Mason Enterprise Center 
Fairfax
 
March 2020  Newsletter  
MEC-FairfaxMECfairfax
Responding to coronavirus

MEC-Fairfax Continuity of Operations
The following highlights information sent via email March 18, 2020 by MEC Director Gisele Stolz to MEC clients. Effective Thursday, March 19, 2020, MEC-Fairfax staff will be mostly working remotely and will continue to be accessible to resident and virtual clients. Please note: building hours are M-F, 6:30 am - 7:30 pm. The MEC office will be closed to the public; however, residents and employees will have access using your key fob. To purchase a key fob, please contact Aziza at anoory@gmu.edu . We will provide limited staffing between 10 am and 1 pm to receive and deliver mail and packages, restock supplies, and schedule meeting rooms. Events booked in MEC's large conference rooms (A & B) are cancelled through April 10 or until further notice. The April 22 workshop and April 30 Meet & Greet have been cancelled. Business mentoring with MEC mentors will be done remotely by phone, email, or web conferencing. If you are working remotely and wish to forward your office calls to another phone, please contact Aziza at anoory@gmu.edu .  
Fairfax City EDA Posts Resources for Businesses
To respond to and support the city's community, businesses, and workforce to mitigate the spread and economic impact of COVID-19, Fairfax City EDA has put together two blog posts on its site at https://fairfaxcityconnected.com/blog/ that identify resources for businesses. These posts are also shared on its social media channels on Facebook and Instagram. 

SBA To Provide Small Businesses Up to $2 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans
The SBA is offering designated low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state's or territory's Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President. Should you need advice regarding this new measure, please contact the Mason SBDC on the first floor. The SBDC is an SBA resource partner. https://masonsbdc.org/

Disaster Assistance for Small Businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administration recently declared they would provide financial disaster assistance in response to the 2020 pandemic. SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration. This makes loans available to small businesses, private, and non-profit organizations.

Here's the link with the actual application documents for download 
  
The basic filing requirements are:
  • Electronic Loan Application (Form 5)
  • Electronic Loan Application (Form 5C) Sole Proprietorship Only
  • Tax Authorization (Form 4506-T) 20% Owners/GP/50% Affiliate
  • Most recent Business Tax Return
  • Personal Financial Statement (Form 413) 20% Owners/GP
  • Schedule of Liabilities (Form 2202)
For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center.You can call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail  disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

A couple important application tips:
  • This is a business loan not a grant, for businesses that are directly impacted by COVID-19. We strongly encourage everyone to apply online.
  • Please be patient as they will be fielding many calls.
  • Review the entire application prior to starting so you know which documents you will need to upload.
  • Send all requested documents.
  • Make sure your company is in an 'ACTIVE' status with the State Corporation Commission. Submit ONLY your Federal Tax Returns; the SBA does not need your State tax or CPA documents.
  • You will need to "unfreeze" your credit profiles before applying for EIDL, if your credit profile is locked then it will be an auto decline from SBA, you won't be able to reapply for another 6 months.
  • Make sure you are NOT uploading any password protected file(s) to SBA (i.e. tax returns).
  • It can take at least 21 business days before you will receive a decision.
  • To receive updates from their newsletter sign-up here SBA programs/resources updates

State of VA Resources
  • Tax Deferrals
Governor Northam has deferred February's sales tax payment due on March 20, 2020 and income tax payments due on May 1, 2020 by 30 days. You must still submit a waiver request or file your 
income taxes. You can find the tax bulletins provided by the Department of Taxation here and here.
  • State of VA Corvid-19 Resource Website
  • VA Employment Commission
  • The Virginia Tourism Corporation
Did You Know ......
City of Fairfax EDA Offers $5,000 Move-in Incentive Grant for Small Businesses 
The City of Fairfax Economic Development Authority (EDA) is searching for two candidates for its new $5,000 grant to attract and retain high-tech high-growth small businesses to Fairfax City. To benefit from the grant the business will (1) relocate into office space located at the Mason Enterprise Center and enter into a standard lease agreement with the MEC program director in compliance with all normal program rules and regulations; and (2) agree to remain within the MEC for a 12-month period following the initial lease signing, for a minimum total of 1 year. Grant funds will be applied to the cost of leasing space within the MEC after all other discounts have been applied. To obtain complete information about this move-in grant, please reach out to: Danette Nguyen, Acting Director of Economic Development/Programs Manager, Office of Economic Development, Danette.Nguyen@fairfaxva.gov
Atlantic Union Bank Offers Rent Sponsorship Program
Atlantic Union Bank offers a 50-percent first-year rent sponsorship program for companies that are either (1) spin-offs from university research or other research programs (NSF, NIH, DARPA, overseas research programs - e.g., France's CNRS, Switzerland's CTI, Korea Research Foundation), or (2) have graduated from a vetted accelerator program (such as Smart City Works, Mach 37, Inova Personalized Health Accelerator, Techstars, MassChallenge, Y Combinator, etc.).
If you know of any companies that would be good candidates for either the grant and/or the sponsorship, please put them in touch with Gisele Stolz at gstolz2@gmu.edu
City of Fairfax Technology Zone Incentive
The City of Fairfax Technology Zone offers businesses in the City a reduction or suspension of certain business license (Business, Professional, Occupational License, or "BPOL") taxes for a period of up to 5 years with a 100-percent exemption for the first year and a decreasing percentage for years 2 through 5.  Applicants must:
  • Be opening a business recognized as a qualified technology business in the City, or be located within the City, or be willing to locate within the City; and
  • Be willing to enter into a contractual Performance Agreement (the "Performance Agreement" or Agreement") between the business entity and the City; and
  • Commit to employing a minimum number of full time employees as stipulated by the Performance Agreement; or
  • Commit to making a minimum capital investment into a new or existing business. Applicants agree by applying for the Zone that additional information may be requested by the Office of Economic Development including, but not limited to, any relevant tax information, business filing/ formation information, or regulatory license information. To apply, visit https://www.fairfaxva.gov/government/economic-development/incentives/technology-zone
Clients in the news
KaDSci recently won significant prize money from the Intelligence Advanced Research Project Activity (IARPA) for developing and applying an advanced forecasting technique in IARPA's recent Geopolitical Forecasting Competition.  The six-month long contest required KaDSci to predict future events sooner and more accurately than dozens of other competitors.  The forecasting questions ranged from things like predicting commodity prices and military activity to election outcomes around the world.  The technique they developed is an original "hybrid" combination of artificial intelligence and human expert judgment.  KaDSci's team was led by Dr. Chris Karvetski out of UVA, with key support from Dr. Anamaria Berea who is on the faculty here at GMU.  Their collective success has already resulted in call backs to IARPA and DARPA for discussions about future research projects.  Additionally, KaDSci is working to develop a commercial variant of the capability.  If you want to learn more, contact Dr. Dan Maxwell (dmaxwell@kadsci.com) or Dr. Chris Karvetski (ckarvetski@kadsci.com ).
Events