Friday, March 26, 2010

Fort Detrick Business Development Office Announces Contractor Support Award

The United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) is proud to announce the recipient of the contract award to support the Fort Detrick Business Development Office is Beacon Associates, Inc.

Beacon Associates, Inc. is an award winning woman-owned small business and Small Business Administration Certified 8(a) firm based in Maryland, whose core competencies include, but are not limited to: support services, organizational effectiveness and information technology. Beacon Associates, Inc. is eager to provide professional, scientific and technical support services to the USAMRMC, Fort Detrick Installation, its mission partners, the business community, industry and academia.

The United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, the acquisition support arm of the USAMRMC, is responsible for the award of this contract, with input provided by the USAMRMC and Fort Detrick Office of Small Business Programs.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Time = Earth Hour

The Frederick Board of County Commissioners today announced continued support for Earth Hour, an annual event when people, organizations, corporations and governments around the world come together to make a statement about their concern for the environment and harmful carbon emissions by doing something simple -- pledging to turn off their lights for one hour. Turning out the lights signals support for a shift to cleaner air, a strong economic future and a more secure nation.

The commissioners will participate in Earth Hour 2010 on Saturday, March 27, by turning off all non-essential lighting in county government buildings from 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. and by inviting residents and businesses to join them in turning out lights and taking action. Anyone can join the Frederick County effort by signing up at the Earth Hour webpage, found at

Board President Jan Gardner commented, “Turning off the lights for an hour in support of Earth Hour is one small step the county is taking toward reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. More aggressively, we are taking steps to reduce our use of non-renewable energy by 50% in county buildings, facilities and the vehicle fleet over the next 15 years. In doing so, we are saving taxpayer dollars and significantly reducing our impact on the environment.”

Over the past year, Frederick County Government has been developing community energy programs, housed in the Office of Environmental Sustainability. The commissioners urge residents and businesses to contact the office to learn additional ways to incorporate Earth Hour into everyday life, from turning out lights when leaving a room, to unplugging unnecessary electronic equipment, to using energy-efficient appliances.

Friday, March 19, 2010

NCI at Riverside Research Park Tilt Up Party

Representatives from OED attended the Tilt Up Party today for the National Cancer Institute/SAIC-Frederick expansion at Riverside Research Park. Here are some photos of the well-attended event.

To learn more about the progress at Riverside, visit Matan Companies here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chamber's Brown Bag Lunch Discussion

Local professionals are invited to a Brown Bag Lunch Discussion at the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce office on Friday, March 26 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The open forum discussion, moderated by Chamber board members, is an opportunity for the business community to share their challenges, best practices, goals, and ideas with fellow Chamber members.

This month, participants will learn how to save money with free transportation benefits, including teleworking, government tax savings, flexible schedules, coworking, and other creative ideas. Experts from Frederick County TransIT will share practical tips for saving money and increasing productivity.

“Traffic and transportation are always a concern for the business community, and we’re thrilled to connect local organizations with resources to help them save money and make life easier for their employees,” said Ric Adams, Chamber President & CEO. “After record snowfall in February and the decreased productivity that resulted from travel restrictions and school closings, I think many of us are also interested in learning about technology and other tools that will help us work effectively outside of the office.”

Space is limited to 30 participants. This event is free for Chamber members and $10 for non-member guests. Register online at or call 301.662.4164 x 201 before March 23.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Frederick County Farm to Restaurant EXPO

Frederick County restaurants and food distributors are invited to the first Frederick County Farm to Restaurant EXPO event, connecting local producers to opportunities available at local restaurants and businesses.

Several local farmers will be displaying their products and will be available to discuss how they can help provide locally grown products for your business. Refreshments are provided.

If you are a restaurant or food distributor, click here to register or RSVP.

If you have any questions about the event or how to register, please contact the Frederick County Office of Economic Development at 301-600-1058.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Seeking Information to Assess Damages to Businesses As a Result of the February 2010 Snowstorms

The Frederick County Emergency Management Division, in conjunction with the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, would like to assess the effects that the snowstorms of February 2010 had on Frederick County businesses. Responses from all Frederick County businesses are greatly appreciated. If you have any questions while filling out this survey, please contact the Frederick County Office of Economic Development at 301-600-1058.

Click here to take the survey.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Business Visit to Frederick Indoor Sports Center (FISC)

The Frederick Indoor Sports Center (FISC) hosted a business visit by Frederick County representatives on March 1, 2010. Frederick Alderman Michael O’Connor joined members of the Office of Economic Development (OED) and several members of their partnering agencies as part of their outreach efforts. OED coordinates monthly business visits throughout the year to tour and learn more about the County’s business community.

New owners of the facility, Mr. Tony Checchia and Mr. Jay Jeffrey, provided the group a company overview and a tour of their 65,000 square foot indoor sports facility. The owners have made significant renovations to the former Frederick SportsPlex facility, which include a new FieldTurf playing surface on the south field, new lighting and a sports lounge/café. They currently have 10 employees and have plans to expand the current facility 20,000 square feet for a gymnasium to open in 2011.

The center focuses on turf-related sports including soccer, lacrosse and football. They have plans to expand to include other activities such as dodgeball, kickball and field hockey. There are several tenants located within the sports facility that provide complimentary services. Some of the tenants include: La La’s Kingdom Fundamental Fitness, Frederick Memorial Hospital, 368 Athletics and Venues Sports Café & Delicatessen.

For more information, please visit their website at or by contacting the facility at 240-215-4040. FISC is located at 1845 Brookfield Court, Frederick, Maryland.

Photograph: Frederick Alderman Michael O'Connor, Tony Checchia and Jay Jeffrey, Owners of FISC, Laurie Boyer, OED and Richard Griffin, City DED

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Frederick - A Healthy County

By Lena H. Sun, Washington Post staff writer:

Fairfax, Arlington and Loudon are the healthiest counties in Virginia, and Howard, Montgomery and Frederick top the list in Maryland, according to a set of reports recently released. The reports rank U.S. counties and cities based on how long people live and how healthy they are. The three Northern Virginia counties get top marks within the state for overall health, but they compare poorly with other parts of Virginia for air quality. Fairfax ranked 132 -- last among Virginia's counties and cities included in the study -- in that category because of the region's horrendous traffic. Fairfax had 37 unhealthy air quality days in 2005; rural counties such as Craig and Cumberland had none.

In Maryland, Prince George's County ranked 17 out of the state's 23 counties and Baltimore City for overall health, in large part because the rate of people dying before age 75, which is more than twice that of Howard County. The County Health Rankings (available at are the first reports to rank the overall health of almost every county in all 50 states. The District was not included.

The health rankings were done by the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Researchers rated overall health based on five measures that included the rate of people dying before age 75; the percentage of people who reported being in fair or poor health; and the rate of low-birth-weight infants. They also gave a separate grade to factors that influence health. Those include: smoking, obesity, binge drinking, access to primary care providers, high school graduation rates, violent crime rates, air pollution levels and liquor store density. Researchers relied on federal health, census and crime data compiled from 2002 to 2008.

Counties and cities are ranked within each state; there is no overall score for which county is the healthiest in the nation. Researchers said they hope public health officials, community leaders and consumers compare their county with others in the state and find ways for improvement. "Rather than pointing the finger at the least healthy places in the country, which tend to be in the Southeast and Appalachia, this is a Polaroid snapshot that allows every state to look within their own boundaries, down to the county level," said Patrick Remington, associate dean for public health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

"People tend to rank health based on life expectancy," said Jim Marks, a senior vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "But so many things that are important for health are outside the responsibilities of the doctors and hospitals we traditionally think of as public health."

Community interest could increase pressure for change. "When people move to a neighborhood, they want to know how good are the schools and expect to get some answer," Marks said. "They almost never ask how healthy is this a place to live and raise a family." It's also to an employer's advantage, he said, to draw from a healthier population so health insurance costs are less.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Training for Results

Frederick County Workforce Services (FCWS) used the Maryland Business Works Program to partner with American Computer Development, Inc., a manufacturing and design services company, to assist them in meeting their goals to create more efficient and effective business processes. The training also helped the company to meet its mission to innovate for tomorrow. Six employees were trained in various job-related and industry skills, including lean manufacturing, project management, human resources certification, and equipment operations and maintenance. Four of the six training participants received wage increases and all received industry skills that will lead to career advancement.

Learn more about the Maryland Business Works Program and other opportunities to obtain grant funding for employee training purposes on the FCWS website.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2009 Annual Report

The Office of Economic Development released their 2009 Annual Report today. Click here to download and view a PDF version.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Entrepreneur Council Awards

The Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County is soliciting nominees for its 2010 Entrepreneur Awards. The awards program is now in its 13th year and is one of the most prestigious in the area. The annual awards dinner, held at Dutch’s Daughter restaurant, is also one of the area’s premier business networking events.

This year’s awards program, scheduled for June, is the first to be co-sponsored with the Entrepreneur Council’s promotional partner, 270 Inc. magazine. Each nominee will be featured in the magazine’s June/July issue, and category winners will be featured in subsequent issues. The event also is regularly covered by the Frederick News-Post and the Frederick Gazette.

All locally-owned Frederick County businesses who have not won previously are eligible for nomination. Companies are also encouraged to nominate themselves. A nomination form is attached. The form also can be downloaded from the Entrepreneur Council’s website at For additional information contact Chris Olson at or 301-600-1967.

Companies of all sizes are eligible, although we are particularly in need of nominations in the large company (10+ employees) category.