Alexandria To the Editor:
I am enjoying my fifth year as a small business owner in Alexandria. I have received a number of awards, The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year in 2010 is one that I am most proud of because I have worked diligently to maintain and grow my clientele.
Recently, I was faced with one of the unexpected events that can occur as a small business owner. I was feeling disappointed and uncertain. Unsure of where to turn, I took the advice of a long-time client that suggested I contact Val Hawkins, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership. Mr. Hawkins listened to my story, understood that time was important and arranged for me to speak with Christina Mindrup Robinson, vice president of Commercial Real Estate at the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership. Christina advised me that I needed to seek a new location for my business and immediately got to work helping me. I was partnered with Dianne Sappenfield of McEnearney Commercial Real Estate and made a timely and seamless move to a new location at 1309 King Street in Old Town.
When I approached the AEDP I expected that they would advise me. I never expected that they would take such an active and personal interest in my situation. Christina said, “We want you to keep your business in our city.” And she meant it! They exceeded my expectations and saved my small business in this economy. They have given me the opportunity to grow and create a few more jobs in the city.
I want to thank my client, Val Hawkins, Christina Mindrup Robinson and Dianne Sappenfield for their care and professional attention during my time of need. I am so proud to be a member of the Alexandria community. Having a valuable resource like the AEDP is just another wonderful thing about owning a business in The City of Alexandria.
Owner, Aida Spa
1309 King Street