The elected leaders discussed COVID-19 impact and response, education, technology, workforce development, housing, transportation, and economic development in the Northern Virginia region.
When asked about the regions response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Arlington Board Chair Libby Garvey answered, "The work we have done together over time paid off, and the region has come together to support each other."
In discussing the economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson noted that "from a regulatory perspective, maximum flexibility was key." He continued discussing Alexandria's approach, saying, "We designed it to help businesses make the transitions they need and to help them survive."
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Penny Gross noted that the loan and grant program to support Fairfax’s small businesses “has been enormously successful.” In continued conversation about these programs, Gross reiterated, “We’re talking about businesses, but also the people who work for those businesses.”
Prince William County At-Large Chair Ann Wheeler described the COVID-19 pandemic response and impact on the region as an "iterative process". When discussing the relationship between the jurisdictions, she noted that "we learn from the rest of the region, and everyone is doing innovative things."
Looking beyond the pandemic, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Koran Saines mentioned that "Loudoun has been changing for quite some time; we see an uptick in people moving into our county.” Saines also discussed Loudoun's future for transportation and noted that "having the Metro, when it does open, will help for that transition as well.”
This was the fifth in a series of summits started in 2016, as a collaboration of chambers of commerce from across Northern Virginia. "This summit seeks to drive collaboration across city and county lines by bringing together elected leaders from the five largest jurisdictions in Northern Virginia to discuss regional issues," said Kate Bates, President & CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. "We are proud to co-host this event virtually with our fellow chambers to provide the regional business community with great insights into how we can work together to improve the business climate across our region, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic."