In addition to this report, the Director of the Economic Development Office has published a commentary in American City and County coined, “Small city, big impact: why economic development is the best tool to tackle COVID-19.” Please click this link to be brought to that article.
Governor Northam released “Forward Virginia” as a blueprint that identifies a phased approach on when to safely begin easing public health restrictions and specific rules that eligible businesses must follow amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
To support businesses on how to navigate and implement these regulations, the Office of Economic Development created the “Fairfax City ReConnected” program with the goal of helping businesses across the city reopen as quickly as possible while adopting the new and necessary measures to keep our businesses and community safe.
The Fairfax City ReConnected program includes guidance and support for Fairfax City businesses with initiatives such as:
Fairfax City ReConnected Grant information
Fairfax City Reconnected Outdoors dining provisions
Fairfax City ReConnected Pledge
Fairfax City ReConnected Safety Kits
Winter Preparedness Initiative to assist restaurant with outdoor dining operations during the cooler months
Reopening Information and Guidelines
Fairfax City ReConnected Grants
The Fairfax City Economic Development Authority (EDA) will be offering the Fairfax City ReConnected Grant (FCRG), in collaboration with the Fairfax City Economic Development Office (EDO), in order to provide essential financial support to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Grant funds will reimburse businesses for their costs incurred by responding to and adapting their services during the Commonwealth’s declaration of a State of Emergency. In accordance with Governor Northam’s “Forward Virginia” plan and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, grant monies can be used to cover eligible expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19 beginning on March 12, 2020.
Series 1: The application period is closed as of July 29, 2020. For more information about Series 1, please click here.
Series 2: The application period is closed as of December 11th, 2020. For more information about Series 2, please click here
For more information about new business resources, please subscribe to our Business Bulletin here.
Please reach out to ReConnectedGrant@fairfaxcityeda.org with questions.
Fairfax City ReConnected Outdoors
As we start to reopen our Fairfax City restaurants on May 29, the most important consideration is the health and safety of employees and customers. Restaurants must exercise caution throughout the phases of reopening and adhere to manadtory requirements of the “Guidelines for All Business Sectors”.
For Phase I, restaurants should continue to offer takeout and delivery options. If restaurants choose to open to dine-in customers, they may only do so in outdoor spaces at 50% of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy while maintaining a minimum of 6ft of physical distancing between all individuals.
To assist city restaurants that are looking to initiate or expand on outdoor dining, the Economic Development office is implementing “Fairfax City ReConnected Outdoors” a permit program for a temporary and measured expansion of outdoor dining. The Fairfax City ReConnected Outdoors program provides a permitting process that supports restaurant recovery; promotes public health; provides clear operational guidance; and creates confidence for employers, employees, and customers.
The guidance provided with Fairfax City Reconnected Outdoors can be supplemented from other industry groups some of which are listed below. Fairfax City Reconnected Outdoors permits and guidance may be updated as conditions evolve.
Is a Permit Required for Outdoor Dining?
A permit is not required for restaurants using pre-COVID outdoor dining space. If a restaurant is looking to operate a new outdoor dining area and/or expand existing outdoor dining space, a permit is required. All restaurants should adhere to the Fairfax City ReConnected Outdoor guidelines, Governor’s Guidelines for Restaurant and Beverage Services, and Virginia ABC requirements.
How Do I Apply for An Outdoor Dining Permit?
To apply for a Fairfax City ReConnected Outdoor dining permit, please download and email a completed application to EDOCOVID19@fairfaxva.gov. Applications should include:
- A diagram of the proposed outdoor dining area, layout of fixtures, measurements (to buildings, sidewalks, alleys, roadways), and location of physical barriers on existing site plan or plat of the property.
- If the area is not covered under your lease, you must have written approval from the owner and/or property management company.
- For all applications seeking use of public property, proof of insurance with the City named as additional insured required, in the minimum amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00). It is also requested the business provide evidence of liquor liability coverage with a minimum of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) per occurrence limit.
Applications can be downloaded here.
Restaurant and Beverage Services Resources
- Fairfax City ReConnected Guidelines
- Business Sector Guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health.
- Virginia ABC outdoor dining requirements (Topic 16)
Winter Preparedness Initiative
Fairfax City’s Winter Preparedness Initiative is a component of the Fairfax City ReConnected Outdoors program to support the recovery of the city’s restaurant community with a temporary and measured expansion of outdoor dining. The Winter Preparedness Initiative identifies guidelines to safely comply with outdoor dining standards during the cooler fall and winter months. The initiative provides information on structures, heating, and more. Download details for the Winter Preparedness Initiative here.
As part of the Winer Preparedness Initiative, the city, in partnership with the EDA will issue micro-grants to provide direct assistance to city restaurants that seek to continue outdoor dining operations into the fall and winter seasons. Guidelines for the micro-grant can be downloaded here.
Applications are open and available here. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis or until funds are exhausted.
Download the WPI guidelines here. Guidelines have detailed information about heaters, structures, and tips on how to create an outdoor dining area safely & responsibly during the 2020-2021 winter season.
Fairfax City ReConnected+
The application period is closed as of December 8th, 2020. For more information about the FCR+ program here.
The Fairfax City ReConnected+ (FCR+) is a component of the Fairfax City ReConnected program that expands financial assistance directly to Fairfax City businesses. FCR+ incentivizes gift card purchases at participating Fairfax City businesses by allowing customers to buy gift cards/certificates at a 50% discount with the EDA underwriting the balance for the city business.
The FCR+ program is designed to provide real-time sales directly to city businesses, incentivize customers to purchase gift cards/certificates at a higher value, promote secondary purchases, and encourage shopping local. The maximum amount of FCR+ funds for each participating business is $1,000 with the program capped at $100,000 from 100 businesses. Gift card purchases are limited to two (2) gift card purchases per household at each participating business for the duration of the program.
- Must be located in Fairfax City
- Have and maintain a valid Fairfax City BPOL
- Have no outstanding tax obligations to Fairfax City
- Must be able to prove finances and/or operations were negatively impacted by COVID-19
- Must operate a brick and mortar location with 12 months remaining on a lease or own property and be classified within one of the following business sectors: restaurant and beverage, retail, fitness and exercise facilities, or personal care/grooming business sector
- Nationally owned businesses are ineligible
Click here for a list of participating businesses!
Fairfax City ReConnected Safety Kits
All ReConnected Safety Kits have been claimed.
As part of the Fairfax City ReConnected program to assist businesses with opening and staying safely opened during the pandemic, we will be offering FREE Fairfax City ReConnected Safety Kits (FCRSK) to our city business community. FCRSK will include essential supplies needed to serve customers and visitors while ensuring employee’s safety. Each kit contains:
- Fifty cloth face coverings
- Four 32-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer
- Two touch-free thermometers
- Fairfax City ReConnected Pledge information
- Business sector guidelines
Fairfax City ReConnected Pledge
As part of the Fairfax City ReConnected program aimed at assisting businesses with reopening and staying safely opened, the Fairfax City Office of Economic Development has created the “Fairfax City ReConnected Pledge” a voluntary program that allows businesses to signal to the community their dedication to COVID-19 safety.
The Fairfax City ReConnected Pledge helps patrons identify businesses that are implementing safety precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Businesses taking the pledge commit to COVID-19 practices by:
- Requiring the use of face coverings by employees and customers.
- Communicating safety protocols and training to managers and staff.
- Working only when healthy.
- Promoting social distancing and limiting capacity.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently.
- Adhering to specific business sector health and safety requirements by the Virginia Department of Health.
Businesses that take the pledge, will receive a Fairfax City “Let’s Get ReConnected” window cling to communicate to customers that your business is committed to maintaining safety measures and best practices concerning COVID-19.
City Square has ended as of September 30th, 2020. Thank you all for participating in our pilot program. We hope you enjoyed our outdoor dining!
COVID-19 allowed us to witness the unprecedented collaboration between city departments, the Old Town Fairfax Business Association (OTFBA), business organizations, and city businesses. These new partnerships resulted in developing new ways of supporting our business community. The City Square pilot program was an innovative measure that allowed us to reimagine a pedestrian-friendly streetscape for Old Town Fairfax City, support business recovery, and ensure adherence to health and safety precautions.
While the pilot program has concluded, City Square participating restaurants are continuing to offer outdoor dining experiences by utilizing sidewalks. Our restaurant community is resilient, and we encourage the continued support of their recovery.
If you would like to provide feedback regarding City Square or to advocate for the return of City Square, please contact the OTFBA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reopening Information and Guidelines
The Virginia Department of Health has created Business Sector Guidelines to provide businesses with mandatory requirements to reopen as safely as possible. Businesses shall adhere to these mandatory requirements to protect public health in Virginia.
Individual businesses should take additional measures as recommended by industry guidelines or by common sense applied to their particular situation. These measures may be updated as needed.
Business Sector Guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health
Governor Northam Lifts Mask Mandate to Align with CDC Guidance, Announces Virginia to End COVID-19 Mitigation Measures on May 28.
Governor Northam made the announcement in a new video message.
As Vaccinations Rise, Governor Northam Announces Expanded Capacity, Social Gathering Limits to Begin May 15
You can access the Governor’s video message here.
FOURTH AMENDED Executive Order Seventy-Two – Easing of Commonsense Surge Restrictions Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) begins 4/1/21
Business Sector Guideline Summaries by Fairfax City
Brick and Mortar Retail
Fitness and Exercise Facilities
Personal Care and Grooming Services
Restaurants and Bars
- Cushman and Wakefield on recovery readiness.
Reopening Signage & Business Community Videos
Businesses that are open must adhere to physical distancing guidelines and enhanced safety practices. Fairfax City has created business communication resources to address signage requirements by the Virginia Department of Health.
All resources are free to use. We will continue to add to this page as new resources are developed. Please check back often (signage to come).
To print signs, click on each thumbnail to open and then download the sign.
The COVID-19 Business Chat Series was created share best practices among city businesses and communicate to the public that our businesses are proactive and taking health and safety measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Each video is 10-15 minutes long and highlights various business sectors. If your business has pivoted and you would like to share your story, email us at EDAInformation@fairfaxcityeda.org.
Businesses currently featured on the COVID-19 Business Chat Series include: