It’s been a rough year all around and local businesses faced a difficult recovery from the pandemic, but there were also some islands of good news as well.
ALXnow asked the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP) and The Chamber ALX what they saw as the highs and lows for local business this year.
For AEDP, these were some of the highlights from this year:
- Patagonia opening in the Old Town Theater
- Chewish Deli / Mas Seafood — a fishmonger partnering with a food truck for a small brick and mortar location, opening where Pendleton Carryout used to be
- ALX Community opening a second location on the waterfront
- American Physical Therapy Association soft opening a new headquarters at Potomac Yard, with a full ribbon cutting planned in January.
- West Alex, a gateway to Alexandria at the King/Beauregard Streets intersection, and Silver Diner opening in the West End
- “Watching 530 First Street, Edens’ mixed use project that broke ground three years ago (March 2017), come to life as tenants like Sisters Thai, Wooboi Chicken, and Row House joined Oak Steakhouse in Old Town North.”
Joe Haggerty, President and CEO of The Chamber ALX, agreed that APTA’s new headquarters was a highlight, as well as West Alex opening. Haggerty also singled out:
- Carpenter Shelter opening a new facility to serve families and homeless individuals
- Alexandria Restaurant Partners announcing Ada’s on the River, planned to open sometime next year
- Home Grown Restaurants expand take out in Del Ray and Carlyle. Also, delivered food to workers at voting sites.
Both Haggerty and AEDP acknowledged that there were tragic closures of some local businesses. Haggerty said the one that came to mind was La Tasca, which filed for bankruptcy in May. Haggerty also said the decline of revenue for restaurants, retail and hotel is also a new major challenge.
AEDP said some of the other sad farewells this year for Alexandria were:
- The Christmas Attic
- Pendleton Carryout
- Bluprint Chocolatiers
- Potomac Yard retailers: Shoppers, Pier One, Thomasville, NY&Co., DressBarn, which AEDP said are making way for next phase of retail in the City’s Innovation District.
Staff photo by James Cullum
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!
In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!
We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.