Small and Medium Business Recruiting and Development
- Aggressively promote all the tools that the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) here in the city has to offer for existing businesses.
- Actively support and promote the existing Small Business Incubator Program, to attract new clients and to place graduating clients within the city.
- Encourage an active merchant association(s) that promotes a shopper-friendly mind-set in the major business nodes (starting with Downtown).
The City of Fairfax Economic Development Authority (EDA) has created a website that serves as a toolkit for the business community. It includes economic information about the city, industry resources, a zoning guide for businesses, available retail and office space and much more. There are links to the Mason Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at George Mason University that assists small business owners in Fairfax with monthly one-on-one counseling services at no cost.
The Mason SBDC assists hundreds of local businesses every year. In conjunction with the EDA, the City incentivizes graduates from this business incubator to locate in Fairfax. Check out the Mason Enterprise website here.
- Support destination draws to the city, whether they are entertainment, cultural, social and/or historical.
- Implement an economic revitalization program (PACE) to upgrade our commercial space, with competitive amenities in order to attract prospective employers.
- Implement a strong, serious communications plan which encompasses all the city has to offer.
Targeted Mixed-Use Development
- Re-commit to development in those select areas indicated in the Master Plan. This is the only way we will attract employers and employment to the city.
- Support mixed-use developments to attract retail, business and residential.
Check out this Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments video. Smart Growth Video
• Implement a new zoning ordinance to make it more efficient and effective for developers and city staff to achieve our collective vision for the city.
Partnership is Key
The locally supported Mason Enterprise Center (MEC) has produced measurable results since it’s inception.
Watch video of GMU and the City’s efforts. (June 10, 2014)
City of Fairfax Councilmember Michael DeMarco said MEC is a big factor in why the city is being called a go-to place for entrepreneurs.
“Several years ago Forbes Magazine published its list of ‘America’s Top 25 Towns to Live Well.’ The City of Fairfax placed third on that list,” he said. “Here is what they said about Fairfax: ‘A great place for entrepreneurs. Fairfax has the second highest number of sole-proprietors of any place measured on our list, [one of the highest numbers of small businesses per capita], and as a result, its [business] start-ups per capita rank first [of every city, town or borough of under 100,000 people].'”
“This type of recognition does not come without a lot of hard work on the part of a great many people,” DeMarco said. “In partnership, the Mayor, City Council, George Mason University, the Mason Enterprise Center, the Economic Development Authority, the business community and many others have a common goal to foster and promote economic development within the city.”
“Through the varied resources provided by the many programs at Mason Enterprise Center, many businesses have thrived and contributed to the city’s position as one of the leading small and entrepreneurial business centers—not only in the region, but as Forbes pointed out, in the country. And this recent recognition of MEC as one of the top 20 global university business incubators is another indicator of our great success,” DeMarco said.