Archives For Maryland Economy

Worcester County Economic Development

Worcester County asks, “Why not make your vacation address your business address?” Photo courtesy of Worcester County Economic Development.

MDBIZ News plans to feature every Maryland county in its weekly “Building your Maryland business” series. If you are a representative of a county economic development group, please contact the editor, Emily Pope, at epope@choosemaryland.org

Imagine your beachside vacation home is just a stone’s throw from the company office. This “best of both worlds” lifestyle is a reality for many business owners in Worcester County, and county officials say it’s one of many reasons to investigate living and working in the area.

Worcester County, Maryland’s easternmost county, includes the State’s entire Atlantic coast. While it is overwhelmingly rural, it contains Ocean City, which becomes the State’s second most populated urban area during summer months.

“Because so many Marylanders are already familiar with Ocean City and own real estate here, one of our goals is to help entrepreneurs and employers build or relocate their businesses throughout the county,” said Worcester County Economic Development Director William Badger, Jr.

According to Badger, Worcester County’s family-friendly living conditions, central location, enterprise zones and easy access to funding and assistance are major draws for economic activity.

From bustling Ocean City to picturesque Berlin (recently voted America’s coolest small town), Worcester County offers a variety of cultural attractions, affordable housing and the second lowest property tax rate in the State, Badger said. The county also features the highest concentration of Maryland Blue Ribbon School of Excellence awards, with nine out of 12 eligible public schools honored.

The county provides a central location between three major economic centers. Within roughly two and a half hours, one can drive from Worcester County to Baltimore City, Washington, D.C. or Philadelphia.

Maryland Enterprise zones in Snow Hill, Pokomoke City and Berlin are working to foster economic activity through income tax credits. The entire county is also a Historically Underutilized Business Zones, which means businesses can gain preferential access to federal contracts. New startups are also welcome at the Worcester County Small Business Incubator, located in Pocomoke City, with low cost rent and mentoring from experts available.

Recently, Worcester County small businesses have also taken advantage of low interest VOLT Fund loans, the State-sponsored Video Lottery Terminal, Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Loan Fund. The loan program is funded through profits earned by Maryland casinos, with 50 percent of the funding allocated toward small, minority and women-owned businesses within 10 miles of a Maryland casino. The program includes Ocean Downs in Berlin.

Looking for more reasons to build your business in Maryland’s Worcester County? Visit Worcester County Economic Development here.

Check out the latest Maryland business news:

Maryland businesses Maryland businesses registered their strongest optimism in seven years in the most recent survey of business expectations conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Some 42 percent of businesses surveyed anticipated better business conditions in March than in February. Only 7 percent expected business conditions to worsen.

R. Andrew Bauer, a senior regional economist with the Richmond Fed, said that March’s “optimistic” outlook was about one-third higher than the normal pattern and the “pessimistic” outlook was significantly lower.

According to Bauer, additional monthly data is needed to determine if this represents an ongoing trend.

Among other results the Fed reported:

  • Both the general business conditions and sales indexes improved in the past two months, reaching highs in March.
  • Expectations down the road rose as well: 59 percent of respondents anticipated greater business activity six months from now, while 5 percent expected activity to decline.
  • The percentage of firms anticipating hiring over the next six months rose to 46 percent from 33 percent, while the number of respondents planning on reducing their workforce decreased from 12 percent to 8 percent.

Find additional information from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond survey here.

Destination MarylandHigher temperatures and sunnier skies are beaconing visitors to Maryland attractions. If you’re looking to channel your inner explorer, a new resource is loaded with information and discounts.

The Maryland Office of Tourism recently released its 2014 edition of Destination Maryland: The Official Guide to Maryland State Travel.

The magazine features:

  • Listings for attractions, destinations, events, parks, places to stay and travel services,
  • Information on historical attractions with connections to the Underground Railroad, Civil War, National Road and the War of 1812,
  • Detailed information on the Star-Spangled Spectacular, a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the writing of the National Anthem,
  • Calendar of events,
  • Free “Maryland Welcome! Passport” discount card and more.

The free discount card, enclosed in the magazine, offers up to $2,500 in savings at participating attractions, retailers, restaurants and accommodations throughout the state.

The magazine is available online, at Maryland welcome centers and may be ordered by phone at 1-800-719-5900.

Maryland tourism has proven itself to be a vital state industry. The Maryland Office of Tourism, within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, found that in 2012, visitors to the state spent more than $14.9 billion on travel-related expenses, generated close to $2 billion in state and local taxes and supported more than 135,000 jobs for Maryland residents.

The Caroline Industrial Park is one of five in Caroline County on the Eastern Shore.

The Caroline Industrial Park is one of five in Caroline County on the Eastern Shore.

MDBIZ News plans to feature every Maryland county in its weekly “Building your Maryland business” series. If you are a representative of a county economic development group, please contact the editor, Emily Kimball, at ekimball@choosemaryland.org.  

Caroline County, nestled between Talbot County and the Delaware border on the Eastern Shore, is known for its fresh air and farmland. But in recent years, manufacturers and tech companies are cropping up, joining Kraft Foods GlobalSolo CupChoptank Transport and other major brands throughout the county.

This is thanks in part to the county’s quality workforce, a variety of business resources and the availability of tax credits, according to Angela Visintainer, Director of Economic Development of the Caroline Economic Development Corporation.

With a county population of roughly 33,000 (the fifth lowest in the state) in a wholly rural area, employers find that workers and public officials are genuinely friendly, easily accessible and innovative problem solvers, Visintainer said.

“Our agricultural roots have led to a workforce that’s innovative and great at problem solving. We call it ‘farm boy ingenuity.’ Figuring out how to get the most out of a piece of equipment is in our blood, and our manufacturers and tech-based companies love that,” Visintainer said.

Workforce development is a priority for county officials, who are engaging public schools and manufacturers in an Advanced Manufacturing Professionals (AMP) program, where students get a firsthand look at what it takes to land a job in various industries.

Incoming businesses can find a soft landing at the county’s five industrial, business and technology parks, including Federalsburg Industrial ParkFrank M. Adams Industrial ParkCaroline Industrial ParkDenton Industrial Park and Mid-Shore Technology Park. The Caroline Economic Development Corporation also promotes county-sponsored small business loans and offers free marketing services to any business involved in tourism and hospitality.

Because Caroline County is a priority funding area, businesses may qualify for project tax credits of up to $5 million and start-up tax credits of up to $500,000 through the state’s One Maryland Tax Credit, with a job creation minimum of just 25 new, full-time positions. Additional state-sponsored tax credit programs can be found through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Looking for more reasons to build your business in Maryland’s Caroline County? Visit the Caroline Economic Development Corporation here.

The latest Maryland business news:

Port of Baltimore

ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 6, 2014) –  Governor Martin O’Malley joined more than 300 Maryland business leaders last night at the 18th Annual World Trade Center Institute’s International Business Leadership Awards and announced that Maryland’s trade exports climbed to a record $11.8 billion in 2013. Trade to countries that Maryland has strategically targeted, like United Arab Emirates and Brazil, grew by 39 percent and 22 percent, respectively. Key merchandise export categories include transportation equipment; chemicals; computer and electronic products; machinery manufactures; and waste and scrap. Maryland’s strong performance in 2013 helped the U. S. reach an all-time record for exports of U.S. goods and services, reaching $2.3 trillion in 2013 and supporting nearly 10 million American jobs.

“The continued increase in Maryland exports, along with the Port of Baltimore hitting record cargo levels and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport growing its international passenger traffic, demonstrates that Maryland remains a fierce global competitor,” said Governor O’Malley. “Ultimately, our strength and global competitiveness depends on our willingness to make the investments that a modern economy requires to create jobs.”

“Exporting is paying off for many Maryland businesses that continue to ‘make locally and sell globally,’ said Bill Burwell, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Baltimore. “Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers reside outside of the United States. If your business is not exporting, it’s time to get on board—because not selling globally is just like leaving money on the table. We can help you navigate the avenues of exporting.”

At the conclusion of his remarks, Governor O’Malley presented the Governor’s International Award to Ronald Peterson, President of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. In addition to the Governor’s Award, there are also seven awardees of WTCI’s International Business Leadership Awards: Domino Sugar – Stuart FitzGibbon, Refinery Manager; Honest Tea – Seth Goldman, Cofounder, President, & TeaEO; Institute for Genome Sciences – Claire Fraser, Director; KEYW – Len Moodispaw, President & CEO; MedImmune – Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President; Phenix Technologies – Frank Vitéz, President; and Prometric – Michael Brannick, President & CEO.

To boost the State’s exports and help companies take advantage of global trade opportunities, Governor O’Malley launched the Maryland Export Initiative in 2010 to complement President Obama’s National Export Initiative. In 2012, Maryland was awarded a total of $1.2 million in grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration to increase the number and amount of Export MD grants, a State program that provides funding to small and mid-sized businesses to help them market their products and services overseas. As a result of the increase in funding, 89 Maryland small businesses have benefitted from the program, enabling them to add a combined 400 new jobs and generate more than $180 million in increased export sales. 

The O’Malley-Brown Administration has taken significant steps to ramp up the State’s international outreach. In 2011, the Governor led two historic economic development missions – one to China, South Korea and Vietnam and one to India – that netted a combined $145 million in trade and investment deals for the State and the companies that were part of the delegation. In 2013, the Governor led a trade mission to Brazil, which resulted in EMS S/A, Brazil’s largest domestic pharmaceutical company, announcing its new U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County and plans to invest $200 million into the new operation.

The State has a number of foreign trade offices in targeted countries, including China (Shanghai), Israel (Tel Aviv), France (Paris), Africa (Nigeria); India, Russia, South Korea (Seoul), Taiwan (Taipei), Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City), Brazil, and United Arab Emirates (Dubai). With the exception of the offices in China and Israel, all the State’s foreign offices operate on a contingency basis with no up-front cost to taxpayers.

Maryland’s Office of International Investment and Trade works to stimulate foreign direct investment in the State, offers export assistance for small and mid-sized Maryland companies and coordinates international trade and investment missions and trade show opportunities for Maryland companies. For more information on resources available to business that want to market their products or services globally, visit www.choosemaryland.org

Catch up on the latest Maryland business news:

Catch up on the latest Maryland business news:

 

 

 

 

Catch up on the latest Maryland business news:

  • Maryland cybersecurity companies can still apply for a portion of $2 million in available tax credits through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the Baltimore Business Journal reports.
  • The Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing manufacturing in Maryland, is taking advantage of two State-sponsored Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) program grants to support worker training.
  • Maryland claims two of the nation’s 50 most exciting suburbs, Baltimore CityBizList reports, including Silver Spring and Towson.
  • Looking for a job? Home Depot stores in the Baltimore area plan to hire 750 additional workers for the spring season.
  • Good news for Baltimore City and surrounding counties. The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore shows continued growth and increasing quality of life in the region.
  • The Washington Post reports that Maryland high school students continue to lead the nation in Advanced Placement test performance.
  • The Military Bowl game in December 2013 generated more than $13 million in direct sales for the Washington, D.C. and Maryland region, according to Eye on Annapolis.
  • Snack-making giant Frito-Lay Inc. plans to expand its Aberdeen plant and hire 100 additional employees, the Baltimore Sun reports.
  • Anne Arundel Community College’s Dealer School is helping Marylanders find jobs and change careers in the State’s growing casino industry.
  • Hampstead-based Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. has agreed to buy the parent company of outdoor clothing retailer Eddie Bauer for $825 million, drawing national attention, according to Baltimore Business Journal.
  • Key Risk’s Baltimore office, a provider of workers compensation insurance products and services, is donating $25,000 to Kids’ Chance of Maryland, to award scholarships to students whose parent’s on-the-job death or catastrophic injury resulted in a substantial decline in family income.
  • Whether they focus on nature trails or musical performance, summer camps are a big business in Maryland. Check out the Daily Record’s special guide on choosing the right fit for your family.

BWI Airport

A growing number of travelers are choosing Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport as their gateway to the world. International traffic surged about 20 percent in 2013, airport officials announced.

Last year represented the second busiest year in the airport’s 40-year history, with a total of 22,498,353 commercial passengers. Passenger totals broke records in four months out of the year, in January, March, May and December.

International traffic has grown by roughly 20 percent for two straight years at the airport. Over the past five years, international passengers using BWI Marshall has nearly doubled, according to airport officials.

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InvestMaryland ChallengeOut of 260 applicants, 41 start-ups have advanced in the second annual InvestMaryland Challenge, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) announced today.

The early-stage business competition—with awards provided by DBED’s Maryland Venture Fund, the BioMaryland Center and other sponsors—seeks to grow entrepreneurship and innovation in the State.

Ultimately, four companies will each receive $100,000 grand prizes in four categories, including information technology, cybersecurity, life sciences and general industry. All applicants have opportunities for promotion, networking and feedback from industry experts. Total available grants and prizes, including the four $100,000 awards, are valued at more than $700,000.

“The InvestMaryland Challenge brings together some of the most exciting young companies  in Maryland to showcase the thriving entrepreneurial community in our State and provide these rising stars of cybersecurity, biotechnology, IT and other fields with the resources they need to thrive,” said DBED Secretary Dominick Murray. “Congratulations to all the InvestMaryland Challenge semifinalists. To stand out from such a large pool of applicants is an achievement in itself and I wish them the best of luck as they move forward in the competition.”

The competition extends beyond Maryland’s borders, although out-of-state ventures are expected to establish themselves in Maryland, either through acquired space or a State incubator. Two Washington, D.C. companies and one New York company join 38 Maryland companies as semi-finalists.

Applicants will participate in face-to-face interviews with judges on March 6 at DBED headquarters at the Baltimore World Trade Center. The final winners will be announced later this spring.

Advancing applicants include the following:

Information Technology

Company   Location Technology
ADASHI Systems Baltimore, MD Application Software
Allovue Baltimore, MD EDTech
Artichoke/UrbanEx LLC Baltimore, MD Client Management App
ClickMedix Gaithersburg, MD Mobile Platforms
Clinicmax Germantown, MD Health IT Software
DinnerTime Lutherville, MD Meal Planning Web App
Mediaglu Baltimore, MD IT, Online Marketing
MobilPro EMR Lutherville, MD HIPPA Compliant Software
Printless Plans Baltimore, MD IT Platform
Pulse8 Annapolis, MD Analytics, HealthIT
Stupil (Bakesale) Laytonsville, MD ecommerce
Synapsify Bethesda, MD Text Analytics & Search
Visual Telehealth Bethesda, MD Documenting Medical Records
Woofound Middle River, MD Software

 

Cybersecurity

Company Location Technology
Integrata Security Baltimore, MD Cybersecurity
IntrusionOnline Corporation Bethesda, MD Cybersecurity
ITNOVA Arnold, MD Cloud Computing
Light Point Security Baltimore, MD Malware
Luminal Frederick, MD Cloud Computing
ZeroFox (Riskive) Baltimore, MD Social Risk Management

 

Life Sciences

Company Location Technology
AnaVirx Gaithersburg, MD Therapeutics
Brain Sentry Bethesda, MD Helmet Sensors
ConverGene Gaithersburg, MD Therapeutics
Diagnostic Biochips, Inc. Columbia, MD Diagnostics
GraftWorx Bel Air, MD Medical Devices
Harpoon Medical Inc. Stevensville, MD Medical Devices
Innovital Systems Beltsville, MD Medical Devices
JPLC Associates Baltimore, MD Medical Devices
Operative Experience, Inc. North East, MD Medical Devices
Vasoptic Medical Columbia, MD Medical Diagnostics

 

General Industry

Company Location Technology
Cut2it, Inc. Columbia, MD Cloud-based video platform
FiscalNote Bethesda, MD Data, Hardware
Foodem.com Baltimore, MD E-Commerce, IT Platform
GFTL d/b/a txtmeQuick.com Washington, D.C. Enhanced-Messaging Platform/Communication
Healthify New York, NY HealthIT
Milestone Pod Columbia, MD Sensor-Based Products
MobilAPS Silver Spring, MD Social media and apps
Renewable Oil International Woodbine, MD Biomass
RideScout Washington, D.C. Mobile App, Transportation
Staq Baltimore, MD Media and Publishing
WhiteBox Baltimore, MD Internet software and online marketing