Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Recent Study Shows Fort Detrick continues to Fuel Economy; Ranks #1 in Visitor Spending Among MD's Military Installations

In a study released last month by the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) at Towson University and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), a survey of Maryland's 15 military installations in Maryland revealed that Fort Detrick continues to be a major economic engine for the State of Maryland and Frederick County.

Source: RESI
The Maryland Military Installation Economic Impact Study measured the economic impacts on the state's economy based on base-specific payroll, procurement, visitor and other spending during FY 2012 and compared it to FY 2008. Overall, the study found that 15% of the state's total output can be attributed to all 15 military installations. Out of the $51.8 billion in total output for Maryland's military installations, Fort Detrick contributed $7.0 billion or 13.5%, the 3rd highest in the state.

In FY 2012, Fort Detrick supported a total of 7,566 direct workers (not including 15,844 contractors) which produced an induced economic employment of 13,371 jobs as a result of incomes spent and respent on a variety of items in the broader economy. The total employment impact for Fort Detrick was 36,782 jobs in FY 2012 for an increase of 174.6% over FY 2008.

Source: RESI
The study also measured military installation visitor spending. With 311,721 total visitors, Fort Detrick had the highest amount of in-state visitor spending among the military installations in Maryland ($44,576,103). Abderdeen Proving Grounds ranked #2 at $43,431,531.

Fort Detrick procured 409% more in total in-state purchases compared to FY 2008 with the highest spending amount in category of contracts.

Sources: DBED, Fort Detrick
To view the entire study, please click here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

GROW: Volume 3

This series is part of a blog series about Frederick County businesses that grow and expand. It is a snapshot of Frederick County business success stories. Check back each month for more businesses that grow in Frederick County or read Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Regent Education
Regent Education, which is now in the Firehouse Financial Center on West Church Street, will move its 85 employees to 26,000 SF at Union Mills along Carroll Creek early next year and expects to have a total of 130 employees as the company grows.

Regent traces its beginnings to the founding of Computing Options, a student information system provider, in 1984. In 2006, a team of entrepreneurs incorporated Regent to acquire Computing Options as a platform for a financial aid management system and moved in to the Spite House on Church Street. In 2013, the company recorded record growth and in 2014, they added 20 new FT positions.

Today, they are the leading provider of financial aid management and enrollment optimization software solutions for higher education institutions. Regent 8, the eighth version of Regent's financial aid management system is the only one of its kind and their Regent SNAP enables schools to provide estimated awards to prospective students in 15 minutes or less, a process that normally takes days or weeks. The company estimates that over 1 million students use this software.

The Plamondon Companies
The Plamondons have a long history with Roy Rogers dating back to 1968 when Peter Plamondon, Sr. helped create the chain while working for Marriott.   He later became a Roy Rogers franchisee opening his first restaurant in Frederick, MD in 1980.  Plamondon's sons, Jim and Peter, have owned and operated the business since 1998 and bought the franchise rights to the brand in 2002.  Today the company owns 20 corporate and oversees 40 franchise restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic region.  The company is seeking franchisees to continue Roy Rogers expansion throughout the northeast region.

In 1996, the Plamondons entered the hotel business and formed Plamondon Hospitality Partners.  Today, the Plamondon Companies own and operate 6 Marriott branded hotels (Fairfield Inn, Courtyard Inn, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and SpringHill Suites) in Frederick. They are the largest hotelier in Frederick County. They are currently in a growth mode with three hotels under construction, a Home2Suites by Hilton in Groveton, GA and a Fairfield Inn & Suites and TownPlace Suites in Altoona, PA all scheduled to open early 2016. They have been selected as the developer for the Downtown Hotel & Conference Center project.
The Plamondon Companies celebrate 35 years in 2015 with 400 FT employees and 600 PT employees and in 2014, they hired 300 people. Their turnover rate for their industry is well below that national average.

Mid-Maryland Muscoskeletal Institute (MMI)
When Drs Nisenfeld and Chilton began the practice in 1986, they had just five employees. Today, there are a dozen partners and 120 employees.

The Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute offers a full range of services for bone, muscle and joint problems. Growth of the practice required several moves over the years, and eventually the construction of their own 15,000 square foot facility in 2005 on Thomas Johnson Dr. At this time, the MMI division encompasses that main facility and three additional offices on the same block in Frederick, as well as offices in Hagerstown and Urbana.  In 2009, the Urbana office opened and in just 4 years, they doubled their space and expanded services. In conjunction with the Kids First Swim School located in the FSK Mall, MMI now offers Aquatic Exercise Classes. This marks the first endeavor of its kind for the orthopaedic practice as it joins forces with a local sport facility to offer a fast growing and popular exercise option. The practice also provides support for the Keys baseball team, Hood College as well as many local high schools.

An additional 40,000 square feet is anticipated with the construction of an additional facility in Frederick, planned to break ground within the next 2 years.

U.S. Silica
In December 2010, U.S. Silica's Corporate Headquarters moved from its previous location in Berkeley Springs, WV to Frederick. The company stated they moved to Frederick in order to be able to attract new and different talent to operate as a public company.  U.S. Silica, which specializes in glass sand and related products, has 22 locations including Shanghai, China and operates 9 industrial sand production plants and seven oil and gas sand production plants.

In 2013, they had  total revenue of $546 million in 2013, compared with $441.9 million in 2012. In October 2014, Forbes named U.S. Silica Holdings as the best small business of 2014. The honor was based on sales, earnings, equity and stock market performance over the past 12 months and past five years.

The company currently has 102 employees in Frederick and more than 1,000 total in its plants around the U.S. and China. In 2013, they hired 23 employees in Frederick and a total of 148 for all locations. In 2015, they stated they are undergoing unprecedented growth with 253 new hires last year, 32 in Frederick.

The company dates to the late 1800s, when Henry Harrison Hunter mined silica sand in Berkeley Springs and entered a sample in the Chicago World's Fair, winning a blue ribbon and medal of excellence for its quality.

Geo-Technology Associates (GTA)
GTA is celebrating their 30th year in business with 16 offices in the mid-Atlantic region and Carolinas with geotechnical and environmental consulting. Their 285 employees are engineers, geologists, scientists, technicians, and support personnel. They opened their Frederick location in 1995.

In 2014, Geo-Technology Associates (GTA) doubled their manpower and space in Frederick County. Their rapid growth started early 2014 when they had just 8 employees and they now have 16 employees with two more positions available. GTA went from 1,600 square feet to 3,000 square feet when they moved in October 2014. Their previous location on Industry Ln was unfinished industrial space and at their new location on Pegasus Ct, they have additional finished laboratory space.

Current projects that the Frederick office is working on include: Landsdale, a 1100 planned unit development; Clarksburg Village, and several other projects including Linton Farms, and Manors at Ballenger Creek.

Why PR Frederick is an Award-Winning Resource for Frederick County Businesses

Last month, Frederick County took home the Maryland Economic Development Association Award (MEDA) for Economic Development Marketing for PR Frederick, a free press release marketing service that helps Frederick County companies broaden their online exposure.

PR Frederick, is the result of listening to what businesses need. 

Each year, the Frederick County office of Economic Development (OED) hosts a Business Appreciation Week (BAW) where over 100 businesses are visited over the span of one week. BAW gives our office a chance to hear what businesses are saying and what they need most from their local government. From 2010-2012, businesses during Business Appreciation Week said what they needed most from local government was assistance with marketing their businesses. Businesses reported that as the economy was getting a little tougher, their marketing budgets were shrinking and they were looking for creative ways to get the word out about their products and services and gain new customers. Most of these businesses were already writing press releases and using social media but many didn’t have the resources to hire an additional staff person to boost their marketing campaigns.

In response to BAW findings, OED researched online newswire tools as a way to distribute press releases for Frederick County businesses. The objective was to provide a free and effective way for businesses to reach journalists, newspapers, publications and increase their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

Helen Propheter, OED's Director, accepts the 2015 Economic
Development Marketing Award from MEDA
The subscription selected is the highest-rated online newswire service on the web and the service distributes press releases straight to the search engines that everyone uses, like Google, Yahoo and Bing and onto major news sites like Google News, Yahoo News, WSJ, and more. They also distribute news releases to more than 250,000 subscribers and as many as 30,000 bloggers and journalists. 
In January of 2013, OED began telling Frederick County businesses about the new online press release distribution service and what it could do for them. The usage of PR Frederick by Frederick businesses increased 244% from January 2013-October 2013 to January 2014-October 2014.  OED works with the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development to co-host this service and jointly promote the service.

Press release resources on the PR Frederick webpage include:

Anatomy of a Press Release
Press Release FAQs
Press Release Template
What is Newsworthy?
How to Write a Boilerplate
Press Release Tips and Tricks
Photos and Videos for Press Releases
PR Frederick Vocabulary

As a way to measure the tool’s effectiveness for businesses, a complimentary analytic report is offered at the 30 day mark to each business who submits a release. The report tracks who clicked on the release, how many clicks it received and where it was distributed.  

Good news on Frederick County businesses “sells” Frederick County as a whole and is a valuable economic tool. The Frederick County Office of Economic Development is pleased to make this service available as just one of many ways we attract and retain companies. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Week in Philadephia at BIO International

The leading bioscience companies in the world gathered this week with politicians, top researchers and scientists, government agencies, members of academia, CEOs, and the Frederick County Office of Economic Development for the 2015 BIO International Convention. It is the largest biotechnology convention in the world and each year, Frederick County has a spot among over 160,000 square feet with 1,700 exhibitors.

Partnering with the City of Frederick DED, Frederick County
is pictured with Maryland's DBED Deputy Secretary
Ben Wu on Day 2 of the convention
Our Frederick County team with
County Executive Jan Gardner
Frederick is well represented at this convention as part of one of the largest bioscience clusters in Maryland. One third of the job growth in Maryland during the last decade has been in the life sciences industry and Frederick County is home to more than 80 bioscience companies.

Last year, the convention reached 15,556 attendees from 16 countries and 50 states with nearly 2,500 CEOs in attendance. This year, over 15,000 attendees are expected to have visited Philadelphia for this event. BIO International allows Frederick County to not only meet companies as an exhibitor, but provides key networking events and educational programs that gives our department the opportunity to talk to companies one-on-one in a setting other than the traditional tradeshow style. OED's staff received many inquiries from potential prospects about doing business in Frederick this week and inquiries from companies interested in collaborating with Frederick County companies. OED also met up with our local bioscience companies in attendance and this opportunity allows us to forge stronger relationships with our growing bioscience community. Some of the Frederick County companies at BIO this year were:
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner traveled to BIO to take part in the Maryland Leadership Breakfast hosted by the BioMaryland Center on Wednesday and while there, she had a chance to meet some attendees at the Frederick booth. BioMaryland is an office within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development that supports the growth of the life sciences industry in Maryland. Their Maryland Leadership Breakfast had a record number of participants this year, another indicator that bioscience is thriving in Maryland.
Patrick Haley of BridgePath Scientific telling attendees
about BridgePath's services and products.

DBED's Deputy Secretary Ben Wu
at the BioMaryland Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday
Frederick County Business Development
Specialist Jodie Bollinger meets with attendees

Helen Propheter, Director of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development recapped her busy week by stating, "Frederick County and Maryland are leaders in the bioscience industry and this event allows us to make connections with leading scientists all over the world. My week in Philadelphia was packed full with making new connections, building stronger partnerships and learning fresh ideas that I look forward to bringing back to Frederick."

Jodie Bollinger sells Frederick as the ideal
bioscience location
A symbol of American independence, our team
spots a bell in Philadelphia
Dave Smith of Lonza speaking at BIO. Frederick County
is proud to have Lonza representing Frederick bioscience.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Frederick Named Among Top 10 Best Places to Live Post Military Life

The Military Times' first-ever Best for Vets: Places to Live features cities that create an enviable military veterans culture and Frederick is near the top. 

A total of 577 places, as designated by the Census Bureau, were considered and 75 made the final list.

In order to determine the rankings, the Army Times considered over two dozen metrics from private and federal data sources. They considered questions such as: Is the economy strong enough for a military spouse to have a good chance at a high-paying job? How far is the nearest installation? How good are the schools? What is the crime like?

Frederick came in at #8 in the small cities category for cities with populations under 75,000.

Home to Fort Detrick, the County's largest employer with over 9,000 military and civilian personnel traveling in and out of the base daily for work, Fort Detrick provides veterans with local access to military resources and regionally, Frederick is within a 50-mile radius of 13 military installations.

The median salary for veterans in Frederick is $48,225 compared to $35,432 for non-veterans. The unemployment rate for veterans is just 2.3% in Frederick, compared to 5.4% for non-veterans. Frederick vets are also fortunate to have access to 23 VA health facilities within a 50-mile radius.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Commercial Historical Tax Credits Available

Owners of historic commercial properties can now submit an application for a state income tax credit for renovating historic structures in Maryland. Fiscal year 2016 applications opened last week for the Sustainable Communities Competitive Commercial Tax Credit program, administered by the Maryland Historical Trust.  Applications are due August 31, 2015.  In addition, there are tax credits available at the City, County, and Federal level to help transform historical properties into neighborhoods where people want to live, work and play.

Owners of income-producing properties have the opportunity to earn a state income tax credit (capped at $3 million) that is equal to 20 percent of eligible rehabilitation expenses for substantial rehabilitation projects. Substantial rehabilitation projects are defined as projects with eligible expenses that exceed the greater of the adjusted basis value of the structure or $25,000. An additional 5 percent credit is available for projects that achieve LEED Gold Certification or equivalent. Applications are rated and ranked by the Maryland Historical Trust and compete for a total of $9 million in tax credit awards. To view a downloadable brochure on this program, please click here.

Locally, Frederick County provides a 5-year decreasing credit property tax credit for increases in assessments for properties in the historic districts of the City of Frederick, the Town of New Market, or listed in the Frederick County Register of Historic Places, provided that the historic preservation commissions in those jurisdictions have reviewed and approved the work which results in the increased assessment. To review the application for the Frederick County Historic District Tax Credit Program, please click here.

The City of Frederick also has a Historic Preservation Property Tax Credit available for the 40 blocks of Downtown Frederick.

The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive is administered by the National Park Service and offers a 20% federal income tax credit, based on the renovation of a certifed historic structure.

These programs are designed to encourage the redevelopment and reuse of historic buildings which help create jobs, contribute towards increased property values and encourage reinvestment in our neighborhoods.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

5 Reasons Why Biosciences Thrive in Frederick, Maryland

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development and the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development will be exhibiting at the Bio International Convention next week, the largest bioscience convention in the world. In preparation, here are the 5 Reasons Why Biosciences Thrive in Frederick, Maryland:

Visit us at the Bio International Convention
in Philadelphia, PA June 16-18, 2015.
  1. Location, Location, Location - Frederick is the northern anchor of the I-270 Technology Corridor in Maryland, which is one of the largest bioscience clusters in the U.S. It is home to Fort Detrick, the Frederick National Laboratory, 9,000+ businesses, and over 80 bioscience companies. Less than an hour from both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Frederick also offers close proximity to federal regulatory agencies.
  2. Opportunity & Collaboration - Businesses enjoy strong biotechnology transfer opportunities from the federal labs at Fort Detrick and the National Cancer Institute. Start-ups can thrive in Frederick's local biotech incubator and state-of-the-art labs and offices are available. The community is supported with partners offering local networking opportunities and workshops.
  3. Educated Workforce & Great Schools - Ranked  among the 2nd Smartest Cities by, 36% of the workforce holds a bachelor's degree or higher and 13.3% have earned a Masters degree or Ph.D. Local public school achievement exceeds Maryland averages with scores that consistently surpass state and national averages on measures such as the College Board SAT. All county public high schools rank in the nation’s top 9% for encouraging students to take challenging Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate tests.
  4. Transportation - Two-thirds of the U.S. population is within a day's drive of Frederick, and the location provides provides convenient access to all major markets on the eastern seaboard. It is within 50 miles of 3 international airports (BWI, Dulles and Reagan National). Two commuter rail stations serve Frederick, including one downtown, offering daily weekday service to Washington, D.C.
  5. Quality of Life - Just released in June 2015 by, Frederick was named one of the "Top 100 Best Places to Live" in the U.S. It was also named one of the "10 Best Places Near Washington, D.C. For Young Professionals" and Frederick County was names among the "Top 10 Counties in America." Award-winning Downtown Frederick is bustling with independently owned shops, restaurants, and galleries. Frederick offers the ability for residents to “live, work, and play” and experience an excellent quality of life.
Want to learn more? Contact us and we can assist you with site selection assistance, how to start your business in Frederick, relocation assistance, and more information about the biosciences in our area.  This originally appeared on the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development's blog. Find out more here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

We're looking for a dynamic person to join our team!

Our office is looking to fill the position of a full-time Business Development Specialist - Agriculture. This position will be available July 1, 2015 and will fill an important role in working with our agriculture community. For the complete job posting, please click here.