Anne Arundel County Planning
to Shutter CIC
The Anne Arundel County government did not include funding for the Chesapeake Innovation Center (CIC) in its proposed fiscal 2018 budget and recently announced that it plans to close the facility on June 30. One of its former resident companies has already relocated within the area, but there are several still located in the center.

The CIC was founded in the early 2000s in Annapolis, and its offices were relocated in summer 2014 to its most recent location, an 8,000-square-foot office (that features a collaboration space with a moveable wall) at 2288 Blue Water Boulevard in the Seven Oaks section of Odenton. The move was made due to the office’s proximity to Fort Meade.

“The CIC is a great concept that truly helps small businesses get a stronger foundation,” said Tim Lorello, president and CEO of SecuLore Solutions, a one-year resident of the incubator. “Many of the companies are willing to work with the county to find a way to keep the CIC operational, but time is running out on us.”

 

MHCC Approves Heart Surgery Program for AAMC
Recently, the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) voted to approve Anne Arundel Medical Center’s (AAMC) Certificate of Need application for a heart surgery program in collaboration with The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Division of Cardiac Surgery.
This will be the first heart surgery program in Anne Arundel County. Anne Arundel is currently the largest county in Maryland without this service, and AAMC is well-equipped to fill the need. Currently, AAMC transfers hundreds of patients to other hospitals for heart surgery each year. AAMC plans to start seeing patients in 2018.

 

BWI Marshall Finishing Master Plan, Will Issue RFP for In-Terminal Hotel
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport expects to release a new master plan for its campus in the near future, and also plans to issue another request for proposals by the end of 2017 for the long-discussed four-star, up to 250-room hotel that, this time, would be constructed within the terminal.

The airport issued an RFP in 2015 searching for a partner to build a hotel behind the hourly garage, which would have had direct access to the terminal via a skywalk; however, the airport didn’t receive any bids. Airport management is now planning to build the branded hotel via a public-private partnership, based on projects at facilities in Boston, Detroit and Orlando.

 

TEDCO Announces New Gap
Funding for Startups
The Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO) has announced $1 million in new economic development funds that will provide startup technology companies with investment capital to help cover the gap between seed funding and venture capital investments. The Gap Investment Fund program, which was included in Gov. Larry Hogan’s fiscal 2018 budget, is being developed and administered by TEDCO.

TEDCO’s Seed Investment programs support approximately 50 companies per year, creating a funnel of companies that serve as a source of deal flow for the new Gap Investment Fund initiative. A Seed Investment of $100,000 can support a project that advances a technology toward commercialization. TEDCO’s later-stage fund, the Maryland Venture Fund, and other venture capital funds, support companies further along in their development, often with significant revenues and complete management teams that are raising investment rounds of more than $2 million. This established structure leaves a significant funding gap between the state’s seed investments and the investments made by institutional investors such as venture capitalists.

TEDCO now will provide gap funding up to $500,000 to Maryland-based technology companies to hire new employees for expansionary efforts such as scaling a product across markets and increasing market reach. These new funds must be used to hire additional employees and must be matched by other investments in the company.

 

Maryland Casinos Generate Record $141.2M in Revenue During March
Maryland Lottery & Gaming has announced that March 2017 revenue numbers for the state’s six casinos — Maryland Live! Casino in Anne Arundel County, MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in Baltimore City, Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County, Casino at Ocean Downs in Worcester County and Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Allegany County — had a record month, totaling $141,166,114 in revenue, which was an increase of $43,313,981 (or 44.3%), compared to the March 2016 figure of $97,852,133.
MGM National Harbor generated $51,249,793 from slot machines and table games in March. Gross gaming revenue per unit per day in March at the MGM National Harbor was $278.37 for slot machines, $5,788.26 for banked table games and $1,463.18 for non-banked table games.

Maryland Live! Casino totaled $46,626,350 from slot machines and table games in March. Maryland Live!’s gross gaming revenue per unit per day was $250.36 for slot machines, $2,892.59 for banked table games and $945.77 for non-banked table games. March 2017 revenue at Maryland Live! decreased by $7,980,629, or 14.6%, from March 2016.

Orbis Technologies, RSI Content Solutions Merge
Annapolis-based Orbis Technologies and RSI Content Solutions have announced the merger of the two companies. The merger creates a global big data company that provides software and services around the world.

The combined operating entity will assume the Orbis name, with the corporate headquarters in Annapolis. With a client roster of Fortune 1000 businesses, U.S. military and intelligence community organizations, federal agencies, and global publishers and media companies, Orbis now has software deployed in more than 50 cities on four continents around the globe. Having serviced more than 300 global customers, Orbis is positioned for continued growth and will invest in sales and engineering staff globally to meet current market demands.

“The merger of Orbis and RSI brings together two market leaders to provide next-generation content management solutions and services to a global market,” said Brian Ippolito, CEO of Orbis Technologies. “The combination of the organizations, the global customer base and the integration of our product suites provides the marketplace with unique enterprise content and information management solutions.”

 

Full-Time Public Parking Reinstated Along Ellicott City’s Main Street
Parking on Ellicott City’s Main Street was fully reinstated between Old Columbia Pike and Maryland Avenue on April 14. With BGE set to complete additional gas main work west of Old Columbia Pike during the next few months, public parking will be allowed fulltime only between Old Columbia Pike and Maryland Avenue. The two-hour parking limit will be enforced from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. throughout the week.

While public parking will be limited to the lower end of Main Street, visitors are still encouraged to use Lots D, E and F, which are easily accessible. These three lots provide 363 spaces. Additionally, on weekends, another 197 spaces are available at the Circuit Courthouse lot.

“Ongoing dialogue with the merchants, residents and property owners throughout the recovery process has helped the town rebound much faster than expected,” said Howard County Council Chair Jon Weinstein, who represents Ellicott City. “This collaboration yields good information that had led to actions like this to continue to improve the historic district. Parking is critical to facilitating commerce on Main Street, and this adjustment is a welcome change at the right time.”

 

Anne Arundel Launches 3-1-1 Customer Service Program
Anne Arundel County has launched 3-1-1, a new initiative that will make customer service more efficient and responsive. Citizens can access the new system by dialing 3-1-1 for all municipal services. Operators are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Dial 9-1-1 for emergencies and medical assistance.

The mobile platform, through the See-Click-Fix application, allows citizens to report a lost pet, a pothole, a missed trash collection and many other issues. Using their mobile device, people can take a picture, set a location and receive updates on the response to their issue. Citizens can also download the mobile app through the App Store (iPhone) and Google Play (Android).

 

Snowden River Parkway Paving Project Is Underway
A Howard County construction project to mill and repave Snowden River Parkway between Route108 and Tamar Drive, in Columbia, is underway. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed by mid-May.

Milling and paving operations will take place Sunday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Flagging operations and signs will be in place to direct traffic as needed during construction hours. For questions or concerns about Capital Project H-2014, contact Lisa Brightwell, Public Works Customer Service, at 410-313-3440 or email publicworks@howardcountymd.gov.

 

Stretch of Little Patuxent Parkway
Is Being Paved
A Howard County construction project to mill and repave Little Patuxent Parkway between Cedar Lane and Broken Land Parkway, in Columbia, is underway. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed by late June. Milling and paving operations will take place Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Flagging operations and signs will be in place to direct traffic as needed during construction hours. Motorists are advised to follow the message boards for updates regarding changes to construction hours. For questions or concerns about Capital Project H-2014, contact Lisa Brightwell at 410-313-3440 or email publicworks@howardcountymd.gov.

 

Groundbreaking Set for Courtyard by Marriott in Melford
Groundbreaking for a new, 144-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Melford, a 466-acre mixed-use community located at the intersection of Route 50 and Route 3/301 was held on April 28. The hotel is being developed by Hospitality Development Company III.

Melford, which currently contains nearly 1 million square feet of office and flex/research and development space, and up to 1,800 residential units, is a project of Baltimore-based St. John Properties. Herman/Stewart Construction has been selected as the general contractor for the hotel construction project, which is expected to deliver in 2018.

Hospitality Development Company Group has built and presently manages a number of local hotels, including the TownePlace Suites, near Bowie Town Center. The company also maintains rights to develop two additional hotel properties within Melford that are planned to be a 125-suite Residence Inn and a 100-suite SpringHill Suites. No timetable has been set for the construction of these additional properties.

Sporting Goods to Open Store in Chatham Station
KLNB and Resource Enterprises have announced that Dick’s Sporting Goods has leased 42,959 square feet of retail space at Chatham Station Shopping Center, on Baltimore National Pike, in Ellicott City. Construction is underway, and the store is expected to open this fall.

“Our goal was to help Dick’s expand its footprint into the west side of Baltimore and position the store in a highly visible location that would draw their core customers,” said Ryan Wilner, principal at KLNB. “Ellicott City is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the country and has a lot of local sports leagues. The area demographics paired with Chatham Station’s synergistic co-tenancy made it the perfect fit.”

Local Doc Opens UFood Grill at Metro Centre at Owings Mills
UFood Grill, a fast-casual restaurant chain with an emphasis on the use of fresh ingredients, healthy eating and menu items that are never fried, recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its first Maryland-area location at Metro Centre at Owings Mills. The local franchise is owned by Dr. Stephen Goldberg, a Howard County forensic psychiatrist.

“The menu offering at UFood Grill, featuring meals under 700 calories, appeals to consumers seeking healthy eating options, a concept that is quickly gaining traction and resonating among a growing population,” said Ken Bernstein, vice president of retail leasing with David S. Brown Enterprises. “This concept is perfectly suited for Metro Centre, given the more than 50,000 visitors the transit-oriented development receives each month, a figure derived from the daily volume of commuters that park at the metro station.”

 

Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Announces First Maryland Franchise
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate has announced the addition of J. Melvin Premier Properties in Maryland to its franchise network. The newly-named Better Homes & Gardens The J. Melvin Group, led by partners and co-founders Jennie Melvin and Carlos Garcia, will continue to serve the Annapolis and Ellicott City market areas.

The J. Melvin Group was established in 2009 by Melvin and Garcia, who have more than 35 years of combined experience in the real estate industry. “The Annapolis and Ellicott City areas are thriving right now, and we look forward to serving more customers under the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand,” said Garcia.

 

Hogan Honors Century Farm Families
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has honored Maryland’s farm families for their commitment to farming and leadership in preserving agricultural land by presenting Century Farm designations to 34 families from 18 counties who have farmed the same land for more than 100 years, including two families that have farmed the same land for more than 200 years and one family that has farmed the same land for more than 300 years.
Charles and Eugene Iager, owners of Maple Lawn Farm, in Fulton, are among the honorees. Since the program began in 1994, 173 farms — about 1% of the state’s 12,200 farms — have received the Century Farm designation. Four of those have received the Tricentennial Farm designation, and 26 have received the Bicentennial Farm designation.

 

Schuh to Include Full Step Increase for AACPS Employees in Budget Proposal
Anne County Executive Steve Schuh announced that his fiscal 2018 budget proposal will fully fund step and/or incremental increases for all eligible Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) employees starting July 1.

The proposal includes $15.6 million to fund compensation increases requested by the school board in the fiscal 2018 budget. The compensation increases for all eligible school system employees would begin July 1, but the exact nature of most increases will be dependent on negotiations between the Board of Education and its employee bargaining units.

Schuh’s budget proposal also will include $7.5 million to be used for one-time payments to help offset increases in employee health insurance premiums for the county’s nearly 6,000 teachers and other school system employees. The funding would be distributed once employee bargaining units agree to more closely align the school system’s benefits packages with other county employees and school systems around Maryland.

 

BWI Marshall Wins
Concessions Honor
The shopping program at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport received second-place recognition in the 2017 Airport Council International-North America (ACI-NA) Excellence in Airport Concessions Awards. According to ACI-NA, the 2017 Excellence in Airport Concessions Awards competition received more than 180 nominations from airports across the United States and Canada.

“We’re very proud of the retail program here and particularly happy for the recognition of our local and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprises retailers,” said Brett Kelly, vice president of AIRMALL Maryland. “I believe that street pricing is the key to a productive retail program, and our goal for the program here is constant operational improvement and continued opportunity for the local shops of the Baltimore/Washington region. They are what makes this airport program unique.”

 

Lee & Associates Brokers Second Maryland Carbiz Location
Lee & Associates Maryland has brokered a 35,000-square-foot lease to Carbiz, a used car dealership and repair facility, at 8751 Freestate Drive, Laurel. This represents the second location for the concept, which is expected to be operational by July 1, when it will join the flagship operation on Reisterstown Road, Baltimore City.

Carbiz is considered Maryland’s largest independent auto dealer and offers a full line of service areas, including pre-owned automobile sales, auto loans and financing, and a certified service department. CEO Evan Berney said the company intentionally chose a site near its major competitor in Laurel, CarMax, so customers would be better able to recognize the higher value and better pricing model available with his concept, and that the company is scouting sites throughout the Baltimore-Washington region to fulfill its program of opening additional locations.

 

DCACC Announces Movie Nights at Merriweather
Merriweather Post Pavilion, always home to summer concerts, will also become home to a series of classic summer movies, with the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission (DCACC) announcing its first season of Merriweather Movie Nights. Utilizing the amphitheater’s high-definition video screens, and featuring food and beverage choices from Manor Hill Brewing & Tavern, the events will offer guests an outdoor movie experience unlike any other.

“We are excited to open Merriweather to our community for these music-themed movie nights, which are sure to offer something for everyone,” said Ian Kennedy, executive director of the DCACC. “As the owners of this cherished amphitheater, we are excited to introduce new, community-focused programming at Merriweather, and these movie nights are just the beginning.”
The series kicks off on Memorial Day Weekend with the classic musical “Grease,” on Saturday, May 27; and follows thereafter with “The Last Waltz,” in June; “Moana,” in July; and “School of Rock,” in August. Guests will have the choice of free, general admission seating under the stars on the lawn or within certain sections of the pavilion; or for $10, they can purchase a reserved pavilion seat in a prime viewing area, with access to the venue’s new party deck.

 

Crofton’s InRoad Toys Is SBA’s
Home-Based Business of the Year
InRoad Toys, the Crofton-based maker of PlayTape, has won the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2017 Maryland Home-Based Small Business of the Year Award. This award spotlights the achievements of advocates at the district, state and local levels, and was the highlight of National Small Business Week.

Supplier to more than 12,000 stores in 35 countries, InRoad Toys is an illustration of the changing face of small business. Andy Musliner, the company’s founder, runs a 100% virtual organization from his home office, with employees and suppliers in 15 states, designing, manufacturing and supplying products to satisfy the needs of such retail giants as Walmart, Toys ’R Us and Target.

The company supports more than 100 jobs in the U.S., and PlayTape is also 100% made in the U.S.A. Award winners will be honored at the SBA’s 33rd annual Maryland Small Business Week Awards, to be held Thursday, June 8. More information about the award and the event can be found at http://mdsbwawards.org.

 

Crosby Reaches No. 31 in O’Dwyer’s Ranking, No. 8 for Health Care
Crosby Marketing Communications, of Annapolis, has been ranked No. 31 on O’Dwyer’s magazine’s 2017 list of Top National Public Relations Firms and No. 8 in Top National Healthcare Public Relations Firms. These annual rankings of independent PR firms, produced by one of the industry’s most-respected publications, are based on detailed financial information submitted by companies that is verified by their accounting firms.
“We’re excited to continue to move up in these national rankings,” said Raymond Crosby, president and CEO of Crosby. “Our integrated approach and expanded digital, social media and analytics capabilities continue to fuel very strong growth.”

HCC Among Top Tech-Savvy Community Colleges
Howard Community College (HCC) has been named one of the top-rated community colleges nationwide in the 12th annual Digital Community Colleges Survey by the Center for Digital Education. HCC placed third in the Large Community College category and was recognized for leading the way in the use of mobile delivery platforms, health care simulation, online learning and cybersecurity practices. This year marks the eighth consecutive year that HCC placed in the top 10.

The survey examines areas of digital and emerging technologies, such as the integration of mobile devices and technology into curriculum; strategic planning and data management; and professional development, including availability of technology tools, and training for faculty and students. Among HCC’s recent technological advances and innovations are its fiber optic infrastructure advancement, outstanding online services for students, mobile friendly campus and website improvements.

BHC Receives Award of Excellence for Public Information Campaign
Bonnie Heneson Communications (BHC), a full-service marketing communications agency with offices in Owings Mills and Columbia, received an Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America’s Maryland chapter.

The award recognizes BHC’s public information campaign on behalf of Calvert County, Maryland, publicizing the dangers of opiate use in the county. As part of the campaign, BHC created a theme and graphic identity; paid media including billboards, bus cards and movie screens; brochures and posters; as well as a press release, fact sheet and social media. The campaign gained widespread attention in Calvert County.

The Award of Excellence was announced at the Best in Maryland Awards, which are presented annually to public relations practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, have successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

CMCC Presents Cordish at First Annual Meeting
The Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce (CMCC) presented David Cordish, chairman of The Cordish Companies, as keynote speaker at its recent first annual meeting.

The CMCC also presented its inaugural Hall of Fame Awards. In addition, County Executive Steve Schuh was inducted as Government Advocate of the Year and Howard Bank’s Dick Story received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Other Hall of Fame Awards were presented are as follows.

Start-Up of the Year, Speedpro Imaging; Woman-Owned Business of the Year, Eccentrics: The Spa Sanctuary; Minority-Owned Business of the Year, A Better You; Small Business of the Year, Cheaper Than A Geek; Mid-Size Business of the Year, Bob’s BMW Motorcycles; Large Business of the Year, Oceaneering; Business Partners of the Year, Mobern Lighting Co. and Costco; and Volunteer of the Year, Nikki Colea.