Alexandria, VA

As part of The Chamber ALX’s efforts to advocate for local businesses, the organization has put together a survey for local business owners seeking their feedback on what kind of resources they need to survive.

The new survey asks local businesses things like whether they’ve accessed financial resources yet and what specific rules and regulations need to be changed to help local businesses.

The survey also asks locals to share stories about how the pandemic affected them and ways local leadership either helped or let them down.

“If applicable, please share any real world experiences,” the chamber said. “This can be how the pandemic has impacted your business, personal/professional balance, concerns, hopes, things our elected leaders missed the mark on or actions that they took that really made a positive impact.”

Local businesses have faced a difficult year, with several local favorites closing and full economic recovery likely to be a several year effort.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Even if you’re secluded at home, The Chamber ALX wants to give you a chance to explore Alexandria: even if it’s with a small pewter icon buying local landmarks and trying to cheat your friends in a new cutthroat spin on a classic game.

ALX-opoly is a new twist on — well, a popular board game The Chamber won’t reference for legal reasons. The board features local sites like the George Washington Masonic National Memorial and the Carlyle Lions.

“Roll the dice and travel to historical landmarks from the Waterfront to the West End,” the Chamber ALX said in an email. “No matter which space you land on, you’ll see how this city charmed residents and visitors from around the world. Explore one of our nation’s most fascinating cities from the comfort of your living room. An Alexandria themed spin to your favorite board game!”

The game is currently only for-sale in bulk sets of 10 or more boxes, priced at $35 per box, but will go on sale as individual games starting Jan. 4 for $40 per game.

Lovie Patish, Director of Events & Sponsorship for The Chamber ALX, said the game is an effort to keep folks aware of what’s around the city even while community members might be uncomfortable traveling with increasing COVID-19 figures.

“It will be a bit longer before members of the community are comfortable [visiting places],” said Patish. “This is something fun to engage the whole family.”

Each space features a different Alexandria landmark or street, like King Street or Mount Vernon avenue. The game also comes with custom pewter pieces for the game, like a small town crier, the Tall Ship Providence, a little pineapple, a horse and buggy, and a construction hat.

“We tried to get creative,” Patish said. “We’re very excited about it.”

The game also features player cards with local events like the Scottish Christmas Parade — which was canceled this year — and three landmarks highlighting local Black history.

Orders can be placed by emailing: [email protected]

Images courtesy The Chamber ALX

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In a year dominated by the coronavirus, Inova Alexandria Hospital was named the overall business of the year in the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s annual Best In Business Awards.

The chamber’s annual event, now in its 27th year, was held virtually over the course of eight hours on Friday, Oct. 1. Nominees for the awards rotated into the United Way building in Old Town to receive their awards, which were live streamed on Facebook.

Dr. Tammy Mann, President & CEO of The Campagna Center, was also named the 2020 Business Leader of the Year.

The following awards were presented:

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Morning Notes

Beyer Criticizes Trump Defense of Wisconsin Shooter — “The President stands at the White House podium and defends a man, his supporter, charged with murdering two Americans. This is not surprising, but it is a dark moment for the country. It puts the lie to Trump’s talk of “law and order” — his rhetoric incites violence and murder.” [Twitter]

City Hall Lit Purple for Opioid Awareness — “To raise awareness and understanding of addiction prevention and treatment on International Overdose Awareness Day, August 31, and National Recovery Month in September, the City is lighting City Hall purple with spotlights tonight through September 1.” [Facebook]

Free COVID Testing Tomorrow at William Ramsay Elementary School — “Important information for families regarding free COVID-19 testing at Ramsay Elementary School on Wednesday, September 2 from 4-7pm.” [Twitter]

9 More COVID Cases in Alexandria — “The latest update from the City on COVID-19: Positive tests up 9 to 3,378 in the City 7-day Positivity Rate steady at 4.5% 0 new hospitalizations. Still safer at home, wash hands, wear masks and support our essential workers.” [Twitter]

Fire Department Selling Breast Cancer Awareness Shirts — “AFD breast cancer awareness shirts are now available for purchase online. Orders will be shipped at the end of September, and a portion of the proceeds will go towards the Vola Lawson Memorial Fund.” [Twitter]

Chamber of Commerce Hosting Free Virtual Legislative Reception Next Week — “The highlight of the event will be the release of our 2021 Legislative Agenda, which outlines our advocacy priorities for 2021 and beyond.  In addition, Chamber leaders and elected officials will be on hand to answer YOUR questions.” [Alexandria Chamber of Commerce]

Today’s Weather — During the day, “Cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 81F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.” At night, “Mostly cloudy during the evening. A few showers developing late. Low 71F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Tanning Salon Manager In Training — “We are looking for outgoing, energetic positive leaders to accurately represent our brand, develop sales teams with a focus on increasing profits, and increasing both customer and employee satisfaction.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Bookstore Operator Denies Raiding Little Free Libraries for Stock — “A Nextdoor site dedicated to Del Ray in Alexandria has been roiled by allegations that the operator of a nonprofit used bookstore slated to open next week in Alexandria was visiting Little Free Libraries to obtain stock for his shop.” [Washingtonian]

City Extends Public Feedback Deadline on Accessory Dwelling Units — “The public is invited to watch the City’s latest presentation on ADUs and provide feedback through Aug 19 here. There will be a virtual open house on ADUs scheduled before the Planning Commission and City Counsel hearings this fall.” [Alexandria Living]

Tammy Mann Chosen as Business Leader of the Year by Chamber of Commerce — “The Chamber ALX is thrilled to announce that Dr. Tammy Mann, President & CEO of The Campagna Center, has been selected as the 2020 Business Leader of the Year. She will be honored at the annual Best in Business Awards, presented by Burke & Herbert Bank, on October 1, 2020.” [Alexandria Chamber]

Alexandrian Named 15th Chief of Navy Reserve — “Vice Adm. John B. Mustin relieved Vice Adm. Luke M. McCollum as Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander, Navy Reserve Force, during a change of command ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, Aug. 7.” [Zebra]

Animal Welfare League Saves Raccoon — “We’re so glad some Alexandria workers spotted this raccoon on top of their truck and waited until our Animal Services Officers arrived so he could be safely returned to the wild. Officer Stanback was able to safely remove the little raccoon and release him after confirming that he hadn’t sustained any injuries.” [Facebook]

Torpedo Factory Hosting Virtual Conversation With Artist — “The events and public space activation team in the Office of the Arts is working with local artist Melanie Kehoss for a mini exhibition in Torpedo Factory Art Center.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Thunderstorms likely in the morning. Then a chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 82F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Locally heavy rainfall possible.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Construction Manager — “The Construction Manager is directly responsible for managing the safe, efficient and quality production of a team of Outdoor Construction Crews, equipment, materials and workmanship for small and large scale residential projects.” [Indeed.com]

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Morning Notes

‘Good. Works. Alexandria’ Giving Event is Today — “Alexandria’s stores and restaurants will give a percentage of their sales to the charities of the customers’ choice.  For every lunch or dinner ordered OR purchase made, we will share those profits with clientele’s charity of choice located on the Spring2ACTion website.” [Old Town Business Association]

Here’s What Services Will Open Under Phase 1  — “As the region proceeds through the reopening phases the Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities, City of Alexandria, VA has released the schedule of how recreation services, facilities and programs will be restored.” [Facebook]

Beyer Opposes Trump’s July 4 Parade Proposal — “Members of Congress representing the national capital region strongly oppose Trump’s plans to hold another large military parade in Washington DC on July Fourth as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the area hard. This is a bad idea and could put many people in danger.” [Twitter]

ARHA Opening Waiting List for Two Days Only — “If you are looking for housing in Alexandria and you fit the criteria, apply. The list is open for only 2 days (June 1 and 2).” [Facebook]

Volunteer Alexandria Needs Help Preparing Meal Distribution — “Help feed your neighbors on Thursday, May 28, 3:30 to 6:00 P.M. Washington Street UMC, ALIVE!, ARHA, Royal Restaurant, Charles Houston Recreation Center, and Volunteer Alexandria have come together to offer meals/groceries for area residents. Bring your mask and join us to help with set up, meal/grocery distribution, and clean up.” [Facebook]

Bishop Ireton High School Holds Commencement Online — “Congratulations to the extremely talented Class of 2020! So very proud of you!! You will be missed!” [Facebook]

ALIVE! Thanks Great Harvest Bread Co. for Weekly Donation — “Thank you Great Harvest Bread of Alexandria for your twice weekly donations of fresh baked loaves for ALIVE!’s Truck-to-Trunk and our community partners.” [Facebook]

Chamber of Commerce Hosting Biz Reopening Webinar Today — “Join us for The Chamber ALX’s latest series, ‘Reopening: The New Normal’ (at 11 .m.). Each 30-minute session will feature a different business, sharing what their customers and the community can expect from them in Phase One and beyond. [Chamber of Commerce]

New Job: Police Communications Specialist — “The Police Communications Specialist position plays a critical role in the success of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA’s) Metro Transit Police Department. Police Communication Specialists are responsible for answering and dispatching the appropriate Police, Fire, or Emergency Medical Services personnel for calls received by Metro customers and employees.” [Indeed]

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As Alexandria moves toward the first phase of reopening its economy on May 29, the city’s health department is developing a new accreditation program to ensure compliance with enforced restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Alexandria Health Department initiative is currently labeled as the “ALX Promise,” and it’s a partnership with Visit Alexandria, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and business groups, according to AHD Environmental Health Manager Rachel Stradling.

The pandemic closed about half of the city’s 860 permitted food establishments, and many of them will not reopen, Stradling said.

Business owners who participate in a seminar and sign a pledge to adhere to the restrictions will get a decal to post in their front windows. They will have to commit to training their staffs on protocols, including wearing face masks, hand washing, disinfection and social distancing. Participating businesses will then be advertised on the Visit Alexandria website.

“You can have a decal in your window that says that you’ve gone above and beyond,” Stradling told ALXnow. “That’s hugely exciting news. It takes us a good six months to get an accreditation scheme in place and we’re basically doing this in a little over a week.”

Stradling added, “So there’ll be a training component, and then they’ll sign a pact at the end to say that they’ll maintain those standards in their business, that they will put their staff and their community first.”

In Alexandria, the first phase means that restaurants can have no indoor dining, but dining will be allowed at 50% capacity in outdoor areas.

Additionally, the department is now preparing for the second phase of reopening the economy. In the meantime, Stradling and her staff are continuing to do virtual inspections.

“Hopefully in phase two we’ll be able to get out there more in person,” she said.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Morning Notes

Beyer Co-Sponsors COVID-19 Testing Legislation — “NEW: today I introduced bipartisan legislation to boost innovation for COVID-19 testing with my @HouseScience colleague @RepAGonzalez.” [Twitter]

Chamber of Commerce Hosting Virtual General Assembly Breakfast Thursday — “Please join us on May 21st for a timely virtual conversation with our General Assembly delegation.  The delegation will discuss the 2020 session, Virginia’s COVID-19 response and the challenges currently facing the Commonwealth.” [Chamber of Commerce]

Sheriff’s Deputy Recognizes Memorial Day, Virtually Colors With Kids — “With Memorial Day approaching, Deputy Smith talks about the role and responsibilities of the U.S. military and what it means to be a service member.” [Facebook]

Police Recognize Peace Officer Memorial Day — “This past Friday was Peace Officer Memorial Day. Sgt. Harrington took a quiet moment alone at the Alexandria Police Fallen Officers Memorial to record a message. We remember and honor all those across the country that have died in the line of duty.” [Twitter]

Trinity United Methodist Church Collecting Food Today — “Reminder that Trinity United Methodist Church will be collecting non-perishable goods in our parking lot each Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. near the food trucks. The food is delivered to Rising Hope United Methodist Church to support their food pantry for the homeless and low-income families in this time of need.” [Rising Hope UMC]

United Community Pantry Sees 500% Increase Since February — “This mobile food distribution program is critical to help our neighbors in need – many of whom simply cannot reach us at our food pantry.” [Zebra]

Dog-Themed Del Ray T-Shirt Helps Restaurants — “All sales of the $25 t-shirt which are available in purple and green are going toward the employee funds at Del Ray restaurants.” [Zebra]

New Job: Direct Response Copywriter — “We’re looking for Copywriters of all experience levels, be it 2 years of experience or 30; if you can write compelling copy that can inspire anyone to do anything, this role is for you.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Governor Asked Northern Virginia Leaders for Letter on Stalling Reopening — “He asked for this formal communication to demonstrate unity across the diverse Northern Virginia region, which is critical to a continued successful mitigation strategy… He appreciates their willingness to work with him on this responsible, data-driven and health-based approach.” [Washington Post]

City Sets Up Frozen Meal Delivery System For Residents Aged 60+ — “Spouses of individuals over age 60 and disabled adults living with someone aged 60 and older also may be eligible. Meals are prepared by Jeffery’s Catering and delivered twice a week by Senior Services of Alexandria. A total of 14 meals are delivered each week. For more information call 703-746-5999.” [Facebook]

City Council to Discuss CARES Act Assistance at Tuesday Meeting — “Consideration of the Proposed Plans for use of Federal CARES Act Funding for Residential Rental Assistance, Food Security and Small Business Assistance and COVID-19 Related Expenses of the City Government.” [City of Alexandria]

ACPS Gives Out 30K Meals During Shutdown — “With volunteers who register through Volunteer Alexandria, the operation runs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with significant safety measures in place for packing and distribution. Meals consist of breakfast, lunch and snack and often include fresh fruits and vegetables and sandwiches for multiple days.” [Alexandria Living]

Chamber of Commerce Announces 40 Under 40 Honorees — “The 40 under 40 program was established in 2016 by the Chamber to recognize top men and women, age 40 and under, engaged in a variety of fields including business, technology, nonprofit management, civic life, public service, education, and the arts, who are shaping Alexandria for the future.” [Facebook]

New Job: Remote Contact Tracer — “In this role you will call people diagnosed with COVID-19, establish all contacts of this person, and proceed to call and maintain ongoing communication with every contact. This includes virtual needs checks and referral to community resources as needed. This contact tracing initiative is in tandem with statewide-wide efforts to increase testing, improve communication and knowledge of effective strategies to reduce transmission, and implementation of isolation and quarantine.” [Adecco]

Mayor Adjusts Family Rules for Mother’s Day, Lets Wife Pick Takeout — “Mother’s Day means that the modified democracy we have developed for carry-out goes out the door and Mom gets to pick.‬” [Facebook]

Visit Alexandria Recommends Bookmarking a Trip — “In the #SpiritOfTravel, bookmark Alexandria’s waterfront parks and trails to visit later. This photo by Carol Jean Photography is a stunning example.” [Facebook]

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Morning Notes

Southern Towers Residents Prepared to Strike Over Rent — “Their goal is 1,000 signatures from the 2,300 total units. They want management to cancel rent until one month after the pandemic ends, address safety and cleaning concerns, and create a sliding scale for future rent payments based on income.” [WAMU]

Less Than Half of Alexandrians Will Get Full Stimulus Checks — “SmartAsset estimates that full stimulus check would go to just 49.57% of households in the City of Alexandria, and 65.92% would get some level of stimulus check. The full check of $1,200 would be sent to individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of up to $75,000 and a reduced benefit would be sent to individuals earning up to $99,000, at which point it phases out completely.” [Alexandria Living]

Market 2 Market Del Ray Caters Food Gifted to Alexandria Hospital — “We had the wonderful opportunity to partner with Cafe Pizzaiolo and Market 2 Market Del Ray and our friends Trinchero Family Estates and to provide dinner for the teams working around the clock at Inova Alexandria Hospital this afternoon!” [Facebook]

The Chamber’s Virtual Professional Women’s Network Mixer is Tonight — “We can all agree that these are unprecedented times we are experiencing now, and connections are now more important than ever so please make plans to join us on Thursday, April 9th for a slightly different version of our wildly popular Professional Women’s Network Coffee & Connections.” [Chamber of Commerce]

Del Ray Farmers’ Market Canceled This Weekend — “There is no market at 4 Mile Run this weekend, but Tom (and our other vendors) will be at the #delrayfarmersmarket on Saturday so you can pick up your pre-orders!” [Facebook]

Virtual Mindfulness Workshop Tonight — “Stress is an inevitable part of life. Join Dr. Eng for an 8-week course where you will learn about the stress response in your body, stress management techniques, coping strategies, and mindfulness-based relaxation training.” [Facebook]

Old Town Books Hosting Virtual Writing Classes and Literacy Series — Kicking off on Friday, April 10, Old Town Books will launch writing classes and a virtual literacy series featuring accomplished authors. The pay-what-you-can programs include participation by authors Jenny Offill, Jessica Lahey and New York Times Magazine writer Emily Bazelon. [Old Town Books]

Safeway Updates Social Distancing Rules — “Stores will limit occupancy levels to one person per 150 square feet during normal business hours and one person per 300 square feet during special hours reserved for seniors and other vulnerable customers. Each store will utilize one front entrance/exit to ensure enforcement and a store associate will be assigned to the doors to manage traffic.’ [WUSA9]

Center For Alexandria’s Children Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month — “Raise awareness and show your support for Child Abuse Prevention Month while enjoying family time together. Download and print the board and play #PinwheelBingo with us! Continue to check back on our social media platforms throughout April for more family-friendly activities to do at home. Together we are stronger! Let’s all do our parts to protect the children in our communities. [Facebook]

The Dog Park in Old Town is Open — “Easter is coming…so don’t furget your doggy! We carry a full line of Easter toys, treats and wearables. We will be featuring a new item everyday for you to enjoy. We are open everyday M-S 10-6 and Sunday 11-5. We offer curbside pickup and contactless home delivery too!” [Facebook]

Fat Face Opening This Summer in Old Town — “It all began in 1988 with two guys enjoying life on the slopes in the French Alps and desperately trying to avoid working for a living. With money running out, they hatched a plan: print some sweatshirts and t-shirts, sell them at night, and ski during the day. With that simple formula, the FatFace brand was born with the name even being inspired by their favourite black mountain run in Val d’Isère, La Face.” [Alexandria Living]

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