Longtime Arlington residents who based a Rosslyn-based on-line college are donating $50,000 to assist native small companies.
In 1998, Yanping Chen and J. Davidson Body established the University of Management and Technology, a totally on-line faculty enrolling nationwide and worldwide college students, positioned at 1901 Fort Myer Drive. Their $50,000 donation comes from the Chen Frame Foundation, which they began to help instructional causes internationally.
However now, they’re pondering nearer to dwelling.
“COVID-19 delivered to thoughts that we’re not centered sufficient on our personal yard,” Body stated.
Arlington Economic Development will use the cash to assist pay for brand spanking new initiatives, equivalent to instructional programming and on-line companies, to assist small companies via the pandemic.
Along with a second round of Paycheck Safety Program funding, AED is anticipating about $250,000 in new funding for its pandemic-focused packages, AED Director Telly Tucker stated. The division will launch extra data on the brand new efforts the cash can be funding within the subsequent few weeks, he stated.
Arlington County has about 6,000 enterprises that make use of fewer than 50 individuals, which is AED’s definition of a small enterprise, Tucker stated.
Pre-pandemic, about three workers members from AED dealt with outreach to those small companies. When companies had been pressured to close down or change their operations, the three-person workers was swamped with questions on every thing from the best way to apply for federal help packages to how to set up temporary outdoor seating areas to the best way to preserve staff secure.
“It was all fingers on deck: We had been working collectively to do what we may to support businesses,” Tucker stated. “The general takeaway for me was that there was no playbook for us to go by on the best way to navigate throughout a pandemic.”
However current enterprise house owners weren’t the one ones with questions. Many who had misplaced their job or had been furloughed noticed the pandemic and their new-found additional time as a chance to pursue their targets of proudly owning a enterprise, and wanted assist getting began, he stated.
“I ran the entrepreneurship program at George Washington College for a number of years,” Body stated. “On a regular basis, individuals would come off the road and describe some new, actually bizarre thought. They might decide my mind. I perceive a number of the challenges they face — they’ve numerous questions.”
After listening to enterprise house owners, AED got here up with an inventory of efforts that might assist, together with retaining a number of specialists who may reply questions “on every thing from funds to business-legal companies,” Tucker stated.
With the inflow of money, AED can also be trying to launch an e-commerce platform for small-scale retail shops within the County, along with spending extra on advertising campaigns to encourage individuals to buy native.
The County Board heard the news concerning the donation throughout its recessed assembly on Dec. 15. It’s the first donation of its variety for the reason that Board licensed County Supervisor Mark Schwartz this 12 months to just accept donations of $50,000 or much less.
“I wished to say a hearty thanks,” Schwartz stated of the donation. “I hope that when the pandemic is over, I can meet each these [people] in particular person and provides them the commendation that they deserve.”
Schwartz will ask the Board in January to applicable the cash.
Picture courtesy University of Management and Technology
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