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Fairfax County employers highlighted for National Small Business Week

Clawes Carpets’ storefront in Oakton (via Google Maps)

In recognition of National Small Business Week, which started Sunday (May 1), Sen. Tim Kaine is sharing success stories from across the state, include several Fairfax County businesses.

“Despite facing difficult challenges throughout COVID-19, small businesses have adapted to the pandemic, kept workers employed, and continued to support their communities,” Kaine said yesterday (Monday) in a statement. “Our small businesses are the backbone of our communities. I’m glad I’m able to share some examples of resilient small businesses across Virginia, many of which have used federal COVID relief to keep the lights on during the pandemic.”

Kaine announced the initiative last month, encouraging Virginians to nominate small businesses for recognition through a Virginia Small Business COVID Success Stories portal.

Several business owners identified their establishments and described how they received help during the pandemic.

Here are some of the Fairfax County business highlighted by the senator, per the news release:

  • John Norce from Vienna wrote in about his small business, Medicare Portal, which helps provide education and enrollment services to residents in Virginia during the pandemic. They received PPP funds to help them transition to virtual services. He wrote: “Virginia has provided a great environment to allow small businesses to grow pre- and post-pandemic.”
  • Debi from Reston wrote about her nonprofit that provides day programs to adults with disabilities. She pivoted to programs on Zoom during the pandemic, and received PPP funding to help cover costs. She said: “An unexpected outcome from going virtual during COVID is we now have the technical infrastructure to provide…virtual programming for participants who are on bed rest from surgeries…Now they can enjoy the benefits…while recuperating even months at a time!”
  • Valerie from Fairfax wrote in about Clawes Carpets, a family-owned small business that successfully adapted to online sales during the pandemic. They received a PPP loan to help cover payroll and rent, and did not lay anyone off.
  • Shannon Link from Lorton wrote about FIT4MOM, her business providing wellness services for mothers. During the pandemic, she successfully pivoted to online fitness classes, social events, and children’s activities and continued to provide a community space for women in the area. She received EIDL funding. She wrote: “My team and I did not relent. We are coming out on the other side!”
  • Robin from Reston wrote in about the Pearl Project Institute for Innovation in STEM Literacy, her nonprofit that is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of tech talent, especially among women.
  • Harsha Rajasimha from Herndon wrote in about Jeeva Informatics Solutions, a small business that develops software to better accelerate clinical research.
  • Tess Rollins from Herndon wrote in about Simply Enhance, her business offering graphic design and brand strategy services for small businesses.

The Small Business Administration oversaw the distribution of over $400 billion in emergency relief funding last year.

According to the SBA, which defines “small” businesses based on annual revenue and the number of employees, small businesses have been responsible for two of every three jobs added to the U.S. economy over the past 25 years.

Photo via Google Maps

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