As Arlington County’s Business Ombudsman, I have the privilege and exciting opportunity to work every day in partnership with the business community. During this time, I’ve worked with numerous small and large businesses, and many organizations including the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Ballston, Crystal City and Rosslyn Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), and other business associations in Arlington.
My role is a combination of serving as an ambassador, chief-problem solver, and process fixer. Whether working one-on-one with a new or existing business or with one of our business partners, I focus on making things better and easier for those doing business with the County. My efforts may be as specific as helping someone obtain a building or sign permit if they are encountering challenges navigating an existing County process, or as broad as working to improve system-wide processes.
Strengthening Our Collaboration: Your Feedback Is Welcomed
One of my goals is to strengthen the County’s partnership with our business community by improving communications and enhancing collaboration. We are striving to make Arlington a premier place to do business, and while it is a work in progress, we’ve made – and continue to make – important improvements. As we continue to work with the Chamber and others to strengthen our business environment, we welcome your suggestions and comments.
A Spotlight on Small Business Support
Here are some of the terrific small business services the County provides for new businesses and existing ones looking to expand in Arlington:
- BizLaunch and BizLaunch en Español – Interested in starting or expanding your business? BizLaunch, Arlington’s small business and entrepreneurial assistance network, offers more than 50 workshops and seminars each year, aimed at helping local entrepreneurs and small business owners plan, develop and grow their businesses. BizLaunch offers information on writing a business plan, taxes, permits, licensing, marketing, financing, and just about anything else you’ll need to know to start or grow your business. The program also offers information, counseling, and research opportunities – all free of charge. BizLaunch en Español is one of the few programs in the metropolitan region to offer courses and counseling sessions in Spanish. For assistance, check out both programs here.
- Business Research Resources at the Arlington Public Library – Looking for hyper-local consumer spending or demographic data, industry market research, or sales leads for your product or service? Join the hundreds of area entrepreneurs and businesses who’ve used Arlington Public Library’s high-quality business resources, many of which can be accessed remotely with a library card. If you’d like assistance in identifying the best resources for your needs, let the County’s Business Librarian help you. To schedule an appointment, click here.
- Employer Programs at the Arlington Employment Center – Looking to find the right employee to hire for your business? The Arlington Employment Center, at no cost, can help you assess and recruit for your current and future hiring needs. To learn more about the employer programs or to follow up with a Business Developer, click here.
Upcoming Chamber Networking Opportunity
In my ambassador role, I also spend a lot of time developing relationships with the business community. The upcoming Chamber event, the Breakfast Connection, on Thursday, August 17 at 8:00 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn will be a great networking opportunity with others and to learn more about how I may be a resource for you. To sign up or learn more about this event, click here.
Hope to see you there!