The Chamber encouraged Arlington County to establish a new direct financial grant program for local businesses with its coronavirus response funding. Such a program would build on the successful GRANT program last year. Businesses continue to cite access to capital for pandemic-response activities as their greatest need. Capital grants allow businesses to invest in what they individually need to retain or restore jobs, and maintain their businesses as Arlington works through the economic recovery from the pandemic.
The Chamber requested that the Arlington County Board restore a Principal Planner position in the Arlington County government due to be frozen in Fiscal Year 2022. Restoring this position will help prevent delays in planning studies for which applicants pay cost-recovery fees. Prompt review of development projects is also an investment in Arlington’s future through the taxes they will generate when completed.
The Chamber requested that the Arlington County Board restore a proposed reduction in operating funds for the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service (ACVS) for Fiscal Year 2022. Restoring its operating funds will allow ACVS to build back its travel marketing activities, which will support Arlington's hotels in regaining room occupancy and restoring jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic. Bridging ACVS's funding will help restore its future revenue stream through increased Transient Occupancy Tax revenues.
The Chamber sent a letter to the Arlington County Board calling upon them to allocate a portionits funding under the CARES Act to purchase rapid saliva tests for COVID-19, and to share those tests (or sell at cost, if possible) with businesses, nonprofits, and other community groups. Rapid testing is essential for smooth functioning of businesses and other important facets of society such as schools. Access to tests will help Arlington businesses to reduce the risk of operation and of community spread of the virus.
In a letter to County Board Chair Katie Cristol, the Chamber voiced concerns with several key parts of the FY 2019 budget proposal, including the continued tweaking of the Crystal City TIF, funding cuts for planning on Lee Highway, and increased parking meter fees.
The Arlington Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette objecting to the $66 annual Recycling System Compliance and Inspection fee that the County has imposed on all business locations.
The Chamber sent a letter to the Arlington County Board to lend its support to two different funding proposals that would enhance economic development in Arlington: the Economic Development Incentive Fund and the re-implementation of the 0.25% transient occupancy tax (TOT) surcharge.