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 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

Friday, January 22, 2016

Frederick County Government Introduces Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development, with support from County Executive Jan Gardner, is pleased to introduce a Small Business Loan Guarantee Program (SBLG) for existing and aspiring small businesses in Frederick County. The initial funding of this program will be provided by the existing funds remaining from the Frederick County Revolving Loan Fund, which stopped issuing new loans in 2011. “This is another way of showing that Frederick County means business,” County Executive Gardner said Thursday. “We support our small businesses and want to give them the help they need to succeed.”

Frederick County Office of Economic Development Director Helen Propheter added, “The end goal is to create more jobs in Frederick County, support jobs that pay family supporting wages and provide more local job opportunities. This program is another tool in our toolbox that helps us achieve these results.”

The purpose of the SBLG is to provide financing assistance for growth-related expansion projects for existing businesses and for aspiring entrepreneurs, the loan guarantee can be used for real estate, refinancing secured debt, machinery & equipment and working capital. The SBLG provides up to an 80% loan guarantee with a commitment capped at $50,000. There is no loan amount maximum and the terms and interest rate are to be determined by the lender that the business is working with.

In order to maximize resources, the business must be located in Frederick County or agree to locate within Frederick County prior to settlement and must be a start-up or early stage for-profit company with 100 or fewer employees.  Borrowers must provide at least 5% equity and preference is given to Frederick County’s targeted industries or high growth industries.

The program will be administered by the Frederick County Office of Economic Development and managed by a volunteer-driven Loan Guarantee Committee . Lenders will serve as the primary contact for prospective Frederick County Small Business Loan Guarantee clients. The SBLG requires that an applicant be approved for conventional bank financing contingent upon a loan guarantee before applying for the SBLG. For more information, including administrative guidelines and a Small Business Loan Guarantee Application, click here or call the Frederick County Office of Economic Development at 301-600-1058.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

McClintock Distilling Selected to Participate in Congressional Reception

America's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host the America's SBDC Client Showcase & Reception on Capitol Hill on February 1, 2016 and selected to participate in this year's event is Frederick's own McClintock Distilling. The company is among just eleven invited SBDC clients nationwide.

McClintock Distilling, slated to open in Downtown Frederick this year, is a craft distillery producing gin, white whiskey, rye whiskey and bourbon. They are a sustainable distillery that is wind-powered, designed on a closed loop system and recycles all grains. All products are certified USDA organic, additive free and hand inspected by their head distiller. The new distillery will feature an expansive tasting room and production area. The 5,000 square foot building will also be available for booking events and receptions.

The goal of the America's SBDC Client Showcase & Reception is to demonstrate the successes of state and regional Small Business Development Center Networks. The Western Maryland SBDC and the Frederick Office helped their business dream become a reality by providing training and financial models to help secure a business loan. They also attended seminars hosted by SBDC and received training on marketing, sales, building a business plan and fundamentals of building a business.

The mission of America’s nationwide network of SBDCs is to help new entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership, and to assist existing businesses to remain competitive in the complex marketplace of an ever-changing global economy.

SBDC assists existing and prospective business owners in three basic ways:

  • Training - Regular SmartStart seminars, as well as periodic special-interest programs, and participation in educational programs presented by other business support agencies and non-profits.
  • Counseling - Free one-on-one counseling on a variety of business topics.
  • Maximization of Resources - Providing information about and access to specialize assistance and resources from other local business support providers.
Since FY2011, the Frederick office of the SBDC has helped 46 businesses start-up and has helped create 192 jobs. Counseling over 514 clients from FY2011-FY2015. The Frederick office is the busiest SBDC in the Western Maryland region. Visit the website to learn more.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Economic Census Data Released Shows County’s Asian-Owned Businesses Increasing Faster than Other Minority-Owned Businesses

This data summary is Part 1 of 3 summaries on the Economic Census Survey of Business Owners released on December 15, 2015.

Frederick County’s percentage of minority Asian-owned businesses increased faster than any other ethnic group since 2007. According to the data from the Economic Census Survey of Business Owners conducted by the Census Bureau every five years released on December 15, 2015, Asian-owned businesses represent a 68.9% increase since the last Economic Census in 2007. Within that subset, Chinese-owned businesses represented a 302% increase.

While both Hispanic and Asian-owned businesses experienced a large increase from 2002-2007, in 2012 both ethnic groups increased slower compared to 2007 results. From 2007 to 20012, Black or African-American-owned businesses increased 5.6% and Hispanic-owned businesses increased 25.6% compared to 186.8% from 2002-2007 and 169.9% from 2002-2007, respectively.

Women-owned businesses increased at 8.2% from 2007-2012, compared to 45.8% from 2002-2007.

Monday, January 4, 2016

How to Start a Business in Frederick County Brochure Now Available

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED) has created a Road Map to starting a business in Frederick County, MD. The brochure, produced in partnership with the Small Business Development Center and in consultation with the Frederick County Department of Permitting, outlines the steps to consider when starting a business along with contact information and websites for appropriate resources.

The brochure is part of the OED's toolkit for small business assistance and is part of a larger initiative to increase support for small businesses and municipalities in 2016. Brochures will be distributed to municipal main street organizations and are also available to download here.

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development's mission is to increase the overall economic health of Frederick County through attracting new businesses in our targeted industries and helping existing businesses be more successful.