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New NOVA Economic Development Alliance: Threat or Opportunity for Md.?

Ten government and economic development agencies from Northern Virginia announced Monday that they were banding together to form the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.

The question is whether this presents a threat to Maryland – or an opportunity.

The alliance is comprised of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Arlington County, City of Fairfax, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park, and Prince William County Department of Economic Development.

In their announcement, the agencies said they would band together to try to attract companies from outside the region to move to Northern Virginia. While the new compact doesn’t entirely eliminate local agencies from competing against each other for new business, it’s designed to emphasize the region and the partnership.

Agency leaders said they were building on the collaborative work they did to attract Amazon HQ2 to Crystal City in Arlington, Va.

“Recognizing that collaboration is a hallmark of successful economic development, I am delighted that localities in Northern Virginia are taking this important step to further regional collaboration in an area of the Commonwealth poised for significant growth,” said Stephen Moret, president & CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, another regional entity.

The collective strength of this business alliance could provide a threat to Northern Virginia’s neighbors – especially in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Or it could present an opportunity for other leaders in the DMV to reach out and create an even broader and stronger alliance.

Time, as the commentators intone, will tell.

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New NOVA Economic Development Alliance: Threat or Opportunity for Md.?