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Navigating the ABC's of Alexandria.

— The acronyms run from ACBA to WEBA and represent various business associations from the waterfront to the West End. Whether new to the city or a long-time resident, the following is a primer that explains the ABC's of Alexandria.

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Stephanie Pace Brown, Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association

Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association - ACVA

The Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association, as the City's tourism marketing agency, attracts visitors to the city through a comprehensive sales and marketing program contributing both to the quality of life for Alexandria residents and to the economic health of Alexandria.

ACVA's advertising campaign for 2012 will reach 100 million households, with the website reaching 1 million visitors. The ACVA organizes promotions including the twice-yearly Alexandria Restaurant Week and the special-offers booklet Key to the City.

ACVA's sales team attracts meetings and groups to the city, booking revenue for Alexandria Businesses.

ACVA organizes member events with networking opportunities.

ACVA members receive benefits designed to generate business such as a web page with photos, events and special offers on VisitAlexandriaVA.com and more.

For more information contact Merrie Morris, director of public affairs, at MMorris@VisitAlexVA.com or 703-652-5361.

The ACVA Visitors Center is located at 221 King St. with administrative offices at 625 N. Washington St., Suite 400.

VisitAlexandriaVA.com

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Stephanie Landrum and Val Hawkins, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership

Alexandria Economic Development Partnership - AEDP

Founded in 1992, the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, along with the other economic development organizations in the City, defines and markets Alexandria as a creative, diverse, knowledge-based community with a high quality of life. AEDP's goal is to support existing and future businesses, development and economic growth in Alexandria as to ensure that businesses are successful and that the City is competitive.

Core functions include business attraction, retention and more.

The AEDP also participates in and influences decisions on Alexandria real estate and development, provides real estate and economic information and acts as a liaison between the City of Alexandria government and businesses.

The Partnership's work is supported by the City of Alexandria's general fund as well as by fees collected by the Alexandria Industrial Development Authority.

For more information call 703-739-3820 or visit www.AlexEcon.org

AEDP is located at 625 N. Washington St., suite 400.

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Andrew Palmieri, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce

Alexandria Chamber of Commerce

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in the Greater Washington region, with 850 professional business members and partners employing more than 49,000 people region-wide. Founded in 1906, it serves as the voice of the business community in the City of Alexandria through lobbying efforts at the local, state and federal levels. In addition, the Chamber offers a variety of programs and services to assist members to promote and expand their business.

Its Motto: Charting the Successful Course of Business in Alexandria Since 1906. Phone: 703-549-1000. The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce is located at 801 N. Fairfax St. #402

www.alexchamber.com

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Maria Wasowski, Del Ray Business Association

The Del Ray Business Association - DRBA

The Del Ray Business Association is run by volunteers who are themselves business owners. Started almost 40 years ago, DRBA now has over 200 members. New members are enrolled for a year of free membership. The fee for subsequent years is $150 and the fee for nonprofits is $75.

The business association sponsors several events in the Del Ray community each year. There is a monthly luncheon featuring speakers of interest to the membership. Members of the association are available to mentor new businesses and advocate in support of business friendly policies with Alexandria officials, the Planning Commission and City Council.

DRBA sponsors holiday marketing campaigns and a website where business owners who are members can promote themselves.

DRBA is always happy to welcome new members to the Del Ray business community. More information can be found at www.visitdelray.com.

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Carol Supplee, Old Town Business & Professional Association

Old Town Business and Professional Association - OTBPA

Old Town Business and Professional Association is open to all businesses of any type. Once a business has made the decision to locate here, OTBPA wants them to be successful.

OTBPA is a result of a merger of two organizations — Old Town Business (OTB) and King Street Metro Enterprise Team (KSMET). KSMET would have been 20 years old this year. OTB goes back further.

As an organization it is always willing to give its opinion on issues.

Probably OTBPA's most visible project is the annual Alexandria Retail Coupon Book.

OTBPA has always advocated the importance of keeping Alexandria beautiful. The plaza at Commerce and King Streets, with benches and lighting and now a sculpture, came about with KSMET funding and lobbying.

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Bill Reagan, Alexandria Small Business Development Center

Alexandria Small Business Development Center - SBDC

The Alexandria Small Business Development Center is Alexandria's economic development program that focuses on small businesses. It's those small businesses that comprise the largest segment of Alexandria's economy, but their potential is often hindered by lack of information or expertise. All Alexandria SBDC services are provided without cost due to funding.

The services of Alexandria SBDC fall into three categories to correspond to business needs at each stage - START, MANAGE and GROW.

START: Instruction on steps to follow to start a business and more.

MANAGE: Cash flow management, referrals to accountants and more.

GROW: Access to loans and investors, network, social media and more.

Alexandria SBDC staff can recommend solutions to problems and link businesses to the most effective resources.

Alexandria SBDC offers individual and confidential assistance without cost to City of Alexandria businesses and Alexandria residents with businesses elsewhere. Get more information at www.alexandriasbdc.org or 703-778-1292.

Alexandria SBDC is located at 625 N. Washington St., Suite 400.

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Mike Barber, West End Business Association

West End Business Association - WEBA

The West End Business Association is comprised of West End Businesses and those that do business on the West End of Alexandria. The goal is to make the West End of Alexandria the preferred buying destination for goods and services in Alexandria. WEBA provides members with networking opportunities, education and growth opportunities and representation before the City and economic development officials on matters important to the West End of Alexandria.

WEBA provides networking opportunities by hosting social and educational events. WEBA keeps its members informed of matters of importance via its website, newsletters and email notices. WEBA provides educational seminars on topics such as retirement plans for small businesses, social media and more. We offer support and the opportunity to learn about new business trends and help create alliances and introductions to key contacts to assist you in your business and help you deal with challenges that your business faces. Visit www.alexandriaweba.com

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Sharon Eddy, Arlandria-Chirilagua Business Association

Arlandria-Chirilaugua Business Association - ACBA

The Arlandria-Chirilagua Business Association was formed in fall 2011, with the support of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership. ACBA has gained momentum in recent months and is now incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It has approximately 25 paying members, a nine-person board and two officers. Membership in ACBA is open to businesses, nonprofits, and individuals.

ACBA continues to grow and gain new members through community outreach. The association submitted an application to the Marketing Fund in January to help fund a marketing campaign in the spring that will promote the community as a great place to shop and dine and will drive traffic to a new ACBA website. ACBA is currently planning community, business and marketing events for 2012 and hopes to continue to collaborate with other organizations, such as DRBA, and to expand their membership and reach.

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Kay Tyler, Eisenhower Public-Private Partnership

Eisenhower Partnership

The Eisenhower Partnership is a group of commercial and residential property owners and occupiers along the Eisenhower Avenue Valley corridor. The Eisenhower Valley is defined as the 4.5-mile east-west corridor, which parallels the City's southern border along Cameron Run. The Valley is anchored in the east by the Patent and Trademark Campus and in the west by the Victory Center development/Van Dorn Metro Station.

The Eisenhower Partnership's mission is to promote the Eisenhower Valley including the businesses and the residents located in it. The Eisenhower Partnership accomplishes these goals through sponsoring community events, hosting panel discussions with local business leaders and promoting the interests of the Valley stakeholders in front of the City Council and Mayor's office. The Eisenhower Partnership exists where economic development and political will intersect.

Led by President Kay Tyler and a 12-member board of directors, the Partnership currently has more than 100 members. The membership is composed of a diverse group of community leaders and civic minded individuals. The Eisenhower Partnership welcomes anyone in the community who would like to learn more about being a part of the future of this dynamic and exciting place. For more information, visit www.eisenhowerpartnership.org or send an email to info@eisenhowerpartnership.org.

Gazette Packet interns Alec Havéus and Daniel Elséus contributed to this article.