The Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA), the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship and the Howard Tech Council (HTC) have had what the HCEDA has deemed “another successful year of supporting the business community in Howard County.”
The organization has invested considerable time and resources into businesses that already call Howard County home. The HCEDA continues to have a leading business economy that stands out, not just across the state, but across the region; with key pieces already in play, it is important to support enterprises that have bought into the community and to ensure they have the opportunity for continued success.
No example of this dedication to the community could be greater than the work that was embarked upon during the recovery of Historic Ellicott City. There were times when the need for assistance was so great that this was the only project that the entire organization worked on. More than a year later, the HCEDA continues to provide regular support to the businesses that reopened, as well as those that plan to reopen. Thanks to working alongside County Executive Allan Kittleman; the departments of Public Works; Emergency Management; Planning and Zoning; Inspections, Licenses and Permits; and other partner organizations, 92% of the businesses that were impacted by the flood have reopened.
For those efforts, the response and recovery the team at the HCEDA received awards from the Maryland Economic Development Association, Small Business Administration and Preservation Maryland. Two HCEDA staff also received recognition from Gov. Larry Hogan for Acts of Excellence during the response to the flood.
Ellicott City was not the only project the HCEDA worked on during fiscal 2017, however. It worked on 55 projects, which helped retain 546 jobs and add 1,500 new jobs to the county. These efforts resulted in more than 500,000 square feet of development and $29 million in capital investment.
The HCEDA’s Business Development team also provided a total of 791 individual instances of technical assistance to businesses in the county, helping them to work through various challenges. The HCEDA Catalyst Loan Fund supported small business by issuing $2.3 million in loans to 15 businesses this past year.
The Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) continued its mission of helping small businesses start and grow. During the past year, more than 8,500 people visited the center to access resources or visit a member company. The MCE well represents the buzzing entrepreneurship ecosystem that calls Howard County home.
Through the combined programs and events put together by the HCEDA, the MCE and the HTC, the HCEDA helped more than 3,300 people connect at events. From CEOs to students, the programing conducted by the HCEDA deliberately impacts individuals at all stages in their careers and across all industries.
At the start of a new fiscal year, the HCEDA continues to have multiple business development projects in the pipeline, with a focus on the redevelopment of Columbia Gateway Business Park. Soon, the organization will release its new strategic plan, which will guide the organization’s vision for the next five years.
For more information about the HCEDA, call 410-313-6500 or visit www.hceda.org.