The newly-released City of Manassas quarter one market report shows a strong performance, continuing the success of 2019. Rental rates for the office, retail, and industrial sectors remained steady or rose slightly while vacancy levels continued to lower for both the industrial and retail sectors. Office occupancy levels stayed approximately the same.

While the report is very positive considering the current circumstances, it reflects a world before COVID-19. Social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and the associated economic jolts only began in earnest at the end of March. Rental rates and vacancies are lagging indicators, so it is likely that the report for the second quarter will be a better measure of the effects COVID-19 is having on our economy. We are optimistic that our city will find ways to weather this storm together. Tenants and landlords should work together to find creative solutions to keep businesses going. We are hoping for the best and a swift resolution to our current challenges, but acknowledge that it is likely to be a difficult few months.

Area retailers, restaurants, and offices are working hard to adapt to this ‘new normal’. The City of Manassas Department of Economic Development is working to help in every way possible, including the creation of a COVID-19 Business Resources page on our website. This page is offering up-to-date information, tips for adapting to the current landscape, links to available grants, financial aid, and other resources as they become available.

As we vow to continue doing all we can, we would like to thank the community for rallying to support our local restaurants and retail stores by ordering carry-out and shopping online. We encourage everyone who is able to ramp up their support! By working together, we can ensure that our local economy emerges from this crisis in the best shape possible.

It’s unclear exactly how things will play out in the coming months, but this crisis will pass. Let’s continue supporting our local business community so we can all be ready to rebound together in sunnier economic times ahead.