Hogan Administration Announces New Maryland Business Express Website
Inspired by Gov. Larry Hogan’s Regulatory Reform Commission recommendations, the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) has unveiled Maryland Business Express, a new website that will make it easier for Maryland’s small business owners and entrepreneurs to plan, start, manage and grow their business.
Accessible at www.businessexpress.maryland.gov, the new site combines information previously spread across many state agencies into one, easy-to-navigate site, while also providing a clear outline of the steps involved in starting a business. Maryland Business Express also features a digital assistant designed to deliver guidance to Marylanders 24/7. This “chatbot” is the first of its kind to be used by any state government specifically for business purposes.
The site’s layout is based on the questions most commonly asked by existing business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, and contains four main sections: Plan, Start, Manage and Grow. The Plan and Start sections list orderly steps that guide entrepreneurs through the process of developing a business plan, registering a business, and applying for tax accounts and licenses. The Manage and Grow sections help business owners remain in good standing, make legal changes to their business and find additional programs that best fit their needs.
Anne Arundel County Supporting Revitalization Efforts
Since 2015, the Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corp. (AAEDC) has approved approximately $455,780 in loans to 12 businesses through its Arundel Community Reinvestment (ACR) Fund. The ACR Fund offers loans up to $100,000 to be repaid over three to seven years at 0% interest. Loans are limited to 90% of total project costs.
In addition, during the last three years, nine businesses received a total of almost $125,000 in tax credits through Anne Arundel County’s Community Revitalization Tax Credit program. Qualified business owners may receive a property tax credit for up to five years equal to the incremental increase in real property tax assessment for improvements of at least $100,000 of assessed value.
The program is designed to spur economic activity, investment and improvement in Anne Arundel County’s eight Commercial Revitalization districts, which include the area at inner West Street in Annapolis from Church Circle to Chinquapin Round Road, and the county’s one state-designated Enterprise Zone in Brooklyn Park.
Howard County Shopping Center Sells for $7M
Marcus & Millichap, a North American commercial real estate investment services firm, announced the sale of Cherry Tree Shopping Center, a 46,302-square-foot retail property in North Laurel. The asset sold for $7 million to City Wide Properties, of Baltimore.
“This sale demonstrates the constant demand for destination-oriented neighborhood shopping centers,” said Christopher Burnham, senior associate in Marcus & Millichap’s Baltimore office. “The visibility of the center, along with tenant mix, drew maximum interest from buyers in the market, which allowed us to push value for our client.”
Cherry Tree Shopping Center is located at 11200 Scaggsville Road, Laurel. The property has visibility directly off Route 29. It is situated on 3.86 acres and includes two buildings: a freestanding building occupied by Verizon Wireless, as well as a two-story strip that was occupied by a mix of national, large franchisee and local tenants.
Third Street Marina, Office and Restaurant in Annapolis Under New Ownership
MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services has announced the sale of Annapolis’s Third Street Marina, in Eastport, at 310–312 Third Street, Annapolis, to an undisclosed buyer. The property consists of an expandable, 10-slip marina with a travel lift, a 3,512-square-foot, two-story waterfront office building and the 4,160-square-foot Annapolis staple, O’Leary’s Seafood.
This project provided an opportunity to invest in a rarely available asset along Annapolis’s waterfront, a premier real estate market. The property’s size, coupled with the tenant diversity and location on Spa Creek, will ensure that this location remains desirable to boaters, diners and office users.
Princeton Sports Closing Its Columbia Location
After 36 years, Princeton Sports is closing its Columbia location. Alan Davis, company president, said that the 17,000-square-foot building has been sold and that the inventory, store fixtures and equipment are being liquidated and that Princeton Sports will consolidate its business to the Falls Road location in Baltimore.
Princeton Sports, a third-generation, family-owned and -operated company, was founded by bike enthusiasts Samuel and Lucille Davis in Baltimore City, who rented and repaired bikes for local residents. They ran the business until 1963 when, upon Samuel’s death, his son, Sonny Davis, took over. He introduced skiing to the merchandise mix and expanded the company in 1981 to Columbia, where Princeton Sports has occupied its iconic building on Little Patuxent Parkway.
Live! Casino Selects Trilogy Spa Holdings as Management Partner
Live! Casino & Hotel has selected award-winning boutique spa management company Trilogy Spa Holdings to manage the luxury Live! Spa, part of the flagship Live! Hotel opening this spring. The Live! Spa will provide hotel guests, casino visitors and day guests an escape to relax and recharge.
The facility, featuring five treatment rooms, will offer a variety of massage therapies, body polishes and body wraps along with advanced skin care and anti-aging treatments. Phoenix-based Trilogy Spa Holdings also operates spas at Red Rock Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona and the Spa of Colonial Williamsburg.
Daedalus Books Retail Store
Daedalus Books President Robin Moody has confirmed that the Columbia-based catalog business and retail outlet that specializes in remaindered books and music closed at the end of February. Universal Screen Arts of Hudson, Ohio, an Internet retailer and mail order cataloguer with catalog titles that include Signals, Wireless and whatonearth, has acquired the Daedalus Books & Music catalog operation and will continue to operate it under that name.
“It’s been a good run and a pretty good store,” said Moody, who founded the business in 1980 with partners Helaine Harris and Tamara Stock, and established the warehouse outlet in 1998. “We’re all sad to see this day come.”
New Elkridge 50+ Center Opens After Expansion
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and the Office on Aging & Independence held a ribbon-cutting for the county’s new Elkridge 50+ Center on Saturday, March 10. The event was held in conjunction with the opening of the Howard County Library System’s new Elkridge Branch and DIY Center.
The new Elkridge 50+ Center is five times the size of the previous senior center, which served county residents since 1994. It offers a variety of programs and services including fitness options, educational opportunities in the arts and humanities, wellness classes and opportunities for social and recreational activities, including volunteer opportunities.
Merkle Enhances Its Innovation Cloud, Powered by Adobe
Columbia-based Merkle, a technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, announced the launch of the Merkle Innovation Cloud (MIC) 2.0, a solution that demonstrates the integration of marketing technologies with people-based data to drive personalized customer experiences.
MIC 2.0 is powered by Adobe Experience Cloud. It also leverages capabilities that are powered by Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning framework, including Smart Tags for automatic understanding of images and content in Adobe Experience Manager, anomaly detection in Adobe Analytics Cloud and automated, real-time personalization in Adobe Target.
Columbia’s Bandura Systems Closes $3.5M Seed Round
Bandura Systems, of Columbia and St. Louis, which helped to pioneer the threat intelligence gateway (TIG) with the U.S. Department of Defense, has closed its seed funding round. The $3.5 million financing came from Blu Ventures, Gula Tech Adventures, the Maryland Tech Development Corp., Prosper Women Entrepreneurs, SixThirty, SixThirty Cyber and UMB Financial Corp.
TIGs are stand-alone threat prevention appliances that can process millions more threat indicators than traditional network security enforcement approaches. They help protect corporate networks by more effectively blocking known threats and making threat intelligence actionable. They also complement and improve the performance of existing security solutions, like firewalls and Security Information and Event Management software, reducing the number of events that need detection and response.
Parr Financial Cited by Expertise.com
Parr Financial Solutions, of Columbia, an independent, fee-only, wealth management firm, was named a Top Financial Advisor in Baltimore for the second year running by Expertise.com. The firm was among the 18 selected of 163 judged for the merit-based award.
The award process is conducted by Expertise via a proprietary research and selection process. Only publicly available data is analyzed; key factors weighed include reputation, credibility, experience, professionalism and availability.
Roe to Show at Artists’ Gallery
Photographs by David Roe will be on exhibit during April at Artists’ Gallery, in Ellicott City. The show, titled “An Eclectic View of the World,” will run through April 29, with an opening reception set for April 7, from 4–6 p.m.
“I believe art should produce a reaction, and the mission of my photos is to elicit an emotion from viewers, whether positive or negative. Anything else is simply a snapshot, not art. I try to communicate to the viewer by making a photograph my own,” said Roe. Artists’ Gallery is located at 8197 Main Street. For more information, call 443- 325-5936 or visit www.artistsgalleryec.com.
Loyola’s Sellinger School Endorses Responsible Research for Business and Management
Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business and Management partnered with Responsible Research for Business and Management to endorse the organization’s mission of inspiring, encouraging and supporting credible and useful research in the business and management disciplines.
“As a Jesuit university, we’re responsible for helping business organizations operate more effectively, efficiently and ethically,” said Kathleen Getz, dean of Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business. “We’re supporting Responsible Research for Business and Management to work toward more useful research and build a better world through business.” Faculty researchers at the Sellinger School consider how scholarly findings translate to have real-world relevance for practice and policy, she said.
Common Kitchen to Open at Clarksville Commons
GreenStone Ventures II, developers of Clarksville Commons, have announced The Common Kitchen will be opening later this spring. The Common Kitchen is a local foods and merchandise marketplace with a shared commercial kitchen. It will consist of 10 independent vendor spaces, plus a coffee, juices and handcrafted cocktails bar, as well as areas for shelf-stable merchandise; and it will seat approximately 50 people.
Each retail space will be occupied by a locally owned, independent business. The Common Kitchen will represent the diversity of the community by offering international cuisines, universal favorites and unique products. It also provides the space to cultivate new endeavors and offers an opportunity that may not be available in a traditional restaurant or retail setting, and will allow entrepreneurs to put more of their resources into production instead of overhead, which is vital to an emerging business.
MDOT Solicits Ideas for 3-D Printing Transportation Solutions
Furthering the Hogan Administration’s commitment to explore innovative options to build the state’s transportation infrastructure, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has issued a Request for Information (RFI), inviting interested parties, including the private sector, universities and others to seek innovative and collaborative ways the state agency can best use 3-D printing on projects.
The RFI was issued on March 6 and can be found on the e-Maryland Marketplace website at https://emaryland.buyspeed.com, under e-MM solicitation information No. MDJ0131037509. Those interested in responding have until 2 p.m. on April 10 to submit their responses electronically through the secure MDOT FTP site https://sftp1.mdot.state.md.us, using the user I.D.: OPCP_3D_RFI and password: March2018.
UMBC Men’s Basketball Coach
Inks New Deal
UMBC Men’s Basketball Coach Ryan Odom, who piloted the Retrievers to a win in the America East tournament before guiding the team to its upset of the No. 1 seed University of Virginia in the first round of the NCAA tournament, has agreed to a new contract. Terms of the new deal were not made public.
Odom just completed his second season coaching the Retrievers, posting a 25–11 record, after going 21–13 in his first season in Catonsville, when the team earned a College Insider.com Tournament bid; the program only won a combined 41 games in the seven seasons before his arrival. Odom’s original deal called for him to make $230,000 annually for seven years.