully recovers from devastating fire

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Occoquan Optical to celebrate one year in business

OCCOQUAN — (Press Release)  This Thursday, October 4, one of Occoquan’s newer businesses, Occoquan Optical, will celebrate their one year anniversary in town. 

In recognition of this occasion they are hosting a special event from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the 4th that will feature a pop-up shop from fellow Occoquan merchant Details of Occoquan, a trunk show from Occoquan Optical’s best selling ladies line, CAROLINE ABRAM, and special pricing on makeup from a local representative of the company that created Lipsense. 

And, of course, there will be food, treats, and beverages.  Additionally, Thursday through Saturday, Occoquan Optical will offer FREE single vision lenses (or 50% discounts on anything other than that) with any frame purchase.  

Occoquan Optical is located at 125 Mill Street in the Riverwalk Shops complex adjacent to Madigan’s Waterfront Restaurant in the historic town of Occoquan.

Growing healthcare industry, entrepreneurship focus of new Stafford economic development director

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George Mason University, Virginia Serious Game Institute and CenterFuse to collaborate

Strengthening Resources to Advance Business Startups

George Mason University, the Virginia Serious Game Institute (GMU/VSGI) and  CenterFuse CoWork Begin a Collaborative Partnership

Manassas, VA (Press Release) – George Mason University, the Virginia Serious Game Institute GMU/VSGI and CenterFuse CoWork (CenterFuse) are pleased to announce our new strategic partnership to develop sustainable social and economic value with the assistance of our resources located within GMU/VSGI and CenterFuse.  Our mutual goals are to advance and strengthen the business resources of GMU/VSGI and CenterFuse for high-tech startups, game-startups and small-business startups. Simultaneously, GMU/VSGI and CenterFuse will support research, educational, promotional, and strategic business partnership goals.

Through this collaboration, we seek to support the growth of Prince William County, the City of Manassas and surrounding area entrepreneurs by being the nucleus for where innovation happens.  Our collaborative mission will be focused on creating an environment to accelerate the vision of our startup companies by promoting innovative ideas through creativity, inspiration and strategy, commented Dr. Olivia M. Blackmon, Director of Corporation Outreach at George Mason University – Virginia Serious Game Institute.

“We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with GMU/VSGI. This is a wonderful platform to expand opportunities for both organizations to have access to educational forums, workshops, mentoring, business plan development, idea creation, and shared events”, commented Jackie Krick, CenterFuse Co-Founder and Partner.

To kick off our partnership, GMU/VSGI and CenterFuse will host an open house event for startups October 25th at CenterFuse.  Register to attend online at Eventbrite, event name: Get Serious. Get Startup.

The Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI), established in 2014, is located on the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus in Prince William County.  VSGI provides hands-on training, certification, research and development assistance, as well as rapid prototype development for the U.S. government.

CenterFuse, founded in 2016 is a unique, shared coworking space located in the heart of Historic Downtown Manassas at Center and Main Streets with a mission to empower entrepreneurs and startup small business ventures.

BadWolf’s ‘go back to our roots’ move means more small-batch, artisan brews

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Metro in doubt and CTE on the rise, Prince William rethinks economic development

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Prince William’s ‘moonshot goal’ to increase commercial tax base too ambiguous

On September 12th the Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosted its Policy Committee Meeting where we heard and engaged in a conversation with senior Prince William County Staff on the topic of the County’s Strategic Plan and more importantly, discussed the County’s “Moonshot Goal”.

The “Moonshot Goal” is to increase the percentage of commercial tax revenues to 35% of the County’s existing tax receipts. It is the only quantifiable goal in the approved plan, and it is ambiguous. The approved plan did not specify whether the goal was limited to real property taxes or to all taxes paid by businesses. The business community’s share of taxes is currently about 16% of all county real estate taxes, and roughly 24% of all general fund taxes collected.

In 2017 when this goal was first approved by the Board of County Supervisors, the Chamber’s Board of Directors was opposed to it…and, after hearing from County Staff on the “ins and outs” of the proposal, reaffirms that position.

An economic development goal for reducing the tax burden on county residents is laudable but goals should be achievable, strategic and measureable. Rather than relying on real estate taxes at a time when businesses are moving substantial portions of their infrastructure to the internet, the county needs to carefully review its policies and procedures to be sure that the government is strategically targeting those things that are important to the community and consistent with its long term goals. That will mean in large part that the county will update outdated policies and procedures to adapt to the new economy and diversify County revenue streams. In addition to the 35% goal being unattainable, focusing on a specific number for property taxes, like the “Moonshot Goal” will not create a diversified tax base, and will simply add to the cost of consumer goods and services within the community.

The 35% is a measurement, not a strategic goal. We strongly reaffirm our position from 2017 and encourage the Board of County Supervisors to revisit this issue and replace the measurement with a set of achievable, sustainable and measurable objectives for economic growth that will facilitate continued success for the business community and our residents.

Sincerely,

Betty Dean
Chairman
Prince William Chamber of Commerce

Mayor Parrish: What IBM saw in Manassas 50 years ago Micron sees, too

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Prince William Service Authority picks up achievement award

WOODBRIDGE — (Press Release)  The Prince William County Service Authority was recognized on September 12 for winning the 2018 Virginia SPQA Achievement Award from the U.S. Senate Productivity and Quality Award (SPQA) Program.

SPQA uses the national Malcolm Baldrige Excellence Framework to set rigorous quality standards for Performance Excellence and to help organizations cultivate continuous improvement at every level. Earlier this year, a team of SPQA examiners assessed the Service Authority against the framework and visited the water and wastewater utility’s facilities for two days to observe and get a deeper understanding of its processes.

“The pursuit of performance excellence is no easy task,” wrote U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark R. Warner in a letter of congratulations to the Service Authority. “We commend SA for its ongoing commitment to attaining excellence and for the foresight to recognize the values of self-assessment and of independent and expert feedback.”

The Service Authority was honored at the two-day Forum for Excellence at the Stafford campus of Mary Washington University.

“The Service Authority constantly seeks ways to enhance its services to customers and the community,” said General Manager Dean Dickey. “We have adopted the Baldrige Framework to help us continuously improve as an organization. We are very proud of this award and all it represents.”

Leaders preserve The Winery at Bull Run, one of the region’s last working farms

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Manassas Regional welcomes new fixed-base operator, Chantilly Air

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Manassas hemp store to celebrate 1-year anniversary, aims to expand

MANASSAS — District Hemp Botanicals will celebrate its one year anniversary in October.

Located at 9023 Church Street in Downtown Manassas, District Hemp Botanicals specializes in hemp products with naturally occurring cannabinoids. District Hemp Botanicals is the only store of its kind in the Washington, D.C. region, said owner Barbara Biddle.

The store attracts customers from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

District Hemp Botanicals carries a variety of naturally-based hemp products, from oils and lotions to different edibles. Biddle, saw this as a viable business opportunity after sampling and doing some market tests on the products. She aims to serve customers that are looking to relieves symptoms such as pain, sleeplessness, and discomfort without the unwanted side effects.

All products carried by the store are 100% hemp-based and botanical, giving their customers a natural alternative to meet their specific needs.

Biddle said that they are already considering opening a second store in the Washington, D.C. area in 2019 and have already begun meetings to secure a new space.

In honor of their anniversary on October 27, District Hemp Botanicals will give away hemp oil giveaway to their first 50 customers that day.

National Day of Service participants donate repair services to Vietnam veteran and wife

National Day of Service participants Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia have donated repair services to a Vietnam veteran and his wife. From the press release:

Vietnam Veteran and Wife will Benefit as Locally-Owned Mr. Handyman Franchise Donates Repair Services on Sept.7, 2018

Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia Participating in 2018 National Day of Service, Giving Back and Bringing the Community Together

WASHINGTON – Sept. 5, 2018 – As part of the National Day of Service, technicians from Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia – Arlington to Haymarket and Mr. Handyman of Fairfax and Eastern Loudoun will donate over 300 hours of repair and maintenance jobs on Friday, Sept.7, all without collecting a single penny in labor or material costs. Mr. Handyman, a Neighborly company, is part of the nation’s leading repair, maintenance and improvement franchise.

Mr. Handyman’s volunteer staff will visit the home of military veteran Joe Saitta and his wife, Sarah. Joe served in the 101st Airborne Division unit. As a former Combat Medic with 2/502 Joe received various citations for his incredible service inducing: The Silver Star, Army Commendation Ribbon with Valor Device, Purple Heart-Brave Eagle Coin and the Combat Medical Badge amongst others.

During his service, Joe was wounded in the Ashau Valley where he sustained wounds throughout his body. Sarah, who stands as a cancer survivor, is disabled as well with debilitating nerve damage in her legs.

Joe and Sarah are life members at VFW Post 1503. Mr. Handyman’s services will include repairing the rear deck, landscaping, power washing, remodeling Joe’s bathroom, installing grab bars and a tile backsplash in Sarah’s bathroom, replacing the rotted front door jamb and installing a front porch to help the Saittas live safely in their home.

This project is part of a national effort by Mr. Handyman where technicians from coast to coast are encouraged to reach out to a special local charity, organization or individual in need to offer their services. Jobs often range from fixing up living areas, kitchens, bathrooms or anything else that needs refurbishment and renovation. All projects are completed in honor of the 17th anniversary of 9/11.

“We are thrilled to be sharing our services with Joe and Sarah as part of Mr. Handyman’s National Day of Service campaign,” said Jo McCabe, owner of Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia – Arlington to Haymarket. “We are excited to be part of a national campaign that allows us to give back to our community, and we are excited to help those in need.”

The Sept.11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is a federally recognized day of service aimed at honoring the victims, survivors and those who served in response to the attacks and transforming the tragedy into a day of unity, empathy and positive service. Launched in 2002 by the non-profit MyGoodDeed, National Day of Service is the nation’s largest annual day of charitable engagement, with nearly 30 million Americans stepping out each September 11 to volunteer and support charities in honor of 9/11, according to 9/11 Day.

This marks the tenth consecutive year Mr. Handyman has rallied around the cause, donating more than 7,000 of labor to groups in need over the past nine years. The franchise will use its skilled technicians’ time this year to give back to local communities and bring people together for a positive cause.

“Our brand is made up of local entrepreneurs who thrive in their communities,” said Mr. Handyman President J.B. Sassano. “This campaign allows our franchisees to band together to give back to the local communities that they serve every day, especially during this time when we are honoring the lives and memories of 9/11 heroes. We look forward to bringing people together all across the nation for a positive cause.”

About Mr. Handyman®

Mr. Handyman®, a Neighborly company, is North America’s leading commercial and residential property maintenance, repair and improvement company. With more than 200 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, Mr. Handyman is recognized as one of the fastest growing service-oriented franchise systems and handyman service. Acquired by Dwyer Group® in 2015, Mr. Handyman is part of Neighborly, a community of professional service experts, leveraging Dwyer Group’s 19 service brands, 17 of which support a different franchise under the following service marks: Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, The Grounds Guys®, Five Star Painting®, Molly Maid®, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Handyman®, Mr. Rooter® (Drain Doctor® in the UK), ProTect Painters®, Rainbow International®, Locatec®, Window Genie®, Neighborly®, Bright & Beautiful®, and Countrywide Grounds Maintenance®. Collectively, these independent franchise concepts offer customers worldwide a broad base of residential and commercial services. In addition, Dwyer Group operates glass shops in New England under the Portland Glass® and Cumberland County Glass® brand names. Additional information about Neighborly can be found at www.GetNeighborly.com. For more information about Mr. Handyman, visit www.MrHandyman.com and to learn about franchising opportunities with the brand, visit http://franchise.mrhandyman.com.

Central Park Fun-Land celebrates 21st birthday with ‘biggest investment in park history’

Central Park Fun-Land is celebrating its 21st birthday with its biggest investment in park history. In 2019, Fun Land will be purchasing state of the art go-karts and a Grand Prix go-kart track.

“At this time, we don’t have an exact estimate on the cost for the go-karts; however we are looking to purchase around 40 of them to replace the fleet we currently have,” said Thomas Boswell, Fun-Land Birthday Sales and Marketing Manager. The estimated cost of the new three-level go-kart track is $1.2 million dollars. 

From the press release:

Fun-Land is now celebrating its 21st birthday with its biggest expenditure investment in park history. In early 2018, Fun-Land began to build on the new vision of growth, by installing new attractions around the park to enhance the guest experience. The vision for this year has been focused around significant impact to the inside including the addition of our new virtual reality video game Hologate. In addition seven new rock climbing structures for all ages were added incorporating a Clip ‘n Climb design. This summer we also introduced our new SBF spinning roller coaster Twist-n-Shout which has given over 43,000 rides since opening in June.

In 2019 Fun Land will be purchasing an all go-kart fleet. We will be purchasing 40 state of the art go-karts, for a better racing experience for all guests. Accompanying the go-kart expansion will be a new state of the art Grand Prix go-kart track. This raceway will now feature a three-layer design.  Pending approval from the City of Fredericksburg, the overhaul is expected to open early next spring, the expansion will make it the first track in Virginia to feature a multi-layered raceway.

Central Park Fun-Land has not limited its community involvement in any area, and is growing to be a community partner in the entire Fredericksburg region. As a result and better reflection of the park’s growth, Central Park Fun-Land will be changing our name to Fun Land of Fredericksburg beginning in early 2019. We will begin a brand new image to better represent our park changes, an impact on the local community. Our name change will focus our branding the park on the new vision of growth and positive community feedback. The change will accompanied by a new logo, consistent theme, and signage throughout the building that will be announced at a later date.

Historic Manassas Inc. out at CenterFuse, Laura Coates taking lead

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Manassas Regional Airport sees continued growth, $10 million expansion

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Kaiser plans new facilities in Haymarket and Stafford, but future of $200 million Woodbridge hub uncertain

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Copters to cars: Micron’s $3 billion expansion makes Manassas a leader in autonomous vehicles

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D.C. restaurateur opens new joint at Gateway Promenade in Gainesville

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