County Board Assists Small Businesses, Adopts New Logo, and More

Published on September 18, 2021

The Arlington County Board took action at its September meeting to further secure the County's stormwater management efforts, ensure sustainability, and assist the Arlington business community. The Board also finalized and adopted a new logo that better represents the County's values and goals as a community.

"Today we acted to help Arlington small businesses as part of our continued response to the economic impacts of COVID, protect our environment by enacting a 5-cent plastic bag fee, and update our logo to better reflect the values of all our community residents." said County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti. "Each of these actions reflect goals our County has been working on; we are pleased to take these steps forward today."

Assisting Small Businesses

With a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Small Business GRANT 2.0 program, which will provide 200 grants of $10,000 each to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The GRANT 2.0 program will provide immediate funds to businesses and nonprofits to aid in their short-term recovery and will focus on hard-to-reach businesses, as well as those industries most affected by the Governor's Stay at Home orders who were not eligible or could not quickly pivot to respond to other grant opportunities. Read the staff report.

The Board also authorized a Request to Advertise a public hearing to amend the Continuity of Government Ordinance related to Temporary Outdoor Seating Areas (TOSAs) for County food establishments to continue to provide temporary outdoor seating and ensure that affected businesses have sufficient time to plan following the end of emergency-granted allocations. Staff are working on a strategic plan to explore whether the flexibilities provided as part of the TOSA program initiated in response to the COVID-19 emergency should be incorporated into established regulatory provisions for outdoor dining. This future process would also include public hearings prior to any formal Board action. Read the staff report.

Investing in Sustainability: Plastic Bag Fee & Stormwater Infrastructure

The Board joined neighboring jurisdictions of Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria in enacting a $.05 tax on 5-cent tax on disposable plastic shopping bags. The County will embark on a fall education campaign to help residents understand the benefits including saving at the register with reusable bags and a cleaner community. The County also will develop strategies to help those who may be most burdened by this tax, aligning with the County's equity focus. The plastic bag tax will go into effect in January 2022. Read the staff report.

The Board approved a fund transfer to APS in the amount of approximately $15.1 million for construction of Phase II of stormwater infrastructure at Cardinal Elementary School, located at 1644 N. McKinley Road. These funds will be used to create an underground stormwater management facility that will help mitigate the impacts from flooding for the Torreyson Run Watershed. This project is expected to begin in November. Read the staff report.

County Board Adopts New Logo

In an effort to find a new symbol that represents Arlington's values and assets as a community, the County Board voted 5-0 to adopt a new logo. The final choice, which represents Arlington's close relationship with DC and Alexandria and echoes how Arlington was formed from the original Capital borders, comes after a months-long community engagement process in which residents were encouraged to submit ideas and then submit their preferences on top options that aligned with the County's guidelines. More than 16,000 Arlingtonians shared their top choices in the most recent round of public engagement.

Last year, the County Board approved a process to replace the County logo and seal, which depicted Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial. For many residents, the home of the Confederate general is a painful representation of the slavery that took place in our region. Community members submitted hundreds of ideas for Arlington County's new logo during two rounds of submissions earlier this year, which was then evaluated by a Logo Review Panel and further enhanced by a professional design firm to find images that best depicted the unique assets and values of the County and presented for public input. Read the staff report.