Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Frederick County Part of BioHealth Capital Region Initiative to Be a Top 3 Biotech Hub by 2023

BioHealth Capital Region: Advancing Science. Accelerating Innovation.

That was the brand unveiled at this year's by invitation only BioHealth Capital Region Forum hosted by BioHealth Innovation, Tech Council of Maryland, GlycoMimetics, Virginia Bio and MedImmune. The regional partnership aims to create a new identity and brand for the Capital Region's biotech ecosystem and capitalize on the synergies and unique opportunities available.

Last year's inaugural event brought 500 participants and this year's event had 900 people registered for the forum held at MedImmune's corporate headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

"I want to thank MedImmune for bringing together incubators, education, venture capital, government and the BioHealth industry to discuss how this region can become a top 3 by 2023 in life sciences," said, Helen Propheter, Director of the Frederick County County Office of Economic Development (OED). OED was selected to be a part of this collaboration and was able to examine efforts to boost the life sciences industry and discuss effective models for driving innovation locally during the two-day event.

The Governors of both Maryland Virginia gave keynote speeches and panels included presidents of universities from DC, Maryland and Virginia as well as over 100 other experts on various topics. "There is no other place in the world with more expertise in vaccine development than Maryland," said Dr. Steven J. Projan, Sr VP iMED, Head/Infectious Diseases and Vaccines, MedIummune during the Advacements in Vaccine Development discussion. 

With over 800 life sciences companies and over 70 federal labs and academic and research institutions, the Capitol Region Biotech cluster currently ranks #7 nationally but ranks #1 in talent. The goal is to be in the top 3 by 2023 and to spotlight a world class technology community that has accounted for 1/3 of job growth in Maryland.

The biotech community has been a significant economic driver in Frederick County for the past decade.  Home to Fort Detrick, the National Interagency Biodefense Campus and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and private industry such as AstraZeneca/MedImmune, Lonza, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Frederick County is home to over 80 life sciences companies and one of the top 3 largest bioscience clusters in Maryland. Frederick's location within the research triangle of National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and the National Cancer Institute in Frederick (NCI) gives companies direct access to world class research, federal government agencies and national and international associations. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

REALShare Gets Real in Frederick

REALShare Frederick is a quarterly event for commercial real estate professionals who have commercial properties in Frederick. The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED) created this program in 2014 as a way to ignite local commercial real estate conversations.

OED Director Helen Propheter said, "REALShare has put our office in an advantageous position within the state to be one of the first economic development groups to offer this to our commercial real estate professionals. The events have helped us form deeper relationships with this sector who is often the front door of prospect opportunities." Jodie Bollinger, Business Development Specialist, Commercial Real Estate for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development agreed, adding, "Real estate brokers get the latest from leading deal makers and network with the industry's best."
OED Director Helen Propheter welcomes the group to the first REALShare of 2016.

Justin Ausherman of Rockpoint Commercial and Gary Large of
Waynesboro Construction discuss their projects available.
Building on the success of the inaugural year, REALShare also covers informational topics hosted at a local property for sale or lease. The events are so popular that OED has been able to secure hosts for the next 18 months of meetings.

The first REALShare of 2016 was held at Rockpoint Commercial's Aspen Ridge Professional Center located 163 Thomas Johnson Drive. The keynote speaker was Gary Large of Waynesboro Construction who talked about the construction trends and pricing of the commercial industry in Frederick.  Approximately 45 real estate agents attended the March meeting with many first-time attendees.

Dawn Furman Gordon, Senior Vice President of American National Properties said, "The REALShare events are very important for me to attend as a commercial brokerage agent in Frederick County. This is our opportunity to learn, network and share information with the commercial brokerage community as well as learn pertinent news and data with Frederick County Economic Development Office. I look forward to our next event and appreciate the time and effort that is put into these meetings."

Approximately 45 attendees networked with one another.
Several projects were announced at this month's event including Fitzgerald Realty who announced that Miscellaneous Metals moved to a newly renovated facility in Walkersville at the former Rotorex building to lease 112,000sf with another 90,000sf available  JKJ Properties announced the available industrial lots at Frederick Preserve located in Ijamsville.  Clagett Enterprises announced that the 3rd office building will break ground this Summer at the Conley Farm. Warner Commercial announced available space at the Shiraz Plaza on Thomas Johnson Drive.  Matan Companies announced plans and opportunities for the Wedgewood West site.

The next quarterly meeting will be held in May with Kline Scott Visco hosting. These events are open only to commercial real estate professionals. For more information, please contact Jodie Bollinger, Frederick County Office of Economic Development at 301-600-1058 or jbollinger@frederickcountymd.gov.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Economic Development Annual Report Showcases “Where Big Ideas Grow”

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED) is proud to present the 2015 Economic Development Annual Report.  The report covers the work of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development and includes economic data to make the strong case for why businesses decide to locate and expand in Frederick County.

The 2015 Economic Development Report highlights eight major economic drivers for the year, identifies area of major commercial development, selected announced locations and expansions, reports on wineries, breweries and distillery growth as well as small business development and minority business outreach successes. OED worked with 46 companies that decided to locate and or expand in Frederick County in 2015. Those businesses represented over 900,000 square feet of office space and 726 jobs.

“It was a year of innovation across the County,” said Director Helen Propheter. “We are grateful this year to have the support of our elected leaders to help grow our economy. In 2015, the County Council passed a Commercial & Industrial Business Tax Credit for manufacturers, and Executive Gardner restored support for agriculture business development and small business funding opportunities.” Ms. Propheter reflected, “Our small business development efforts had a record-setting year in business starts and job creation. We worked with municipalities and minority business like never before.  We look upon the past with pride, and the future with great optimism.”

Frederick County received several notable national quality of life accolades in 2015 including recognition by Money Magazine, Livability.com, Movoto Real Estate and The Military Times.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Frederick County Minority Entrepreneurs Celebrated by Business Leaders

Over 60 people attended the Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED)’s Minority Business Vision Appreciation Event last evening at Café 611 to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of minority business owners in the community.

Guest speaker Jimmy Rhee, Special Secretary of the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs, issued a challenge for the minority business community to usher in a new era of ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit in Maryland. He stressed in a business climate where the minority is the majority, the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs seeks to empower small,women-owned and minority-owned businesses so that they can compete with confidence in both the public and private sectors.

OED's Director Helen Propheter introduces Special Secretary
Jimmy Rhee
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner addressed the crowd with comments about how this is a great time to live in Frederick County and be a member of such a prosperous, diverse and talented community. She spoke of how she ran on an open and transparent platform with a goal to build a community where all people are valued recognized, and encouraged to achieve their dreams. “I welcome and embrace the diversity of Frederick County and I have a vision of what Frederick County can be when all in our community are participating and sharing in a prosperous economy.  I believe the best is yet to come for Frederick County,” said Executive Gardner.

“We have the fastest growing Asian and Hispanic population in Maryland,” commented the Director of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development Helen Propheter. “Asian-owned business increased 68% from 2007-2012 and Hispanic-owned businesses increased 25% during the same time frame. African American-owned business ownership also increased 5% from 2007-2012. The Frederick County Office of Economic is working hard to provide tailored business resources to the growing minority population in Frederick County,” she said.

From Left to Right: Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner; Shannon Humphries,
 BB&T; Isabel Lopez; Latrice Lewis, Frederick County Workforce
Services; Michelle Day, Frederick County Workforce Services.
In partnership with Frederick County Workforce Services, the program also recognized an outstanding youth working with Workforce Services for her achievements within the program. The certificate was presented to Isabel Lopez Garcia and a donation of $700 was made on behalf of platinum sponsor BB&T and the Minority Business Vision to the Workforce Development Board Youth Education Fund so that other youths like Ms. Garcia can continue to receive support.

The event’s Platinum Sponsor was BB&T and the Gold Sponsor was MaxLife, LLC. Silver Sponsors included: Frederick County Bank, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, Thrasher’s Cleaning Service and New York Life. Bronze Sponsors were Café 611, Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Asian American Center.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Nominations Open for 2016 Frederick County Best Places to Work Awards

Nominations are now open to all Frederick County businesses to enter for the Frederick County Best Places to Work Awards. Companies can be considered by completing an online nomination form http://bit.ly/bestplacesfred2016. Nominations will be accepted through April 30, 2016, and winners will be announced at the annual Frederick County Best Places to Work Awards ceremony and reception on July 28, 2016.

Companies are evaluated on a variety of criteria, including employee compensation and benefits, business culture, human resource metrics, and special employee engagement programs. Applicants are encouraged to coordinate with their Human Resources Manager or other leadership staff to ensure the application has all of the relevant and up-to-date requested data included in the nomination. Only one nomination form per company is needed.

Winners and honorable mentions are awarded in the following primary categories: Small Employer (1-10 employees), Medium Employer (11-50 employees), Large Employer (51-200 employees), and Major Employer (200+ employees). Based on applications, the nomination committee may also give special awards to recognize companies for outstanding or unique programs. Past special awards have included “Best Entrepreneurial Opportunity,” “Most Creative Workplace Environment,” and “Unsung Hero in the Workplace.”  This year, the nomination committee will give special recognition to companies that have outstanding health and wellness opportunities and policies for employees.

About Frederick County Best Places to Work
The Frederick County Best Places to Work Awards campaign is in its 14th year and is a county-wide program to increase quality of life opportunities for Frederick County employees. Best Places to Work Awards is a partnership between Frederick County Workforce Services, The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development, Frederick County Office of Economic Development, and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.

To nominate a company for the 2016 Frederick County Best Places to Work Awards, visit http://bit.ly/bestplacesfred2016.

For more information and updates on Frederick County Best Places to Work Awards, visit https://www.facebook.com/FrederickCountyBPTW.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Frederick County's Trailblazing Path for Winemakers, Brewers and Distillers

Photo Credit: Linganore Winecellars
Frederick County is where you can find the area’s best agricultural bounties, from award-winning wines and handcrafted brews fresh from the farm to distilled spirits made from locally harvested grains and fruits. Whether you’re looking for a charming farmhouse-turned taproom where downing a frosty mug of cold beer has never gone out of style, a romantic interlude at a beautiful winery, a brew tour with out of town visitors, or a night out with friends at a downtown distillery, there’s fun brewing in Frederick County.

Photo Credit: Mad Science Brewing
at Thanksgiving Farms
In a County known for its deeply rooted appreciation of fine fermented beverages, there’s a quick history lesson to be told in Frederick’s wineries, breweries and distilleries. In 1920, Maryland stood alone as the only state who refused to enforce the new law prohibiting “the manufacturer, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors.” Then Governor Albert C. Richie laid out his opposition to national prohibition as an infringement on Marylander’s liberties and bootlegging became big business in the state. As opposition to prohibition spread, and the Twenty-First Amendment was passed, resistance by states led by Maryland, the state became one of the principal factors in the restored legality. Ever since, the state of Maryland has been a desired location for eager winemakers, brewers and distillers of spirits.
Photo Credit: Orchid Cellar
 Meadery & Winery

In 1976 in the countryside of Linganore, grapes were grown that would later become the catalyst for the formation of the Maryland Grape Growers Association. In 2006, Flying Dog Brewery came to town and would quickly become the largest craft beer producer in the State. In 2010, Distillery Lane Ciderworks, the first cidery in Maryland opened. As the farm-to-glass beer movement grew nationwide, the first farm brewery in Maryland opened in 2012 at Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm. Mead, an alcoholic beverage made from honey is believed to have predated all other alcohols and in 2010, the Orchid Cellar Meadery and Winery, the first meadery in opened in Maryland. In 2014, the City of Frederick amended city code to allow small craft distilleries in the downtown area which quickly led to the opening of some of the first distilleries to open in the state since Prohibition.

Whether it's an old ice cream factory, an old opera house, Civil War-era barns, or a 100-year old mechanics garage, visitors to Frederick County can catch a glimpse of the rich history preserved before and after Prohibition times with adaptive new uses to preserve time-honored winery, brewery and distillery traditions.

Photo Credit: McClintock Distillery
The Frederick County Office of Economic Development has partnered with the Tourism Council of Frederick to create a Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries brochure to compliment our www.homegrownfrederick.com website currently under construction. Look for the launch announcement coming soon!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gap Financing Available for Businesses in One of County's Four Sustainable Communities

The State of Maryland developed a program in 2010 with the Sustainable Communities Act, where public and private investments and partnerships help develop healthy economies with growth practices that conserve resources and appreciate historical and cultural resources. Since that time, the State has designated four Sustainable Communities in Frederick County: City of Brunswick, Town of Emmitsburg, Town of Middletown and the Town of Thurmont.

The State of Maryland's Neighborhood BusinessWork's loan progr​am provi​des gap financing, i.e. subordinate financing, to new or expanding small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Sustainable Communities throughout the State.

  • Mixed-use projects combining residential and ​commercial uses in the same ​building
  • New construction or rehabilitation​​
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Certain other costs associated with opening or expanding a small business
  • Real estate acquisition
  • Manufacturing
  • Service providers
  • Retail
  • Project must be located in a Sustainable Community
  • Project viability and potential impact on the neighborhood
  • First floor business or retail space use that generates street level activity in mixed use projects
  • Improvements to a vacant or under-utilized building or site
  • Readiness to proceed
  • Cash flow and collateral
Priority is given to projects that strengthen neighborhood commercial districts and are part of a greater revitalization strategy. The following types of projects and activities will not be considered for financing:
  • Residential or transient living facilities (other than mixed-use projects described in eligible projects section)
  • Facilities such as community halls, fire stations, hospitals, colleges or universities
  • Adult bookstores, adult video shops, other adult entertainment facilities, gambling facilities, gun shops, liquor stores, massage parlors, pawn shops, tanning salons, or tattoo parlors
  • Loan amounts up to $500,000 or 50% of the total project costs, whichever is less
  • Interest rate is based on an underwriting analysis
  • Target loan term is five to 15 years, depending on use and loan amount
  • Minimum five percent applicant cash contribution is required (based on total new project cost)
  • Personal guarantees and collateral are required
  • No prepayment penalties
To apply, please visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/Business/Pages/NBW.aspx