Getting Down to Business

Getting Down to Business

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 you are new to the city or a long-time resident, following is a primer that explains the ABC's of Alexandria.

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.

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

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.

625 N. Washington St., suite 400.

703-739-3820 or

Alexandria Chamber of Commerce

Alexandria is home to 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 aggressive 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.

801 N. Fairfax St. #402

703-549-1000 or

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.

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.

Old Town Business and Professional Association - OTBPA

Open to all businesses of any type, OTBPA is a result of a merger of two organizations - Old Town Business (OTB) and King Street Metro Enterprise Team (KSMET).

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

As an advocate for 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.

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 key message is that Alexandria SBDC offers individual and confidential assistance without cost to City of Alexandria businesses and Alexandria residents with businesses elsewhere.

625 N. Washington St., Suite 400.

703-778-1291 or

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. 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.

Arlandria-Chirilaugua Business Association - ACBA

The Arlandria-Chirilagua Business Association was formed in fall 2011, with the support of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership. Membership in ACBA is open to businesses, nonprofits and individuals. ACBA is currently planning community, business and marketing events for 2013 and hopes to continue to collaborate with other organizations, such as DRBA, and to expand their membership and reach.

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.