Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to Participate in Bike to Work Day - May 15, 2015

Bike to Work day is an annual event, and this year it is celebrated on May 15, 2015. Join over 10,000 area commuters for a celebration of bicycling as a clean, fun, and healthy way to get to work.

Frederick Pit Stop participants can also attend a Bike to Work Day Pre-Registration Party on Friday, May 8, 2015 from 5-8pm.  Bike to Work Day is celebrated on May 15 in Frederick at the Transit Center on 100 South East Street, rain or shine, from 6:30am-8:30am. 

During the Bike to Work Day event, join other commuters and local dignitaries for a fun-filled morning of giveaways (including the chance to win a free bike!), commuter information, food, drinks, prizes, vendors, and FREE donuts courtesy of local business Glory Doughnuts

To participate, just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Register to attend Bike to Work Day in Frederick.

    Make sure to choose the Frederick Pit Stop when registering so you can get your free t-shirt. T-shirts are available for the first 14,000 registrants.
  2. Attend the FREE Bike to Work Day Pre-Registration Party.

    The Pre-Registration Party is an opportunity to register in person for the event OR if you've already registered, pick up your free tee shirt and celebrate with other participants. The Pre-Registration Party is on Friday, May 8th from 5-8pm at The Bicycle Escape in Frederick (7820 Worman's Mill Rd., Frederick, MD 21701).

    At the party, pick up your free tee shirt, get a free bike safety check, visit neighboring businesses for great offers, and more.
  3. Join the Ride and Attend Bike to Work Day Activities on May 15.

    Ceremonial Ride - 6:30am
    Join us for a ceremonial Bike to Work ride with many of your commuter friends leaving Hood College / Alumnae Hall at 6:30am. This ride is just under five miles and rides many of the City’s bike lanes and routes.

    Frederick Pit Stop Ceremonial 2015 Bike to Work Day Route & Pick Up Spots
    6:45am - Depart Alumnae Hall, Hood College*
    Exit onto Rosemont and head west
    Continue on Rosemont to Lee Place
    Turn right onto Lee Place and continue north to 7th Street
    Pick up Fort Detrick riders at 7th Street and Lee Place
    Turn right on 7th into the bike lanes and continue east to East Street
    Turn right on East Street and continue south to 2nd Street
    Turn right onto 2nd Street and continue to Court Street to City Hall arriving 7-7:05am
    7-7:05am - Pick up City Hall riders and exit to Church Street
    Continue east on Church Street to East Street
    Turn right on East Street and continue south to MARC Station on left
    7:15-7:20 am - Arrive MARC Station  *Departure time is set, all others are approximate

    Bike to Work Day Event - 6:30am - 8:30am*
    Frederick Transit Center
    100 South East Street
    Frederick, MD 21701
    Rain or shine, from 6:30am-8:30am
    Enjoy a fun-filled morning of giveaways (including the chance to win a free bike!), commuter information, food, drinks, and prizes.
    Opening Remarks to Begin Around 7am-7:15am
Learn more about how Frederick County TransIT can help with transportation needs and commuter services for employees and employers. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

This Week on Carroll Creek - April 14, 2015

The warmer weather is allowing work on Carroll Creek to really take off. Several sections of the creek are being worked on at the same time with major improvements catching the passerby's eye. 

On the West end of the Creek, just past Market Street and across from LaPaz, fountains are being installed with beautiful stone work. The large box shaped structure will be a replica of a Spring House with a fountain on either side. 

On the East end of the Creek, pavers and paths continue to be laid, like the one below which is situated just past the Delaplaine and before East Street.

On the far East side, close to McCutcheon's Apple Products, the creek will widen in a section named Mill Pond. The picture below shows low green fencing/edging (epoxy coated rebar) that represents just how wide the Creek will be once complete. The green rebar will be covered by concrete and stone veneer to complete the new creek edge. At that edge, jets will shoot water back into the center of the creek. As well, water propulsion jets will be placed under the water to help with flow.

Connect with Us for Updates
Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the most recent news and updates on this project and others.

About the Next Phase of Carroll Creek Park
This next phase of park improvements will include new and widened multi-use paths, landscape planters, lighting, water features and crosswalk improvements. The work will occur primarily between Bentz and S. Market Street and between the Delaplaine Arts Center and East Patrick Street. More than $100M in new and renovated private construction is planned along the new park/path sections which will eventually result in hundreds of new jobs and increased state and local tax revenue.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

3 Funding Sources for Small Businesses

East Street, along with much of Downtown Frederick, East Frederick, and the Golden Mile, are designated sustainable communities.  This designation opens up benefits, such as eligibility for the Neighborhood BusinessWorks Loan Program.
What business couldn't use a little extra funding? Here are 3 loan programs that can help you fund your small business. Find a program that works best for you. 

1. Neighborhood BusinessWorks Loan Program
  • Offered by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
  • First floor business or retail space use that generates street level activity in mixed use projects 
  • Loans from $10k-$500k
  • NBW financing can represent up to 50% of the total project cost
  • A minimum of 5% of total project costs must be contributed by the applicant
  • Primary Lender is required - the NBW program subordinates to the primary lender
  •  For more information, contact Michael Haloskey at 410-514-7237
2. Military Personnel and Veteran-Owned Small Business Loan Program (MPVSBLP)
  • Offered by the State of Maryland, Dept of Business & Economic Development (DBED)
  • No interest loans from $1k - $50k
  •  Businesses owned by military reservists, National Guard members called to active duty, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees
  • Options available for businesses owned by service-disabled veterans and businesses that employ service-disabled veterans
  • For more information, contact Jerry Boden, Maryland Dept of Veteran Affairs at 410-260-3841
3. Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Account - Video Lottery Terminal Fund (VLT) 
  • Offered by the State of Maryland, Dept of Business & Economic Development (DBED)
  • 50% of VLT allocations will be deployed to small, minority & women-owned businesses located within a 10-mile radius of casinos. The other 50% will be available to the same type of businesses located anywhere within the State
  • For more information, contact any of the fund managers listed here. 
businesses owned by service-disabled veterans
businesses owned by military reservists and National Guard members called to active duty, - See more at:
businesses owned by military reservists and National Guard members called to active duty, - See more at:
businesses owned by military reservists and National Guard members called to active duty, - See more at:

5 Benefits of Eliminating the Business Personal Property Tax

City of Frederick Passes Legislation to Eliminate Business Personal Property Tax

UPDATE: The Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted on Thursday, April 16, 2015 to eliminate Business Personal Property Tax with an immediate exemption for new manufacturing investment and a phase-out approach for all businesses over a 10-year period. 

First, A Little History
Personal property tax dates to Colonial America and was levied on individuals. Imagine a tax assessor showing up at your home annually to review your personal belongings such as rings and jewelry, furniture, household goods, paintings, and silverware. These items are known as tangible personal propertyAccording to the Tax Foundation, "tangible personal property (TPP) is property that can be touched and moved, such as equipment, furniture, and other possessions." 

Today, no tax collector rummages through our homes to assess the value of our possessions for tax collection purposes. However, in many areas, this tax is assessed on businesses. 

"Because most states have exempted personal property used for personal reasons, most citizens are not aware that the tax on personal property exists. TPP tax is invisible to most individuals, although it is a significant expense for businesses," states a report issued by the Tax Foundation

Taxing businesses on personal property has remained in many jurisdictions, including the City of Frederick, but a proposed change is under way. 

What is the Current Situation of This Tax in The City of Frederick?
Frederick County as a whole does not have a Business Personal Property Tax, but municipalities can assess this tax.  The City of Frederick currently is one of the jurisdictions within Frederick County that does. Only a handful of companies pay the majority of this tax. 

What is Being Proposed? 
The City's Economic Development Advisory Council (EDAC) has recommended a fiscally sound phase-out of this tax, and City officials agree. According to the Tax Foundation, the elimination of business personal property tax improves the business competitiveness of a jurisdiction and encourages reinvestment in a business.  

"The types of businesses that are hardest hit by this tax are also the same businesses that provide family-supporting jobs in Frederick," said Bobby Baumler, Economic Development Manager for The City of Frederick. "We want to attract and retain these companies and their jobs in our community."

The proposed ordinance would:
  1. Exempt manufacturers (as a business category) from paying business personal property tax on NEW investments.  The tax credit only applies to manufacturers that are expanding or locating to the City. All business personal property, including items such as computers, printers, shelving, etc., would be eligible for the tax credit.
  2. Implement a 10-year phase out of all business personal property tax. This includes both manufacturing personal property (currently 77.5% exempt) and non-manufacturing personal property (currently 62.5% exempt).  This portion will be achieved by gradually raising each exemption percentage until at the end of year 10 (and moving forward), the exemption percentage is 100%. The proposed ordinance does not exempt utilities or railroads.
According to the Tax Foundation, "Localities that choose to exempt the TPP base, even in part, have an advantage over neighbors with regard to the location of business personal property due to their lower tax costs." With a phase-out approach over 10 years, the increased real property, new investment, and new development generated is expected to replace the revenue stream that this tax historically provided the City. 

"Businesses can choose to locate, relocate, or expand in a number of jurisdictions in the region," said Bobby Baumler, Economic Development Manager for The City of Frederick. "There are many reasons to choose Frederick, and eliminating this tax gives them one more." 

5 Benefits of Eliminating the Business Personal Property Tax
  1. It levels the playing field. Elimination of the tax places The City of Frederick on a level playing field with Frederick County and regional jurisdictions with lower overall business costs. 
  2. It encourages investment and reinvestment. Businesses won't be penalized for reinvesting in aging infrastructure such as manufacturing equipment.
  3. It gives Frederick a regional competitive advantage. Many nearby jurisdictions still assess this tax on businesses. This change allows both the City and County to market this advantage to businesses looking to locate or expand in the Frederick region.
  4. It attracts new business. When a businesses is looking to open or relocate a business, every expense matters. This can tilt the scale between Frederick and another jurisdiction. 
  5. It helps small businesses. 95% of all businesses in Frederick are small businesses. The plan to eliminate this tax doesn't just assist large corporations. It also assists small, locally-owned restaurants, retailers, and business owners that have invested in equipment, shelving, and fixtures. 
For more information about business in Frederick, visit

Originally posted April 15, 2015 by Michelle Kershner

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Meet Spring Intern Nick Masucci

Nick Masucci, Spring Intern for the Department of Economic Development.
The City of Frederick's Department of Economic Development frequently has interns from local colleges. They assist with anything from data analysis to writing content, depending on their interests and skills. Students bring a fresh perspective to our office, and in return, we seek to provide them with hands-on project experience. This spring, we have welcomed Nick Masucci. Take a few minutes to get to know Nick. 

Tell us about yourself.
I am a sophomore at Hood College from Berkeley Heights, NJ currently studying Business Administration and Public Relations. Outside of school, I play midfield on Hood’s Varsity Lacrosse Team and am a member of Tau Beta Eta, Hood's first fraternity. In my spare time I listen to and collect vinyl records. I also love watching The Office and Friday Night Lights.

Why were you interested in this opportunity?
I was interested in this internship because of the marketing and social media aspects of the internship. I want to work in public relations after college, and I think social media and marketing experience are very important for people trying to work in PR. Social media is becoming a big part of our society so I think it is definitely important to get real world experience working with social media and learning how to use it in a corporate setting. 

What will you be doing?
This spring I will be posting a series of short feature stories, called “Made in Frederick,” which will showcase different products that have been made here in Frederick. I will be speaking with the local businesses that make these products to get a better understanding of how these products are made and what kind of impact they have on the local community.

What do you enjoy about going to college in Frederick?
I enjoy going to college in Frederick because of how much there is to do in the city. I love going Downtown and going to The Record Exchange or getting food at Pretzel and Pizza Creations. There's a lot to do Downtown, especially for college students. I'm also a big fan of going to Baker Park when the weather is nice. Whenever I get the chance, I like to go running in Baker Park.

What do you hope to do after graduation?
After graduation I hope to work in public relations, either to work for a firm or to be part of a business's PR team. I would also like to try and coach high school lacrosse part-time.

Growing our Region to Become a Top 3 Biotech Hub by 2023

Maryland Regional Biotech Forum Discusses Growing the Biotech Ecosystem

The City of Frederick's Economic Development Director Richard Griffin recently participated in the Maryland Regional Biotech Forum held on March 30-31, 2015 at the MedImmune campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The first event of its kind, the forum included private sector companies; federal, state, and local government; nonprofit institutions; investors; and academia. Griffin was on a panel entitled "The Role of State and Local Government in Increasing the Return on Our Biotech Assets." 

"It was an honor to participate in this forum and discuss the role of local municipalities as the region grows this industry," said Griffin. The importance of collaboration and building the biotech ecosystem is essential to our success, said Griffin. "The rising tide lifts all boats." 

Follow the #MDBiotech15 Twitter hashtag to see tweets from the event. 
The DC Metro area is a biotech hub with more than 800 life sciences companies, 70 federal labs, and numerous world-class academic and research institutions. The focus of the forum was to chart the future of growing the regional biotech ecosystem.

Forum discussions focused on how the MD/DC/VA biotech cluster can become a Top 3 Biotech Hub by 2023. Currently, the region is ranked in the Top 10 and frequently ranks between 5th and 7th depending on the source. 

Frederick is the northern anchor of the I-270 Technology Corridor with approximately 80 biotech companies in and around the city. It is an integral part of the regional biotech ecosystem and is poised to grow this industry. To learn more, visit the Business in Frederick website.