The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. (AAEDC) is coordinating Anne Arundel County’s commercial revitalization effort by targeting the older, more established areas in the county.
The AAEDC’s Community Reinvestment Initiative (CRI) will identify and make use of resources to improve neighborhood commercial districts, reduce blighted areas, increase property values and grow business.
“With the successful completion of [the Base Realignment and Closure] and development of Odenton Town Center on track, the time is right to focus on revitalizing our older communities,” said Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. “I have asked AAEDC to make the Community Reinvestment Initiative a priority and to coordinate with other county departments on this important effort that will upgrade the quality of life for our residents and grow the Anne Arundel County tax base.”
The CRI will geographically focus on the county’s 16 Designated Commercial Revitalization Areas. Several of these districts have been identified as immediate priority areas, including Brooklyn Park; Riviera Beach, Mountain Road and Sun Valley in Pasadena; North Odenton; and the Glen Burnie Town Center.
Property/business owners will be contacted and provided with resources and services designed to encourage revitalization, including the following.
• Business financing. AAEDC offers a variety of loan programs to assist with redevelopment.
• Business Corridor Investment Loan Program. Zero percent interest loans of up to $35,000 for exterior improvements (including $1,500 worth of architectural services).
• Arundel Business Loan Fund. SBA guaranteed loans of up to $300,000 and Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority guaranteed loans/lines of credit up to $100,000 for working capital, equipment and furniture, leasehold improvements and lines of credit; interest rates are current prime rate +2.75% (or +3.75% for lines of credit).
• Marketing consultations. Mini-market analysis and guidance on performing consumer research, including surveys and focus groups, preparation and counseling to attend the International Council of Shopping Centers commercial dealmaking conference.
• Anne Arundel County Commercial Revitalization Tax Credit. Owners who have improved their property’s value can take advantage of the tax credit for up to five years (equal to the incremental increase in their real property assessment) for improvements of at least $100,000. The property must be located in a Designated Commercial
The CRI also encompasses making connections to additional programs, such as the Maryland Department of Housing and Community gap financing; and Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development financing programs.
“The Community Reinvestment Initiative addresses the untapped economic development opportunity that exists in our older commercial districts,” said AAEDC president and CEO Robert Hannon. “The participation of both the business and the investment communities will be key in making this program a success.”
“We are working with banks that have branch locations within the initiative districts to help facilitate more small business lending in these areas and to spur more private investment,” said CRI Director Mary Burkholder. “This initiative can be a powerful catalyst for neighborhood improvement while at the same time helping businesses attract more customers and improve profitability.”
Businesses or property owners within the priority areas of the CRI are encouraged to take advantage of the resources and services available by contacting Burkholder at 410-222-7410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.