From Your Prince William Chamber 
September 2015

Chamber Advocate,

See what the Chamber has been up to over the past few weeks and what has been happening in the community as the Summer comes to an end.  From policy to politics there is plenty to choose from when trying to figure out how to be more involved with our advocacy efforts. 

Please remember to join the Policy Committee for its September meeting.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 15 at 9:30am in the Manassas Chamber office.
  
If you have any questions about legislation or are just generally interested in what we are working on at the Chamber, please get in touch with me by sending an email to BShaw@pwchamber.org.  I am happy to discuss!   

Diversity of Industry Showcased During "Start-Up Day Across America"
Business Tour with Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

Chamber of Commerce, alongside the City of Manassas Economic Development Office, brought Congresswoman Barbara Comstock in to Old Town Manassas to highlight recent entries in to the City during Start-Up Day Across America. 

 
On Wednesday, August 19, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosted a tour highlighting several businesses who recently opened their doors in Old Town Manassas in recognition of Start-Up Day Across America. This year marks the third anniversary of Start-Up Day Across America.  The day is used to connect members of Congress with recently opened businesses in the communities they represent.  Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) joined the Prince William Chamber for the tour which highlighted four local businesses, all members of the Chamber, representing multiple industries.
 
Two stops on the tour featured businesses that opened their doors just this year, Zandra's Taqueria and the Manassas Olive Oil Company. The troupe, which included City of Manassas
Councilwoman Sheryl Bass, Vice Mayor Jonathan Way, Mayor Hal Parrish and several others, also visited Imagine, a full service marketing firm, and Freshysites, a website design firm. Debbie Jones, President and CEO of the Prince William Chamber stated, "Start-Up Day Across America is an excellent way to connect members of Congress with local business owners. The Old Town Manassas business community is comprised of a wide variety of industries and the Prince William Chamber was pleased to host the tour to showcase all that its rapidly expanding business community has to offer."
 
With regards to the growing Manassas business community, Manassas City Manager, Pat Pate, said, "As the City moves into our new fiscal year you will start to see work on a variety of efforts aimed at meeting Council priorities for our community... The City of Manassas Economic Development Office is now operational and an economic development and tourism marketing initiative has been completed. Businesses continue to be recruited into the City and we are celebrating new business openings every month. You may already be seeing some of the results from the marketing initiative in promotions of the attractions, activities and opportunities that make Manassas great."


 
Congresswoman Comstock received several questions and recommendations from business owners, including a request by Freshysites owner Vincent Consumano to "keep an eye out" for start-ups when voting on proposed overtime regulation changes. The Congresswoman agreed that she believes the best thing that Congress can do for small businesses is to allow them to form their own policies to encourage business growth; noting that millennials workforce seem to prefer flexibility in their scheduling, wanting to work like entrepreneurs even when employed by someone else.  


 
Rebecca Vaughan-King, Co-Owner of Imagine, credits the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Manassas with their success over the last few years. "They've helped us to create this little empire," Vaughan-King said, referring to the creative autonomy enjoyed by her staff and the fact that Imagine hosts two other small businesses in their offices (The Law Offices of Sheyna Burt and U.S. Logoworks).  She and the Congresswoman discussed needed changes to the SWAM certification process and the possibility of hosting a roundtable discussion to introduce young women considering entrepreneurship to the women business owners in Old Town Manassas. 
Governor McAuliffe Announces 200 New Jobs in Prince William County
Prince William Welcomes Ventech

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Tuesday, September 8, that Ventech Solutions, a SEI CMMI Level 3 software company that specializes in managing full life cycle deployment of software systems and solutions, will invest $1.5 million to establish an Innovation, Operations and Engineering (IOE) center in Prince William County. Virginia successfully competed against Maryland and other states for the project, which will create 200 new jobs paying above the average prevailing wage in the region.
 
Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, "My top priority as Governor is to diversify Virginia's economy and create more private sector jobs for our citizens.  In order to build a new Virginia economy, we need to attract high-tech companies like Ventech Solutions, which provide well-paying jobs and help strengthen our communities.  As strong companies continue to establish operations in the Commonwealth, we will make Virginia the leading state for information technology firms."
 
"This announcement is another testament to Virginia's talented workforce, best-in-class business environment and great infrastructure.  Information technology is a tremendous growth sector, and an industry in which Virginia has limitless advantages and opportunities," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. "We welcome Ventech Solutions to Prince William County and Virginia as the company grows, and look forward to its future success."
Ventech Solutions is a public sector-focused system integration and consulting services firm headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The company creates next-generation IT competitive advantages and leading transformational business initiatives. Ventech offers enterprise business solutions in application modernization strategy and deployment, systems operations and support, solution architecture, system analysis & design, systems development, systems integration, end-to-end software testing, and software quality assurance to U.S. federal, state and local government agencies. Ventech's clients span over 14 states, with physical presence in Ohio, New Mexico, Washington D.C., Virginia and Louisiana.
"We are pleased to establish our IOE center in Prince William County," said Mike Carrier, Chairman, Ventech Solutions. "The location offers a strategic and operational advantage to support our clients and our innovation practices. The state of Virginia and Prince William County officials have been very helpful during the site selection and establishing the center. As we continue to ramp up our operations in Virginia, we look forward to a long-term partnership with state and county economic development agencies." 
 
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Prince William County to secure the project for Virginia. F unding and services to support the company's employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, administered by VEDP. The company is also eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit. 
 
Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors, said, "We're delighted to welcome Ventech to Prince William County and to our growing IT business community. The addition of 200 new jobs at an average salary of $80,000 a year is a great example of the type of jobs we are attracting in Prince William County."
 
"Ventech is a welcome addition to Prince William's growing economy," said Senator Richard Black. "I am always pleased when companies choose to locate in our county. Ventech promises to bring good jobs to provide financial security for hundreds of families in this area. We welcome Ventech to our community and look forward to a prosperous relationship." 
  

    
Chamber to Host Debate  for Chairman's Race



The Prince William Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Northern Virginia Community College will host a debate for the candidates running for Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.  

When: Thursday, October 1, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Where: Northern Virginia Community College - Manassas Campus, 6901 Sudley Rd, Manassas, Va 20109 

Both candidates have been confirmed for the event. For more information on the candidates please visit their websites:



Sponsorships are still available! Please contact Brendon Shaw, BShaw@pwchamber.org for more information. 

Sponsors to date: NOVEC  https://www.novec.com/

Upcoming Elections
Do you know where to vote?

As campaign season draws to a conclusion on Tuesday, November 3, do you know where you are voting? Who you are voting for?  Since we have elections every year in Virginia and offices whose districts overlap all three localities, what we are voting for can be confusing.  If you are unsure of which elections are occurring this year and who is running for office please click  here  for more information. Both state and local candidates are on the ballot this November. 

To check your registration, please click here   to access the Virginia State Board of Elections website. 

If you are not registered to vote please do so! Click here to register online.   

Get Involved: September 15

 
Join Our Next Policy Committee Meeting
 

The next policy committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 15 at 9:30am at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Headquarters.  The committee typically meets for an hour.

The Chamber will begin to develop its 2016 policy priorities soon. We are fortunate this month to welcome Monica Backmon, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, to discuss regional transportation priorities.  NVTA Chairman, Marty Nohe, will also be in attendance. 

George Harben, Director of Existing Business in Prince William County's Department of Economic Development, will also be in attendance to discuss ways that the County can assist your business.  There are many tools available to our area's business community. Join us next Tuesday, to learn how to fully take advantage of these opportunities!  
 
As a reminder, "Membership Time" is held at the beginning of every policy committee meeting.  We are continuing to ask that members help identify areas where we can work together and initiate change on various levels of government.  If you are interested in participating please come prepared to address your issue and we will do our best to assist!

I hope you can join us for what is sure to be a productive meeting. 

 

   Director, Government Relations 

 

Special thanks to Advocacy Vision Partner