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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2014

Senate Bill 593  (Marsden): Disclosure in Land Use Cases

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce supports this bill because it ensures that the boards of supervisors in Loudoun and Fairfax counties are treated the same as other jurisdictions across the Commonwealth with regard to accepting gifts and contributions, disclosure of those gifts and contributions, and the ability to vote on land use and related matters. This is critical to ensure Fairfax and Loudoun counties are not at an unjustified disadvantage relative to their peers and to enable those elected to serve on the Boards to vote on these critical issues. In addition, restrictions with regard to voting when gifts and contributions are received by local elected leaders should be no more onerous than those imposed on elected officials who serve at the state level.

We urge your support for this important economic development bill. Please contact me with any questions.

Eileen Curtis  |  President
Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce
3901 Centerview Drive, Suite S |  Chantilly, VA  20151
Tel:  571.323.5301 | Fax:  703.787.8859

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | DullesRegionalChamber.org
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2014

The Dulles Regional Chamber supports the following Economic Development bills.

HB 115 - Enterprise Zone Grant Program; re-designation of certain joint enterprise zones.
Removes the requirement that a locality contiguous to an existing multi-locality, joint enterprise zone must have lost at least 900 jobs in a 12-month period to be eligible to join the joint enterprise zone, and removes the restriction that such existing multi-locality enterprise consist of only two localities.

HB 321 - Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program; created.
Creates the Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program, a pilot program administered by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to improve outreach by state government to the private sector. The objectives of the program are to (i) strengthen coordination and interaction between state government and the private sector on issues relevant to entrepreneurs and small business concerns and (ii) make state government programs and operations simpler, easier to access, more efficient, and more responsive to the needs of small business concerns and entrepreneurs.
The Dulles Regional Chamber supports the following fiscal and tax reform bills.

HB 375 - Patent infringement; assertions made in bad faith.
Prohibits any person from making in bad faith an assertion, allegation, or claim that a resident of the Commonwealth is infringing a patent. The measure creates a cause of action for damages and an injunction against a person threatening to bring legal action for alleged patent infringement.

HB 687 - Building Revitalization Grant Fund; created.
Establishes the Building Revitalization Grant Fund administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development to award grants of up to $100,000 to businesses that make a capital investment of $1 million in revitalizing or retrofitting existing buildings to serve as a new place of business.

SB 593 - Urban county executive form of government; disclosure in land use proceedings.
Alters disclosure provisions for land use proceedings in counties with the urban county executive form of government (Fairfax County).

HB 94 - Business permits, etc.; assistance and documentation required from localities.
Provides that in any instance in which a person is seeking a business permit, a license, or an application for any similar local government approval from a locality, the locality shall provide documentation and instructions that outline all steps necessary to obtain the permit, license, or approval. The locality shall also specify any further permit, license, or other approval that may be required to complete the original project or business activity and shall disclose the expected time required by the locality for the completion of each step of the process to obtain the permit, license, or other approval.

HB 384 - Local mandates; identification of sources of funding.
Requires the assessment performed by state agencies to include the identification of sources of funding for the mandate

HB 431 - Tax reform, state and local; creates joint legislative subcommittee to perform a two-year study.
Creates a joint legislative subcommittee to perform a two-year study on reforming state and local taxes. The joint subcommittee will assume the tasks of the Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Tax Preferences, which the bill dissolves.

HB 497 - BPOL; appeal of business license tax classification.
Permits a taxpayer to appeal to the Tax Commissioner or request a written ruling from him with regard to the classification of the business for BPOL tax purposes, regardless of whether the locality has conducted an audit, issued an assessment, or taken any other action.

HB 884 - Virginia Infrastructure Grant Fund; established.
Creates, from such funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly and any gifts, grants, or donations from public or private sources, the Virginia Infrastructure Grant Fund, to be administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. The bill requires the Department to establish criteria for making grants from the Fund, including procedures for determining the amount of a grant and the required local match, if any. The Fund is intended to help localities make investments in roads, bridges, smarter electrical grids, upgraded water and sanitation systems, mass transit systems, clean energy and more energy-efficient buildings, and the provision of broadband.

HB 236 - Health benefit plans; renewal and offer of nonconforming plans.
Authorizes any health carrier to offer to renew, or to offer, any health benefit plan that would otherwise be required to be canceled, discontinued, or terminated, or would otherwise not be allowed, because it does not meet the requirements of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The authorizations apply to the extent and under the terms that federal authorities have suspended enforcement of provisions of the federal Act. The measure has an emergency clause.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2014

Senate Bill 593  (Marsden): Disclosure in Land Use Cases

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce supports this bill because it ensures that the boards of supervisors in Loudoun and Fairfax counties are treated the same as other jurisdictions across the Commonwealth with regard to accepting gifts and contributions, disclosure of those gifts and contributions, and the ability to vote on land use and related matters. This is critical to ensure Fairfax and Loudoun counties are not at an unjustified disadvantage relative to their peers and to enable those elected to serve on the Boards to vote on these critical issues. In addition, restrictions with regard to voting when gifts and contributions are received by local elected leaders should be no more onerous than those imposed on elected officials who serve at the state level.

We urge your support for this important economic development bill. Please contact me with any questions.

Eileen Curtis  |  President
Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce
3901 Centerview Drive, Suite S |  Chantilly, VA  20151
Tel:  571.323.5301 | Fax:  703.787.8859

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | DullesRegionalChamber.org
Facebook  |  Twitter|  LinkedIn

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January 2014 - The Dulles Regional Chamber’s priorities for the 2014 General Assembly session.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (DRCC) believes Virginia should maintain a high level of financial and personnel resources to continue to enable an aggressive and comprehensive national and international marketing and outreach program that leverages the Commonwealth’s strongest economic assets, including industry sectors where Virginia possesses a clear competitive advantage.The Dulles Regional Chamber encourages the General Assembly to invest fully in the various business incentive programs to encourage business investment in Virginia. DRCC supports continued funding of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) incentive programs, as well as maintenance of recent investments that have been made to the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, and an emphasis on policies that broaden the eligibility requirements, enabling firms in Northern Virginia that increase local tax revenues to qualify for critical economic development incentives. The Dulles Regional Chamber also encourages the VEDP to continue its work to develop state incentive programs that focus on company retention and recruitment, and give greater priority within these incentive programs to encourage the creation of higher paying jobs, like those in Northern Virginia.Investment in and development of increased research and development capabilities in Virginia are also critical to the Commonwealth’s economic development success.With regard to decision making by local government elected bodies on land use and related matters, DRCC believes that the boards of supervisors in Loudoun and Fairfax counties should be treated the same as all other jurisdictions across the Commonwealth with regard to accepting gifts and contributions, disclosure of those gifts and contributions, and the ability to vote. This is critical to ensure Fairfax and Loudoun counties are not at an unjustified disadvantage relative to their peers and to enable those elected to serve on the Boards to vote on these critical issues. In addition, restrictions with regard to voting when gifts and contributions are received by elected leaders should be no more onerous than those imposed on elected officials who serve at the state level.

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 Economic Development

Developers Exploring Opportunity in Herndon's Downtown

Mayor Lisa Merkel and town staff have been meeting with developers to discuss the potential redevelopment of town-owned property in Herndon's downtown, as envisioned in the Town Council's Downtown Master Plan.

Specifically, opportunities for mixed use development, to include a parking garage and arts center, have been a focal point of the meetings.  The town owns more than 111,000 square feet of contiguous property, with more than 500 linear feet of W&OD Trail frontage and street frontage along Station and Center streets.  Additionally, 73,000 square feet of contiguous property under private ownership represents potential for redevelopment.

The downtown master plan calls for 4-story (mixed use/residential) and 3-story (mixed-use/commercial) structures in Herndon's downtown.  The town has invested in underground ductbank to facilitate the undergrounding of utilities and is advancing downtown street improvements.

For more information on development opportunity in Herndon's downtown, contact Dennis Holste, economic development manager, at 703-435-6800x2085 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

November 2013 -Provided by Town of Herndon's: On Board, E-Newsletter for the Town of Herndon's Business Community

 2013 Legislative Sesson Outcome Overview on Economic Development

Priorities:

  • Maintain support for the vast array of economic investment and policy tools that enable the Commonwealth to attract and retain jobs and employers to Virginia.
  • Support making Virginia’s legal system as business-friendly as possible through a series of reform bills that will provide additional economic development tools to attract and retain businesses to Virginia.

Dulles Regional Chamber had a very successful session in the economic development arena, including supporting a package of legislation that will ensure Virginia’s legal system is as business-friendly as possible. To that end, DRCC actively worked in support of a compromise that was forged between the business community and the trial attorneys that achieves the priority above and includes:

  • Depositions Used in Admissions and Summary Judgment Motions – For the first time since 1973, depositions will be allowed to form the basis for summary judgment motions in a limited class of cases.  In these cases, depositions will now be allowed to knock out meritless punitive damage claims through summary judgment motions, will be allowed to form the basis for Admissions, and will help businesses defend against baseless and frivolous cases.
  • Venue Reform – This change will help businesses limit lawsuits in jurisdictions that do not have any meaningful connection to the cause of action.  With the proposed change, there must be a ‘practical nexus’ – or meaningful connection – between where the lawsuit is filed and the cause of action.
  • Trespassing – Trial lawyers across the country are trying to assert new duties of care against property owners including the misguided theory that landowners should owe a duty of ‘reasonable care’ to a trespasser.  Current Virginia law says that property owners owe no duty of care to trespassers except in very limited circumstances.  Legislation passed as part of the agreement will freeze current Virginia common and statutory law and preclude any changes to our common law.
  • Nonsuit – The compromise on this issue addresses a recent decision that severely damaged the existing nonsuit law.  Whenever a plaintiff takes a nonsuit (a procedural motion to end the lawsuit) seven days before the trial or during the trial, the defendant is able to seek expert witness fees. The recent decision said the law only applied to the period seven days before the trial, and not the trial itself.  This legislation allows recovery of fees expended during a trial.


All in all, this is a significant step forward for business after many, many years of unsuccessful attempts to make the legal justice system more business friendly and represents a real victory for the business community and the Dulles Regiona Chamber.

In addition, DRCC also supported a series of “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” bills and budget items in the economic development arena that were also successful this session to ensure we not only retain but continue to add “tools” to Virginia’s economic development tool box. This includes:

  • Full integration of Virginia’s one-stop system enabling that system to be the first and only stop a business will need to make when establishing a business or accomplishing tasks related to their business.
  • Development and funding of a Cybersecurity Accelerator at the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), which has combined its expertise in entrepreneurship and technology to create the nation’s first cybersecurity accelerator, modeled after the highly successful accelerator created in California.  Since 2005, Silicon Valley's Y-Combinator Accelerator is credited with creating 449 companies and securing $926 million in private investment for their development.  The CIT accelerator will focus exclusively on cybersecurity company creation and will initially produce 10 to 20 new companies per year, bolstering Virginia’s cyber assets and capabilities. The requested $2.5 million for this program was included in the approved budget.
  • Funding ($50,000) for the Commonwealth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Measurement System, which will function as a tool to measure areas within the Commonwealth worthy of economic development and institutional focus to advance the Commonwealth Research and Development Strategic Roadmap. This funding was identified in the budget from existing resources.
  • While the introduced legislation focused on coordination for small businesses and entrepreneurs failed to pass, language was included in the budget that accomplishes the same purpose – to direct the Department of Business Assistance (DBA); Center for Innovative Technology (CIT); Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC); Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) to develop a marketing campaign to attract and recognize entrepreneurs, small businesses, and emerging industry businesses.
  • Similarly, legislation the Partnership supported related to the creation of an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Measurement System failed to pass as well; however, language was included in the budget to authorize the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority/Center for Innovative Technology to create this system as a tool to measure areas within the Commonwealth worthy of economic development and institutional focus to advance the Commonwealth Research and Development Strategic Roadmap.

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2013 Policy Position Paper

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (DRCC) believes Virginia should maintain a high level of financial and personnel resources to continue to enable an aggressive and comprehensive national and international marketing and outreach program that leverages the Commonwealth’s strongest economic assets, including industry sectors where Virginia possesses a clear competitive advantage. 

DRCC encourages the General Assembly to invest fully in the various business incentive programs to encourage business investment in Virginia. DRCC supports continued funding of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) incentive programs, as well as maintenance of recent investments that have been made to the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, and an emphasis on policies that broaden the eligibility requirements, enabling firms in Northern Virginia that increase local tax revenues to qualify for critical economic development incentives. 

DRCC also encourages the VEDP to continue its work to develop state incentive programs that focus on company retention and recruitment, and give greater priority within these incentive programs to encourage the creation of higher paying jobs, like those in Northern Virginia.
 
In addition to the initiatives outlined above, DRCC strongly supports efforts to ensure that Virginia’s legal system is as business-friendly as possible, which is critical to the Commonwealth’s ability to attract and retain businesses. To this end, DRCC is actively working as a member of the Virginia Alliance for Tort Reform (VATR), which is a coalition of Virginia businesses and advocacy organizations supporting pro-business reforms of Virginia’s civil justice system. DRCC supports common sense reforms which will promote fairness, efficiency, and a more favorable business climate in Virginia. During these tough economic times, Virginia must do all that it can to strengthen its business environment through increased protections and make Virginia even more attractive for economic development. 

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2012 Policy Position Paper

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (DRCC) believes Virginia should invest additional financial and personnel resources to fund a more aggressive and comprehensive national and international marketing program that leverages the Commonwealth’s strongest economic assets, including industry sectors where Virginia possesses a clear competitive advantage.

 DRCC encourages the General Assembly to invest fully in the various business incentive programs to encourage business investment in Virginia. DRCC supports continued funding of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) incentive programs, as well as significant increases to the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, and an emphasis on policies that broaden the eligibility requirements, enabling firms in Northern Virginia that increase local tax revenues to qualify for critical economic development incentives. 

DRCC encourages the VEDP to develop state incentive programs that focus on company retention and recruitment, and give greater priority within these incentive programs to encourage the creation of higher paying jobs, like those in Northern Virginia. 

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2011 Policy Position Paper

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (DRCC) believes Virginia should invest additional financial and personnel resources to fund a more aggressive and comprehensive national and international marketing program that leverages the Commonwealth’s strongest economic assets, including industry sectors where Virginia possesses a clear competitive advantage.

DRCC encourages the General Assembly to invest fully in the various business incentive programs to encourage businesses to invest in Virginia.  Furthermore, DRCC supports the continued funding of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) incentive programs, as well as significant increases to the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, and policies that broaden the eligibility requirements enabling those firms that increase local tax revenues to qualify for economic development incentives.

DRCC encourages the VEDP to develop state incentive programs that focus on company retention and recruitment, and give greater priority within these incentive programs to encourage the creation of higher paying jobs, like those in Northern Virginia.

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