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Welcome to the Business Advocacy Update!
Happy New Year! This is the first in a series of newsletters updating you about government affairs that are impacting Arlington business and the Chamber's advocacy. We hope you find it informative, and welcome your feedback .
The Virginia General Assembly kicks off its 2020 Session today. This year is a “long” session, lasting 60 days and including work on the budget for state government operations for the next two years. There is much anticipation for change and new policies following last November’s elections.

The Chamber will be in Richmond advocating for our General Assembly Policy Positions , and Responses to Arlington County’s Positions , both documents which the Government Affairs & Economic Development Committee developed and the Board of Directors approved. One highlight of the year will be our advocacy to lift the sunset on Arlington’s Transient Occupancy Tax surcharge which funds tourism promotion that supports our hospitality industry. Senator Howell and Delegate Hope have introduced bills to end the sunset, and the Chamber will be joining with Arlington County and our hoteliers to advocate for their passage.

One way to join our advocacy is by participating in Chamber Day at the Capitol on Thursday, January 23. Along with a program and reception with Chambers from across the Commonwealth, our group will meet with the members of Arlington’s General Assembly delegation. Register for the formal program and reception on the Virginia Chamber’s website , and please let Government Affairs Manager Scott E. Pedowitz know if you will be joining (we do not receive the registration info from the Virginia Chamber). 
Building on its vote last March to welcome Amazon to Arlington, the County Board took up the construction of Amazon’s headquarters in December. The new site will feature two office buildings with 2.1 million square feet of office space, 69,000 square feet of retail space, a child care center, a $14 million contribution for open space, and $5 million for transportation improvements.

This site plan went through the regular Arlington planning process. The Chamber supported this project, sending a letter and giving testimony before the County Board encouraging the site plan’s approval. The County Board unanimously approved the site plan; it is expected that the buildings will be ready for occupancy in 2023.
Many of Arlington's rules for signage are often too rigid and are not focused on helping businesses to market themselves effectively. The Chamber recently gathered a pilot group of small businesses to discuss the difficulties and possible solutions. This conversation led to the Chamber writing the County Board to encourage more flexible, simple, and consistent rules for signs .

We will continue our engagement in 2020, bringing businesses and government together to craft solutions that work. If you are interested in being part of this effort, or have experiences you wish to share, please reach out to Scott E. Pedowitz, our Government Affairs Manager .
Government Affairs & Economic Development Committee Meetings:
Wednesday, January 15*
County Board Chair Libby Garvey
Wednesday, February 5
County Manager Mark Schwartz
Wednesday, February 19*
Visit to the JBG SMITH National Landing Marketing Site
The Government Affairs Committee meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from
9:00-10:30 a.m. in the VIDA Fitness Boardroom at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, 2009 14th Street N, Suite 100. All Chamber members are invited to participate in these meetings.

*For these meetings, to ensure adequate seating, we ask that you  RSVP to Olivia McKay   at chamber@arlingtonchamber.org .
If you have any policy questions or an issue where the Chamber may be able to provide advocacy support, please contact our Government Affairs Manager, Scott E. Pedowitz, at (703) 525-2400, ext. 205 or advocacy@arlingtonchamber.org .