Friday, February 27, 2015

2014 Annual Report Now Available

The 2014 Frederick County Business Development and Retention Annual Report is now available to download from our website here.
If you don't have time to read the whole Annual Report, here are the Top 5 Things to Remember About Economic Development in Frederick County for 2014:
1.       Frederick County made the historic transition to Charter Government and elected the first County Executive and County Council
2.       Frederick County was named one of the Top 10 Counties in America by Movoto Real Estate
3.       The Manufacturing Workforce Partnership of Frederick County was a recipient of the EARN Maryland grant, aimed towards supporting manufacturing training programs and job creation.
4.       45% of companies surveyed have plans to hire more staff and 30% have future plans to expand their location.
5.       Farm breweries and distilleries received a record number of business inquiries thanks in part to the new Farm Brewery legislation passed in Maryland.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

January Economic Indicators Now Available

The January edition of our Monthly Business Economic Indicators is now on our website. This month includes the following changes and highlights:

Unemployment rate remains unchanged since September at 4.6%. At this time last year, our unemployment rate was 5.2%

Commercial real estate figures have been updated. The overall vacancy rate for Frederick County for 2014 was 11.5% which is significantly lower than the year end 2010 vacancy rate of 15.8%. The flex market saw the largest decrease in vacancy rates going from 23.4% in 2010 to 13.2%.

The residential housing market saw the biggest increase in average home price increase out of any county in the state of Maryland from January 2014 to January 2015. The average home price in January 2015 was $300,089 compared to $260,630 the year before. This represents a 15.1% increase.

January 2015 had one of the best years in the last 5 years for the number of commercial and industrial permits issued. A total of 78 permits were issued, which ties for 2013 for the highest number since 2011.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The HUBZone--What is it?

The HubZone program, administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, was enacted by Congress in 1997 to help small businesses located in HUBZones get contract help, thus promoting job growth, capital investment and economic development in economically depressed areas, in both rural and urban communities, and on Indian reservations. HUBZone stands for Historically Underutlized Business Zone.

What does this mean in Frederick County? 
There are three designated HUBZone eligible Census tracts in Frederick County, two are located in the City of Frederick and one is located in the Town of Emmitsburg and outlying areas. To view the map, click here.

The program’s benefits for HUBZone-certified companies include:
  • Competitive and sole source contracting
  • 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities.
The federal government has a goal of awarding 3% of all dollars for federal prime contracts to HUBZone-certified small business concerns. Click hereDownload Adobe Reader to read this link content to see a list of the biggest industries, by contracting dollar amount, for HUBZone companies and small businesses.

Eligibility for HubZone
To qualify for the program, a business (except tribally-owned concerns) must meet the following criteria:
  • It must be a small business by SBA standards
  • It must be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe
  • Its principal office must be located within a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone,” which includes lands considered “Indian Country” and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act
  • At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone
Interested in finding out more? Contact our Small Business Development Center at 301-600-1058 or click on this link for more information.

Is Your Company the Best Place to Work in Frederick?

Are you proud of where you work? If so, let us know! 

The Frederick County Department of Business Development and Retention is once again proud to co-sponsor the Frederick County Best Places to Work Campaign. Along with our partners at Frederick County Workforce Services, the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, we are looking for the Best Places to Work in Frederick County!

Any business in Frederick County can take the survey by clicking on the link here and winners are broken down into employment size. The winners will be announced live at the Delaplaine Visual Arts and Education Center on July 30th at a special awards ceremony and winners will be featured in Frederick Magazine. Check out last year's winners and story here!

The survey deadline is March 30, 2015. Please call us at 301-600-1058 if you have any questions and be sure to like our Best Places to Work page on Facebook for all the latest updates.