Business & Industry

Fairfax County is a thriving business and technology hub that borders Washington, DC. A host of business-friendly attributes makes Fairfax ideal for offices at any level of operations. These include a large, diverse and exceptional workforce, a broad network of tech-savvy companies and services, and the close proximity of Washington, DC and the federal government (the world’s largest technology buyer).

Tremendous job opportunities, a great lifestyle and temperate climate have fueled a population increase in recent decades. The community is one of the growing economic hubs and retail shopping centers of the region. McLean is home to a highly educated business and professional population, including employees of the federal government and international business community.

Beyond McLean’s borders, Fairfax County has a large and diverse industrial base, which tends to stabilize the local economy during cyclic downturns. In addition to its economic base in government and defense technology, Fairfax has a large and growing number of businesses that specialize in information technology, finance, software and many other blossoming industries. The county is also home to many corporate and regional headquarters, government contractors, trade and professional associations, retail firms and wholesale distributors. The county has added nearly 10,000 companies and 200,000 jobs since 1990, and continues to perform well. In 2001, Fairfax County’s 28,500 businesses employed more than 543,000 workers.

Area companies range from small, dynamic firms to Fortune 500 corporate headquarters. Reflecting the county’s rise as a major global business center, growth has been especially strong among firms with more than 500 employees. Additionally, Fairfax County is popular with the growing number of foreign firms drawn here because of the proximity of Washington, DC and convenient air service from Dulles International and Ronald Reagan National airports. However, small and mid-sized firms remain a bastion of the county’s economy, accounting for more than 95 percent of local enterprises.

McLean is home to three of the Fortune 500 companies in Fairfax County and many associations, such as the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers, the National Automobile Dealers Association, and the American Preventative Medical Association.

For information about owning and operating a business in Fairfax County, contact the Chamber for a copy of the book Doing Business in Fairfax County.

McLean residents can choose from a variety of service and retail businesses for their day-to-day needs. There is a wide range of real estate and financial services companies along with specialty stores, cafes, salons, boutiques and fine restaurants. The Chamber of Commerce works to support these companies through business programs and networking opportunities for increased visibility and to promote the welfare of local businesses.

During the 1980s, Tysons Corner became one of United States’ booming retail centers. Two major shopping centers are anchored by national store chains — including Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, L.L. Bean and Nordstrom’s. Other Tyson’s retailers include some of the world’s most exclusive names — including Tiffany, Gucci and Hermes. McLean’s Central Business District includes retail centers — such as McLean Square, McLean Square Mall, Marketplace of McLean and Langley Shopping Center. Some of the businesses in these retail centers have remained in the family for generations, thus creating a lasting client base.

Tysons sub-market has emerged as the business hub for Fairfax County’s technology-driven economy. It features northern Virginia’s largest concentration of prime commercial office space (ranging from landmark high-rise buildings to elegant corporate campuses) plus a prestigious selection of hotels, restaurants and retail options.

Fortune 500 Companies Headquartered in Fairfax County

Capital One Financial
Federal Home Mortgage Loan Corp Freddie Mac
Gannett Corporation
General Dynamics
Nextel Communications
Sallie Mae

Falls Church


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