Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Small Business Saturday Promotes Local Businesses

Saturday, November 26th marks “Small Business Saturday”, a day established to help support local merchants and the economy on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. “The Small Business Saturday” movement started nationally last year to counter the big box store sales on Black Friday.  Mayor Randy McClement is encouraging people in the City of Frederick to take part and shop locally.

“Shopping locally is about personal service, that personal touch, remembering your name, having a sample for you to taste or remembering your favorite color.  It’s about seeing people you know on the streets, in the stores and at the restaurants and supporting our local economy here in Frederick.’  said Mayor McClement.

Whether it’s Under the Sun and Chanticleer Shoes on the Golden Mile or one of the many unique specialty retail shops in historic Downtown, you’re sure to find that perfect gift for the holidays at one of Frederick’s many small, independently owned stores.

The City and the Department of Economic Development encourage you to ‘shop small’ and locally; help fuel the economy. Also, “Like” Small Business Saturday on Facebook!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

DED Unveils New Website

The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development (DED) on Thursday launched a redesigned website at The new site, completed as part of a major overhaul to the City of Frederick website, provides better integration and uniformity between DED and the overall City website. In addition, the redesigned site gives a fresh look and feel while offering a number of upgraded user-friendly features.

Improvements to the site include easier access to project-specific information, including Carroll Creek Park, the Golden Mile and the Downtown Hotel and Conference Center. City staff has a greater ability to change and update content, allow for a more dynamic and adaptable website with timely and relevant information.

Additionally, a new section focused on “Starting a Business” provides information on state and local licenses, permits, funding, incentives and free business support providers both locally and regionally.

“The DED site has always provided a wealth of information – from industry data to market analyses and demographic and wage data,” stated Heather Gramm, Business Development Specialist for the City of Frederick. “This new site has enabled us to present that information in a more intuitive, user-friendly interface.”

DED is a full-service economic development department of the City of Frederick with the mission to create economic opportunity in the City through job creation, revitalization and reinvestment. To learn more visit or call at 301-600-6360.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Golden Mile Sees Business Expansions, New Construction, Façade Improvements

The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development and the Golden Mile Alliance Organizing Committee is pleased to report renovations and new business activity on the Golden Mile including:

  • VERIZON store is renovating and will occupy the former Hollywood Video space at 1003 West Patrick Street, part of the Frederick County Square shopping center.

  • FAMOUS DAVE’S restaurant, also located in the Frederick County Square shopping center, is undergoing major exterior renovations but remains fully open and operational during construction.

  • RED LOBSTER restaurant recently completed a façade improvement of their location on the Golden Mile.

  • IF THE SHOE FITS has signed a lease in the Cellular One Center at 1170 West Patrick Street.

  • GOODWILL store is renovating the former 84 Lumber facility at 101 Willowdale Drive and is opening this month.

  • MCDONALD’S restaurant is planning to demolish and completely rebuild their location at 1501 Garrett Drive. The project includes a complete overhaul of the exterior, new interior décor and improvements to the drive-thru.

  • CVS PHARMACY is constructing a new 12,800 square foot location at 1460 West Patrick Street. Located on the west end of the Golden Mile on the corner of Old Camp Road, this new branch will replace the former Earthworks Garden Center.

“The Golden Mile continues to be a vibrant business location as evidenced by the investment being made by these businesses,” stated Richard Griffin, director of economic development for the City of Frederick. “We are pleased to see businesses growing, expanding and investing in our community.”

The City of Frederick in collaboration with residents, property owners, and businesses is establishing the Golden Mile Alliance. According to Mayor Randy McClement, the mission of the group which is nearing incorporation is “to promote and foster the Golden Mile gateway community through business, neighborhood and economic development programs.” The ad-hoc organizing committee meets at Hillcrest Community Center on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7PM and has established a vision “to ensure that the Golden Mile is an attractive, diverse, and highly dynamic, mixed-use commercial corridor with top retail, office, and service uses linked by safe pedestrian routes to healthy residential neighborhoods and parks.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

World Trade Center Institute’s 22nd Founders’ Anniversary and Embassy Wine Tasting

Date: December 1, 2011 4:00-6:30pm
Location: World Trade Center Baltimore
                        232 East Pratt Street 21st floor
                        Baltimore, MD 21202

WTCI’s Founders’ Anniversary and Embassy Wine Tasting is an annual event that celebrates our mission of connecting local businesses to global opportunities. We invite you to raise a glass to the founders and founding companies who play integral roles in Maryland’s growing global community.   This year’s highlights include:
·         Insights about Maryland companies on the move in 2011 – including major international contracts, acquisitions, and expansions
·         Opportunity to sample fine wines from around the world at Embassy hosted wine tasting - win a bottle to take home!  
·         Unparalleled networking, appetizers, raffles, and more! 

Tickets: Members - $50, Non Members - $75

More information about the event can be found at the Event Page.   Registration is easy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monocacy Boulevard Opening in Late 2012

Last week Mayor McClement announced that the center section of Monocacy Boulevard would be open to traffic by the end of 2012. This is welcome news for the business community, as this new roadway will greatly improve access and traffic flow to major employment centers in Riverside and on the north end of town.

Completion of Monocacy Boulevard and improvements to Gas House Pike will create a new access point from I-70 to the businesses located in the Riverside business parks, Clustered Spires Golf Course, and to Route 26. Once fully completed Monocacy Boulevard serves as a mini-beltway around Frederick, connecting I-70 to Route 15 N along the east side. Future completion of the Rt. 15/Monocacy Boulevard interchange will continue the connection to the west side of the city.

“Continued investment in the City’s infrastructure is a critical component of economic development and the creation of new jobs in our community,” said Richard Griffin, director of the City’s Department of Economic Development.

The City’s costs to construct Monocacy Boulevard will be off-set in part by the Maryland BRAC Revitalization and Incentive Zone program. In 2008, the east side of Frederick City became one of the first such zones designated in the State of Maryland. A program of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, the BRAC Zone program was designed to assist communities with the development of new infrastructure projects in support of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) expansions at federal installations.

For more information on this project, or the BRAC Revitalization and Incentive Zone, contact DED at 301-600-6360.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Green Business Practices are the Focus of Upcoming County Programs

The Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) is putting local businesses in the spotlight with two fall programs that focus on local commercial recycling and waste reduction activities. The outreach efforts are intended to provide resources for businesses that would like to reduce their disposable waste stream and also to provide recognition for those that are already operating with a ―green‖ mindset.

Between September 1 and October 12, 2011 any local business, non-profit or public sector entity can be nominated for the County’s Business Waste Reduction and Recycling Award program. This annual award recognizes the efforts of organizations that have taken steps to reduce their impact on the waste stream, through preventative waste reduction practices or integrated waste management strategies. Examples of waste-preventative business practices include ordering supplies in bulk, distributing pay stubs electronically or avoiding disposable items where possible. While such front-end tactics can reduce the amount of waste generated, other strategies, such as equipment and supply reuse, materials exchange programs, composting and recycling, divert valuable resources that would have otherwise been disposed.
According to DWSM Superintendent Phil Harris, in 2010, almost 160,000 tons of waste were generated in Frederick County and sent for landfill disposal; local businesses contributed roughly half of that amount. Harris notes, ―"While much attention has been given to residential recycling in recent years, this awards program is part of our ongoing effort to promote integrated solid waste management practices to the local business community. We are committed to helping local business leaders recycle more and waste lessand to demonstrate that such practices are not only environmentally sustainable but are also economically feasible."
For businesses interested in establishing or improving a recycling program, the County is conducting a free, day-long forum on October 5, 2011; the purpose of the program is summed up in its title, Working Together: Helping Businesses Recycle. The goal is to provide attendees with information and resources for creating a recycling program that meets their particular needs. Dialogue will be facilitated to help identify and reduce perceived barriers to beginning a commercial recycling program.
To address concerns specific to individual sectors—such as retail, hospitality or multi-family housing—attendees will be able to converse with local business leaders who have already incorporated recycling into their enterprise as well as learn from regional recycling experts. Richard Anderson, principal consultant of CQI Associates, will present information on how recycling cooperatives were created in Howard County to assist businesses in arranging recycling collection service in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Local waste hauling companies that offer recycling collection will also be on hand to discuss the existing array of available services. Complete information for both the business awards program and the recycling forum are available on the county’s website, Applications for the award may be downloaded online and submitted by fax or mail. Those interested in attending the forum may register online; there is no cost to attend, but space is limited, so advance registration is required.

These programs are being administered by the Department of Solid Waste Management, in conjunction with The Frederick County Office of Economic Development, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, City of Frederick Economic Development and the Downtown Frederick Partnership. The Department of Solid Waste Management regularly assists businesses in developing waste reduction and recycling programs by providing technical assistance and outreach support. For more information on commercial recycling and waste reduction opportunities, contact Dave Helmecki, the county’s Commercial Recycling Program Coordinator, at 301-600-7404 or by email to

Community Focused on Filling Vacant Buildings

Long-time vacant commercial buildings (and we can all name several), are major nuisances for their immediate neighborhoods and the City as a whole, creating unsightly health, safety, and welfare issues. Such vacancies are eyesores and can result in declining property values, crime, vandalism, loitering, and other undesirable effects. Recent articles in the media have focused on this issue as one that is particularly visible and distressing since there are a number of notable vacancies which current policies, codes, regulations, and incentives have not been effective in forcing renovation and leasing.

It is important to note that the vast majority of the commercial leasable space in the city is occupied by terrific businesses employing nearly 49,000. While commercial vacancies have crept up into the upper teens during the recession and slow recovery, these properties are not the ones causing public outcry for action. Most commercial landlords are focused on minimizing vacancies and routinely invest in their properties keeping them leasable, all in hopes of driving strong revenue. Landlords who don't are often referred to as "slumlords" and their properties eventually become deteriorated and unleasable. There is little understanding for why they choose to allow this to occur, but the reasons they give range from the high cost of renovation including life-safety and ADA improvements to simply feeling overwhelmed and not knowing how to reposition derelict buildings. The latter is a good reason for them to consider selling their properties to others who do.

There is a strong correlation between public safety and economically vibrant, healthy neighborhoods with low vacancy rates and capital investment. The City has tried a number of ways to encourage and force delinquent property owners to maintain and lease their properties including recently condemning properties which are unsafe to occupy. What we need now is a well-coordinated, focused set of regulations and incentives to achieve progress.

In an effort to advance this issue, the city administration has announced that a blue-ribbon panel of local property owners, brokers, residents, and staff is being appointed to recommend regulatory and incentive strategies within 90 days. The group is being asked to review current policies, regulations and incentives, as well as to explore best practices from other communities. Many options have been identified by city staff, residents, elected officials and organizations like the Downtown Frederick Partnership which has been exploring the issue. Some of the alternatives include required registration for vacant properties, vacant property taxes or fees for long-time vacancies, land-value tax system, and increased incentives for building renovation and capital re-investment.

We all want Frederick to maintain and improve its reputation as a vibrant and safe community with healthy commercial occupancy rates, jobs, and available retail products and services. For more information check out

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Local Businessman appointed to Governor's Maryland Economic Development Commission

Congratulations to Dave Severn, local Frederick attorney with Severn O’Conner & Kresslein, for his recent appointment to Governor O’Malley’s Maryland Economic Development Commission. The Commission’s 31 member board was created in 1995 with the mission to establish policies to create a competitive economic climate for business growth to compete more vigorously in the global marketplace.

Dave was quoted as saying, "These are challenging and uncertain times and more than ever we need to develop, support, and initiate programs and initiatives to position Maryland’s economy for growth. Maryland’s economic engine is driven by broad and diverse industries ranging from agriculture to manufacturing, tourism to technology, state and federal facilities to military bases. We need to invest in those economic drivers, promote entrepreneurial enterprises and make it easy to do business in Maryland. I look forward to lending my service and voice to the MEDC in its efforts to grow Maryland’s economy."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Business Preparation Guidelines for Hurricane Irene

The Greater Washington Board of Trade has issued suggested guidelines to assist businesses in light of Hurricane Irene and severe weather.

Hurricane Irene could cause significant disruption to business and property throughout Greater Washington. Severe flooding, strong winds and widespread outages may make for difficult days ahead. Transportation issues may affect commuter routes, bridges, tunnels, airports, METRO and AMTRAK. Access to workplaces, technology limitations and communication links may all be restricted. To assist area businesses in preparing for a wide spread disruption, the Greater Washington Board of Trade recommends the following considerations.

Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development for the City of Frederick shares, "I strongly encourage ALL Frederick businesses to develop their own Emergency Plan and "be prepared."

To learn more, visit the Board of Trade's Emergency Preparedness Website.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't Miss the 2011 Entrepreneur Expo - November 14th!

Entrepreneur Expo: Harnessing the Power of Innovation in Maryland will take place on Monday, November 14, 2011 at the BWI Airport Marriott. Selected as 1 of 10 nationally featured events for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the Expo will kick-off exciting GEW programming in Maryland! The Entrepreneur Expo will be the first large-scale event dedicated to promoting and celebrating the key to Maryland’s innovation economy, its entrepreneurs. Led by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and other key stakeholders, the Entrepreneur Expo Leadership Team (EELT) is the coordinating committee for the event. The full-day agenda includes a variety of unique educational  tracks, interactive programming, a dynamic exhibit floor, energized plenaries and other highlights for entrepreneurs! Registration is open. Sponsor and exhibitor opportunities are available. Learn more and register at (Note: Special exhibitor rates are available for entrepreneurs, government and non-profits.)

Friday, August 5, 2011


On Friday, City and County officials joined with MedImmune in celebrating the official opening of their 2nd manufacturing facility in the City of Frederick.

The new 331,000 square foot facility began construction in 2006. Construction was completed in 201, and the process of FDA licensure began. The approval came in early 2011, and MedImmune is now licensed to begin production.

"The multimillion dollar expansion of MedImmune's manufacturing capacity here in Frederick is a terrific example of a match between workforce, access, land availability and proximity to the MedImmune Headquarters in Gaithersburg," stated Mayor McClement. "Congratulations to MedImmune and its leadership team led by their president, Peter Greenleaf, on a job well done."

The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development has been involved with the company officials on this expansion since it was first a concept nearly 10 years ago. Our planning, engineering and permits departments have worked hard to ensure that MedImmune could deliver this facility on-time," said the City's economic development director, Richard Griffin. "We are immensely proud of MedImmune, this facility and its employees. We hope to have a long future together."

MedImmue first established a presence in Frederick in 1996, opening a manufacturing facility to produce Synagis®, which is FDA-approved to prevent RSV in high-risk children. The new plant, which will expand MedImmune's production capacity for Synagis®  as well as future marketed monoclonal antibodies, is on the same site as the first facility. Currently, MedImmune employs nearly 250 at the Frederick facility.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Making the Golden Mile Shine

The Golden Mile Retail Corridor has spiked new interest recently with the formation of the Golden Mile Alliance, which is a group of concerned property and business owners as well as residents in the area. The movement was spearheaded by City of Frederick staff and Director of Economic Development for the City, Richard Griffin was asked to submit a story for the on-line blog, Want2Dish. Check out the story here!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Do you love where you work and who you work for? Then let us know! Nominations for the 2011 BEST PLACES TO WORK - Frederick County are now open. 
Best Places to WorkThe Best Places to Work campaign, in its 9th year, is part of a countywide partnership between business, government and the community dedicated to increase quality of life opportunities for Frederick County employees. A qualifying business is any employer in Frederick County, including corporations, privately owned businesses, non-profits and federal, state and local government agencies who offer benefits such as Health Benefits, 401K, Profit Sharing, On Site Child Care, Health Care Incentives and other such benefits.

Please complete the survey at your convience; deadline for submission is Friday, September 16th. Winners will be announced at a reception on October 18th at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center, 5:00 - 6:30pm.

This campaign is sponsored by Frederick County &  City Economic Development, Frederick County Workforce Services and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information or to request the link to nominate your company, please call Frederick Economic Development at 301-600-1058 or 301-600-6360.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Frederick Biotech Company Participates in Governor’s Trip to Asia

Dr. J.J. Lin, founder of local Frederick biotech company Imagilin Technologies, joined a Maryland delegation lead by Governor Martin O’Malley in an economic development mission trip to Asia earlier this month. The mission trip took the 68-person delegation to China, Korea and Vietnam.

Imagilin Technologies, one of the first companies to graduate from the Frederick Innovative Technology Center Inc (FITCI), Frederick’s high-tech business incubator, specializes in innovative products and technology development for human and animal health and nutrition.

Dr. Lin traveled to Asia to develop relationships with existing partners and forge new business opportunities and he was successful in achieving both these goals. Since returning from the mission trip, Dr. Lin has received approval of his product registration from the Chinese government.

“To do business in China, it is very important to develop relationships and trust between business partners,” stated Dr. Lin. “It is also important for a U.S. business to show support from their local governments, and traveling with Governor O’Malley allowed me to demonstrate that support to my partners in China.”

Dr. Lin is no stranger to international business, having development distribution partnerships in both South America and Asia for the sale of MitoMax, a probiotic product line for animals intended to improve the health of pets.

“Imagilin Technologies is a terrific example of how entrepreneurship and innovation creates opportunity in our community.” said Richard Griffin, director of economic development for the City of Frederick. “Through the City’s support of entrepreneurs and small businesses, we are able to grow jobs and attract foreign-direct investment to Frederick and to the state. We’re proud that Imagilin Technologies calls Frederick, Maryland its home.”

For more information on Imagilin Technologies, visit To learn more about the City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development visit

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County Awards

The Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County held its annual Entrepreneur Awards Dinner last night at Dutch's Dautgher. Congratulations to the award winners:
  • Phil Catron, NaturaLawn America - winner of the Chris E. Olson Master Entrepreneur Award. This award is in honor and memory of Chris Olson, Frederick County Consultant for the Maryland Small Business Development Center and past president of the ECFC, who passed away this spring from an extended illness
  • Minda Metz, The Buzz - Start-Up Small Business award
  • CJ Dorman, Dorman Builders - Small Established Busines award
  • Jim Racheff, DMS Inc. - Large Established Business award
  • Hannah Light, Bow Down Cheer Bows - Youth Entrepreneur award
All of the nominees should be applauded. For Start-Up Small Business - Elin Ross, Cakes for Cause/Moxie Bakery & Cafe, Susan Centineo, Studio C Photography; nominated for the Small Established Business were Nick Damoulakis with Orases, Prett Hess & Phil Minni, Business Management Company and Bruce Zavos, Zavos Architecture & Design firm. Large Established Business nominees were Donald Combs, Colonial Equipment and Mark Wal, Lynne Severn & Thomas Wal with Medical Account Services, Inc.

The Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County fosters and promotes local entrepreneurship by hosting networking forums aimed at securing capital, coordinating executive roundtable series and other learning events for business owners.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Frederick County Public High School's in Nation's Top 7%

All Frederick County public high schools made The Washington Post 2011 Challenge Index, except Oakdale, which was not yet open to seniors.
The Washington Post ranked 27,000 high schools in the country based on how hard school staffs work to challenge students with advanced placement college-level courses and tests. Just under 1,900 schools—only seven percent of all the public schools in the U.S.—made the list for 2011.
The annual Challenge Index divides the number of challenging exams each high school’s seniors take by the number of graduating seniors. Among the nation’s top-ranked 1,890 schools, Frederick County high schools ranked as follows: Urbana High 397, Middletown 648, Catoctin 1,166, Frederick 1,182, Linganore 1,271, Walkersville 1,329, Gov. Thomas Johnson 1,491, Brunswick 1,591 and Tuscarora 1,598.
“This achievement continues to be one more measure providing solid evidence of first-class public education in Frederick County. I appreciate everyone’s hard work—employees, students and families,” said FCPS Superintendent Dr. Linda Burgee.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Project Spotlight - Downtown Hotel & Conference Center

Frederick needs a downtown hotel and conference center. So say the largest employers in the community along with the city, county, chamber, tourism council, and downtown partnership - forming a joint team to make it happen. Frederick has some terrific hotels, but is underserved in terms of a downtown up-scale flagship facility which can host business and family functions locally. Fredericktonians are often forced to look to other communities to host larger conferences and events.

The hotel team – a public-private partnership – has funded a feasibility study which strengthens the case for such a facility. It confirmed that Frederick has sufficient demand for a 200 room, full-service hotel with guest amenities including a large ball-room and break-out meeting space which can handle events of 600 or more people. The study also confirmed that Downtown Frederick was the right location, providing a combination of unique amenities not found together in one place elsewhere in the community.

Downtown Frederick, the largest contiguous historic district in Maryland, is centrally located in the county and is easily accessible from the highways. It is home to more than 600 businesses, 5,000 employees, and several thousand residents. For a number of years it has been recovering from devastating losses due to flood, business flight, and neglect. The result is an walkable, award-winning downtown which has over 200 restaurants and retail businesses, is served by public transportation, has stunning architecture, and is the hub of commerce, government, churches, tourism, arts, entertainment, and museums.

Despite its successes, the Downtown economy is fragile and adding a hotel conference center will help cement its recovery. Other communities like Lancaster, PA, Greenville, SC, Charlottesville, VA, and Asheville, NC have effectively used hotel conference facilities to anchor their downtowns. It is a time-proven strategy to use a demand generator like a hotel to provide a critical need for the community while strengthen revitalization efforts as well.

Building a downtown hotel and conference center is challenging business. Due to the high cost and inherent risk such facilities are rarely undertaken by hotel developers alone. Most such facilities are accomplished through a public-private partnership. Limited public sector participation can reduce the risk enough to encourage private sector investment. It is our hope that together with the business and developer communities, Frederick can assemble the resources needed to bring this project to fruition by our 2014 goal.

Frederick Mayor Randy McClement has made this a central project his administration to move forward and has appointed long-time Frederick businessman Earl Robbins, Jr. to spearhead the project. A former school board, chamber, and united way chairman, Mr. Robbins is no stranger to large complex projects and knows his way around the community and Annapolis. He has been quoted as saying that he has agreed to head this critical project because he believes it will improve quality of life and strengthen the business community. Frederick needs and deserves a place downtown to host our over-night visitors, induce new events and conferences, and support our local businesses.

Economic Development Busy with Three Upcoming Events

The City of Frederick's Department of Economic Development is hosting or co-sponsoring several upcoming FREE informative events.

May 18th - 2011 Frederick Procurement Fair
9:00am - 12:00noon
Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center
40 South Carroll Street, Frederick
Parking available at the All Saints Street Parking Deck

If you are a local small business and looking for procurement opportunities with some of Frederick's largest employers, this is the event for you. This is a FREE event, please check out the DED Calendar of Events for registration. For questions, call 301-600-6360.

May 24th - Energy Forum
7:00pm - 9:00pm
City Hall Board Room
101 N. Court Street, Frederick
Street parking available as well as the Church Street and Court Street Parking Decks

You have a choice on who provides your electricity. Come hear from several local providers who will explain their programs and how to sign up. This is a FREE event, but registration is required. For questions, call 301-600-6360.

June 14th - Kevin Mulvaney - "Business at a Crossroads: Grow or Go?"
8:00am - 10:00am (BREAKFAST INCLUDED)
Dutch's Daughter
581 Himes Avenue, Frederick

Bsed on recent findings of Professor Mulvaney's surveys, businesses are indeed at a crossroads: What will it take to grow to the next level? What are the various exit options available? THis is a FREE event, but registration is required. For questions, call 301-600-1058.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spotlight on Industry: Advanced Technology

The technology industry is broad-based and includes sectors such as aerospace, energy, information security, nanotechnology, robotics, software, telecommunications and electrical engineering. Advanced technology - or high tech businesses - hold tremendous growth potential as they take discoveries and commercialize them - turning R&D into marketable products and services.

We've already looked at biotechnology in Frederick, so here we will focus on the non-bio components of the advanced technology industry. Six percent of private sector occupations in the Frederick area include direct employment in computer and mathematical science, engineering and related technicians. Factor in the jobs in computer science, engineering and robotics at Fort Detrick and NCI-Frederick's nanotechnology labs and one can begin to see the significant employment impact of the advanced technology sector in our community.

This 6% does not take into account the manufacturing jobs associated with much of the advanced technology research and development that is a major component of this industry sector. Fairchild Controls is one example of an aerospace technology company that employs not only the technical research and development positions, but also the support positions in production, sales and management that comprises their workforce of 166 people.

Bechtel is one of the largest employers within this industry sector, with expertise in a wide array of sectors within the technology industry. With 2,200 Frederick-based employees, Bechtel is also one of the largest private-sector employers in Frederick County. Bechtel employees are engaged in civil and nuclear engineering, communications, energy and more.

Frederick Innovative Technology Center (FITCI) - a technology incubator in Frederick - fosters innovation not only in bioscience, but in advanced technologies as well. Two recent FITCI graduates are great examples of the innovative advanced technologies under development in Frederick. Widearea Systems is a convergence technology company that develops and markets secure unified communications software and hardware solutions for corporate enterprise and government agencies. WGS Systems provides products and services to the US intelligence, military and homeland security organizations, specializing in engineering and scientific support, systems engineering and development. They are a premier developer of integrated surveillance and reconnaissance systems. And another FITCI client - Kinetic Revolutions - is applying a range of technologies to the development of orthotic and prosthetic devices.

In this 21st century knowledge-based economy, the advanced technology industry sector plays an increasingly important role in our economy and Frederick is well positioned for continued growth in this sector through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Friday, April 15, 2011

City of Frederick Department of Economic Development Holds Energy Forum

You have a choice, an Electric Choice! Are you aware that as a resident or business owner in the state of Maryland that you have the power to choose the company that supplies your electricity? The City of Frederick invites you to join us on May 24, 2011 at 7 pm at City Hall to learn all about electric choice from Paula Carmody, Maryland People’s Counsel, and a panel composed of electric suppliers, moderated by Jim Pierobon of the Maryland Clean Energy Center.

Once you’ve locked in your rates, reduce your utility bill for the long-term by joining the Frederick County Green Homes Challenge. Hilari Varnadore of the County’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources will invite City households to take Challenge 1: Be a Power Saver! Power Saver households save energy and reduce utility bills; the program encourages households to take easy steps such as having a home energy audit, making an energy saving action plan, and implementing home energy projects. Free Power Saver Handbooks will be available for all residents that register in the program.  
You’re energy bill is one expense you CAN control. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear directly from suppliers about the programs and rates they can offer as well as take advantage of free programs and resources available for Frederick City households.
This is a FREE event however seating is limited. Please register or call 301-600-6360.

For additional information or if you have questions about the Electric Choice Energy Forum, please contact Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development, at 301-600-6361 or by email at

Monday, April 4, 2011

Farmers Insurance Says Frederick is A Secure Place to Live

Frederick is among the top 10 most secure places in the US, according to a recent ranking by Farmers Insurance. This study ranks the "Most Secure Places to Live in the US," and the Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick metropolitan area ranked 9th among large metropolitan areas (populations of 500,000+). The rankings took into account crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, terrorist threats, environmental hazards, life expectancy and job loss numbers.

"The City of Frederick has a number of advantages in rankings such as this. Whether it's economic security - in our diverse industry base and strong job opportunities; security for our families - through low crime rates or safety in our environment - with a high-quality water supply and abundant open space and public parks, the City of Frederick is undeniably a great place to live and do business", said City of Frederick Mayor Randy McClement.

Frederick Police Chief Kim Dine shares, "Protection of the public is perhaps the core responsibility of government as safety is a basic human need. The Frederick Police Department is exceptionally proud that our strategic, cohesive and effective policing efforts played a key role resulting in Frederick being included in this national ranking. Reduced crime and a robust and diverse business community help illustrate the strong correlation between safe neighborhoods and economic stability. These symbiotic factors in fact lead to lower crime rates and a higher quality of life. The Frederick Police Department takes great pride in this national listing - a high quality of life is a success for all who live, work and play in Frederick."

To view the full rankings, click here.

For current data on crime in the City of Frederick, visit the SpiresGIS Crime Map.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beautiful Frederick - A Strong Town and a Great Neighborhood

The City of Frederick was given kudos and praise in a recent blog from "Strong Towns", an advocate for models of smart growth. From our streetscape and architecture to Carroll Creek Park and Public Art, the blogger now claims Frederick as one of his favorite US cities!

Frederick also gained recognition when it was named one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2010 by the American Planning Association. APA Great Places are enjoyable, safe and desirable - places that attract users every day. America's truly great neighborhoods are defined by many characteristics including architectural features, accessibility, functionality and community development.

A Strong Town growth model emphasizes obtaining a higher return on existing infrastructure investments. The belief is that you can no longer disregard old investments in favor of new, but instead need to focus on making better use of that which we already committed to publicly maintain.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spotlight on Industry - Biotechnology

In our last blog, we covered the Frederick economy in a very general sense - including job growth and important industry sectors. Beginning this week, we will take a closer look at each of those important industry sectors.

We begin with bioscience. Over the last 10 years, bioscience and life science have become economic development buzz words. And why not - everyone wants their community or region to be innovative and high-tech, moving toward that knowledge-based economy (another buzz word) of the future.

In Frederick, bio is not simply a buzz word - it's a growing cornerstone of our economy. Maryland is home to the 2nd largest biosciences cluster in the country and within the state, Frederick ranks #2 in total biotech companies.

Since 2002, Frederick's bioscience industry has more than doubled -from 30 companies to more than 70 companies. As we saw in last week's look at job growth, the Professional, Scientific and Technical industry sector has led the way for job creation in the Frederick region - growing 60% from 2003-2007, and in 2010 this industry sector grew 4% or 278 net new jobs. Impressive when many other industries were flat or declined.

Frederick's bioscience industry has its first roots from Fort Detrick. Companies moved to Frederick as a result of contracts with the federal government - Dynport Vaccine Company, Charles River Labs, SAIC-Frederick, Southern Research Institute, Midwest Research Institute, Battelle and others.

Frederick also has a strong private-sector bioscience base. MedImmune, Life Technologies, Qiagen and Lonza are all global life science companies with a strong and growing presence in the City of Frederick and surrounding area.

Entrepreneurship is also an important component of Frederick's bioscience industry. Small, innovative start-up companies with their own technologies, or technologies that have been developed in federal labs and are being commercialized through technology transfer agreements, have proven incredibly effective at advancing research, developing products and creating new jobs here in Frederick.

Frederick Innovative Technology Center (FITCI) - a technology incubator in Frederick - is an important element of entrepreneurship and job creation. FITCI, through partnerships with the City of Frederick, Frederick County and the State of Maryland and many corporate sponsors, offers affordable office and lab space, business mentoring and other programs to bioscience and advanced technology companies, to help budding entrepreneurs build successful businesses.

We continue to see great opportunity in the life sciences industry for Frederick. NCI/SAIC-Frederick is building a 330,000 SF advanced technologies research facility at Riverside Research Park. Planned for completion in late 2012, this initiative will facilitate public-private research partnerships with the intent of expediting the drug development process for cancer and HIV research and accelerating the timeline from discovery to patient bedside. Coupled with the entrepreneurship at FITCI and technology transfer opportunities at Fort Detrick, the life sciences industry is certainly a growth sector for the City of Frederick.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2011 Frederick Procurement Fair

Exhibitor registration is now open for the 2011 Frederick Procurement Fair on Wednesday May 18th from 9:00am - Noon at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center in Downtown Frederick.

Hosted by the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development and Frederick County Office of Economic Development, the 2011 Frederick Procurement Fair presents a unique opportunity for exhibitors - the purchasing and procurement departments of local government agencies and major employers in Frederick County - to connect with local small businesses regarding upcoming purchasing and procurement opportunities. If your company or agency is looking for a way to connect with potential vendors, suppliers and contractors, this is an event not to be missed!

Last year, over 120 businesses attended to learn about purchasing and procurement opportunities with 17 of the Frederick area's largest companies and government agencies. Exhibitors for 2011 already include The City of Frederick, Frederick County Public Schools, Frederick Community College and SAIC-Frederick.

To reserve your spot, call 301-600-6362 or email.  Exhibitor registration closes March 31st. Attendee registration opens April 1st.

For more information, visit   

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spotlight on Frederick's Economy

Frederick's diverse industry base is one of our community's great strengths. This diversity softens the local impact of economic downturns and shortens economic recovery time.

Here are a few facts about Frederick's economic - where we were, where we are today and where we see opportunities for the future.

From 2003 to 2007, the Frederick region experienced a 21% increase in jobs. Compare that to 10% statewide and 9% national growth over the same period - pretty impressive numbers! Topping the job growth sectors:
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services - 60% increase
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation - 57% increase
Accommodations & Food Services - 32% increase
Finance & Insurance - 29% increase

Industry sectors that lost jobs durintg that time include manufacturing (down 15%) utilities (down 10%), agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting (down 5%) and information (down 2%).

For the past 3 years (2008 through 2010) job growth in the Frederick area has been relatively flat. This is when that diverse industry base comes into play - modest losses in some sectors which were off-set by modest gains in others. The theme we heard continuously these past few years - "Flat is the new up."

Turning our attention to 2011, we hope to say good-bye to 'flat'. At the City's Department of Economic Development (DED), we see tremendous opportunities in our target industries - biosciences, advanced technologies, manufacturing, professional services and tourism.

We are excited about the NCI-Frederick facility at Riverside Research Park, not only for the jobs and economic opportunity, but for the incredible promise this facility holds in the battle agains cancer and HIV. NCI-Frederick is one component of a vibrant and innovative bioscience community in Frederick that is now more than 70 companies strong.

We are encouraged by our innovative manufacturing base - companies such as EDCO and Stulz ATS, who have taken steps to remain competitive through implementation of LEAN manufacturing processes and R&D to development new product lines.

Last, but certainly not least, is the continuing economic impact of Fort Detrick and the 38 mission partners located on the post. Fort Detrick is as diverse as the community that surrounds it. Cancer and HIV research, cutting-edge healthcare innovations, state of the art forensic analysis labs, military medical logistics and acquisition, global communications - Fort Detrick's mission partners are on the forefront of research and innovation. Through employment, federal contracts technology transfer and partnerships with K-12 education, Fort Detrick makes a lasting and positive impact on Frederick's economy and our quality of life.

In the weeks ahead, the DED blog will examine each of our target industry sectors. Next week, look for Spotlight on Industry - Frederick Bioscience.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tech Council of Maryland 9th Annual Frederick County Tech Awards

Do you work for or know of a Tech or BioTech company in Frederick County that has made an impact in the community? Done something innovative in the last year? How about a a really awesome boss? Then get moving and nominate that company for the Tech Council's 9th Annual Frederick County Tech Awards. Its easy and best of all, FREE! Categories this year include Executive of the Year, Firm of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Service Provider of the Year and CFO of the Year.

Each year TCM honors those companies that have made a difference in Frederick County. Don't miss this great opportunity to showcase your company and be recognized for your achievements. Nominations MUST be received by COB February 23, 2011. To nominate, please click on the following link: 2011 Frederick County Nomination Form or contact Todd Hayes at or 240-243-4049.

Award winners will be honored at the 9th Annual Frederick County Tech Awards Celebration on March 29th, 2011 at Holly Hills Country Club, Ijamsville, MD 21754 from 6-8pm.

Don't wait, nominate and join TCM, Frederick County Leaders and the best of the best of the IT and Biotechnology communities at the 9th annual Frederick County Tech Awards. Click here to register.

Thank you to the sponsors: Platinum - Comcast
                                         Host - Frederick County Office of Economic Development
                                         Gold - MedImmune
                                         Media - 270inc Business Magazine
                                         Bronze - City of Frederick Department of Economic Development

Monday, January 31, 2011

New Frederick Street Map Now Available

An attractive new Frederick street map is now available to residents and visitors at City Hall and will soon be available at C Burr Artz Library, Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Council, Downtown Frederick Partnership and other business locations throughout the City. The map, produced by the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development in conjunction with Target Marketing, provides easy to reference information about City, County and Downtown streets and destinations.

"The response to business advertising on this new map was outstanding", said Richard Grififn, Director of Economic Development. "We are delighted to provide travelers a means of accessing our community as well as a vehicle for Frederick businesses to advertise." The cost of producing the maps was underwritten by business marketing and advertising. Business card style 'ads' are arranged categorically on both sides of the map to highlight local businesses. In addition to promoting the regional amenitites, a directory of important phone numbers and community information is provided.

An easy to navigate, searchable online version of the map will be available from the City website beginning in March. Each participating business will be listed by name & business category, with the actual location pinpointed on the online map; each business's home page will be linked to the map's home page, multiplying business exposure potential many times.

Cotton Smith with Target Marketing, which produces similar maps across the country stated, " Working with the Frederick business community and the city to produce this map was a terrific experience - together we have provided a usable map product for the community which also provides unique exposure for advertising businesses."

For questions about how to obtain a copy of the map, access to the on-line version, or advertising on future maps, please contact Donna Goff, Economic Development Specialist with the City of Frederick Department of Eocnomic Development at 301-600-6360 or

Friday, January 28, 2011

Training for Frederick County Business Owners

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office will be sponsoring an informational session for Frederick County business owners and their human resource staff to assist them in complying with current federal employment laws. A representative from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be in attendance to provide a plain-language explanation in the proper preparation of the I-9 Form, its acceptable documents and other relevant information. Also discussed will be the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers program, IMAGE, which is a voluntary program of best business practices that help to ensure a legal workforce. There will be a short question and answer session following the briefing.

The session will be held on Thursday, February 24th from 6-8pm in the main conference room of the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center, located at 110 Airport Drive East, Frederick. Due to limited seating, the Sheriffs Office is asking businesses to RSVP with the number attending to Capt. Tim Clarke at 301-600-3643 by Monday, February 21st. If the class fills and there is a need for additional sessions, the Sheriff's Office will compile a list of those businesses to be contacted for the next available session.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Frederick Keynotes Speaker Series featuring Steve Denning - RESCHEDULED to February 10

Due to inclement weather, tonight's Frederick Keynotes event (Thursday January 27th), featuring award-winning author and leadership speaker Steve Denning, has been rescheduled for Thursday February 10th, 7:00-9:00pm at the Cultural Arts Center in Downtown Frederick.

Existing registration will be honored for the new date. If you have not yet registered, but would like to attend the event, visit the online calendar at to register.

For more information, contact the City of Frederick's Department of Eocnomic Development at 301-600-6360.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Frederick Keynotes Speaker Series Hosts Leadership Guru Steve Denning

The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development, in partnership with the Frederick Arts Council and 270inc Magazine, is hosting the next Frederick Keynotes business speaker event on Thursday, January 27th, 7:00pm - 9:00pm at the Cultural Arts Center in Downtown Frederick, 15 West Patrick Street. The event features award-winning author and leadership speaker Steve Denning. The focus of his presentation will be "Reinventing the Workplace in the 21st Century" based on his newly published book, "The Leader's Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace in the 21st Century."

Admission is $10 and can be purchased in advance at or by calling 301-600-6360. The admission fee supports The City of Frederick Economic Development Fund, a component fund of The Community Foundation of Frederick County.
Following the presentation, there will be a book signing and Denning's latest publication will be available for purchase.

"Steve Denning is the Warren Buffet of business communication," stated Chip Heath, author of Made to Stick.  "He sees things others don't and is able to explain them so the rest of us can understand."

We are pleased to be able to offer top-notch speakers like Steve Denning in Frederick's community and business leaders," states Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development. "Our goal is simply to expend the know how and capacity of Frederick business to compete and succeed."

Frederick Keynotes is the region's premiere business speaker series and is a program of The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development in partnership with 270inc Magazine.
For more information, contact 301-600-6360.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Welcome to the DED Blog!

Welcome to the first edition of the DED blog! As we foray into the world of social media, we will use our blog to communicate with citizens and businesses on important economic development issues like job growth, development projects, and new business openings. Like any blog, our goal is to engage in a healthy conversation about these issues. Your thoughts are important to us, so share them by email at

Now, we have a question for you - how well do you know DED? Do you know our mission and our goals? Let's take a minute to learn more about your advocate in City Hall.

Our formal mission is " increase economic opportunity for Frederick residents through job creation, revitalization and reinvestment." At the foundation of that mission is the core belief that quality jobs with family-supporting wages, located close to home, are a critical component of the quality of life for the residents of our city.

DED is focused on this mission every single day - fostering new business creation through entrepreneurship and small business start-up support; retaining and growing our existing businesses; and recruiting new companies to Frederick.

There are other components to our mission that further the goals of job creation - encouraging and supporting revitalization and reinvestment in areas such as Downtown Frederick, East Frederick and the Golden Mile; and advocating for infrastructure investments to support private-sector investment (water/sewer, road, Frederick Municipal Airport, and more).

DED is the voice of business in City Hall - advocating for a predictable and business-supportive environment. We look forward to communicating this message in new ways in the new year. In addition to our blog, we are now on Facebook ("Frederick DED").

Happy New Year - we wish each of you much joy and success in 2011!