Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Why College Graduates Will Stay in the City

In a recent survey of local college students, 76% indicated they want to live in a city with an active downtown after graduation.
By Michelle Kershner

Each year, local colleges and universities graduate hundreds of students in Frederick County, and cities all over the country are vying for this talent. According to a fall 2015 survey of local college students, Frederick has what it takes to retain this talented workforce after graduation.

Over half of all students surveyed indicated they want to call Frederick home after graduation. Almost 60% "Agreed" or "Strongly Agreed" that they would choose to live in The City of Frederick. 

According to a Gizmodo article, this new generation is seeking not just large cities, but cities right-sized for them. According to the story, “Thanks to the generation’s size and influence, millennials are moving to new places made just for them, by them—revitalizing smaller cities or opting for hybridized urban-burb enclaves where quality of life is the driving force.” 

Downtown Frederick also has the quality of life amenities these new professionals seek. According to the survey results, the following city attributes ranked high among students: 

  • 76%* want to live in a city with an active downtown after graduation
  • 76%* want to live in a city with many restaurants, bars, and shops
  • 78%* want to live near parks and outdoor activities

"We're pleased that Frederick's amenities align closely with what recent graduates are seeking," said Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development for The City of Frederick.

Frederick is increasingly recognized as a great place for young professionals. Again in 2016, Frederick was named one of the "10 Best Places Near Washington, D.C. for Young Professionals" by Movoto.com. Frederick ranked at the top on Niche.com's 2016 list of "Best Towns for Millennials in Maryland."  

Sites ranking best cities for millennials or recent graduates use a variety of criteria, including job opportunities, access to bars and restaurants, and affordable housing. According to Niche.com a "high ranking indicates that a town attracts millennials with an affordable, diverse community and lots of things to do." Frederick was recently ranked by wallethub.com as one of the most diverse small cities in America, coming in at #8. 

The local survey also revealed other important information about how graduates choose where to live. Nearby 90% of all respondents want to live near where they work and 60% want to live with other recent graduates. 

"Having recent grads choose to remain in Frederick is great for our community and great for businesses that rely on a talented workforce," said Griffin. "We're proud they want to call Frederick home." 

About the Survey - The survey was developed by Fall 2015 intern Nick Masucci from Hood College. 103 responses were gathered and 97% of respondents were undergraduate college students at the time of taking the survey. 85% of respondents were enrolled at Hood College at the time of taking the survey.

*percentage derived of students that "agreed" or "strongly agreed" they wanted to live in a city with these attributes.

Michelle Kershner is the Business Development Specialist for the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development. 

City Releases First Comprehensive Retail Report

The City of Frederick recently released "The City of Frederick Retail Report." The report was completed in April 2016 by a retail consultant and is the first comprehensive retail study to be completed by The City. It will assist the Department of Economic Development in identifying best practices and retail brands that are currently missing in Frederick. The report can be used as a valuable tool for both existing retailers in Frederick and for businesses considering the Frederick area.
Retail is an important community attribute for residents, businesses, and visitors alike. Retailers and restaurants contribute to Frederick's quality of life, tax base, and provide employment opportunities for residents. 

"Frederick is home to local and national brands canvassing the entire City, from the western edge of the Golden Mile, through Historic Downtown Frederick, and along the East Street Corridor," said Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development for The City of Frederick.

Despite a strong existing demand for retail and restaurants in Frederick, opportunities remain to attract missing brands and to better understand changing trends in consumer habits.

The report contains relevant demographic, spending, and economic data and can be used by businesses seeking to prepare or update a business plan, for property owners seeking new tenants, and for existing retailers interested in learning more about the changing trends in the retail market.  

Download - The City of Frederick Retail Report - The Riddle Company (PDF)

Made in Frederick: Catoctin Popcorn Company

In The City of Frederick, many local businesses make and manufacture their own products. From popcorn and coffee to dog treats, many businesses are choosing Frederick as a place to make their products and to do business.

Made in Frederick is a feature that showcases these businesses and their products.

Made in Frederick: Catoctin Popcorn Company

Catoctin Popcorn Company was established in 2001 and sold its signature kettle corn on roadsides and at local fairs. More than a decade later, the company's factory and retail store are located in Frederick, Maryland (behind AstraZeneca/MedImmune's biologics manufacturing facility). The store offers a variety of delectable treats, including its namesake's kettle popcorn.

Catoctin Popcorn's factory is fully-stocked with the company's complete product line. In addition to offering over 35 varieties of popcorn, customers can purchase roasted nuts, preserves and butters, peanut brittle, and more. Additionally, decorative tins and baskets are available for purchase and are especially popular at the holidays.

The City of Frederick's Department of Economic Development had the chance to stop by
Catoctin Popcorn's factory and retail store and talk to managing member Bryan Casey.

Q&A with Managing Member Bryan Casey
Bryan Casey took the time to answer a few questions about the business, its products, and why he enjoys doing business in Frederick.
Catoctin Popcorn's factory store is fully-stocked with the company's entire product line, including gift tins and baskets.

How long has your company been in business?
Catoctin Kettle Korn was started in 2001. In 2007, we purchased the business and changed the name to Catoctin Popcorn Company. 

What are your product/products?
We are most famous for our Kettle Korn and Caramel Popcorn, but have a large following who enjoy many of our other flavors. We make over 36 flavors - as diverse as Apple Pie, Peanut Butter Cluster or Dark Chocolate Drenched Popcorn.

What makes your product different?

Although not all of our products are all natural, we specialize in making all natural, delicious snacks from popcorn grown here in the mid-Atlantic region.

A bird's eye view of the production area.
What do you want your customers to know about your product?
Our premium popcorn uses the best ingredients to make a product that is rich and delicious. It's an indulgent snack for any occasion. We are now carried by some of your favorite grocery stores as well. Our products can be found in Frederick at Weis Markets and Giant Eagle.  In Baltimore, we are in ShopRite and Weis Markets. In Pennsylvania, we can be found at Renders', Weis Markets and Kennie's Markets.
What does Frederick offer a company like yours?
We love being located in Frederick. It's central for distribution purposes and loaded with great people to help us make, and eat, our popcorn.

If you go
Catoctin Popcorn has a full factory store (650 MedImmune Court, Frederick, MD 21703) that is open to the public on most weekdays.  As the hours of operation vary throughout the year, visit Catoctin Popcorn's website for more information. Catoctin Popcorn's products are also available in Frederick at Giant Eagle and Weis Markets.


Want to be featured?
If you or your business has a product that's made in The City of Frederick, contact us and let us know more about your business, product, and why Frederick is a great business location for you. 

Frederick Facts

Introducing Frederick Facts
The Department of Economic Development (DED) is introducing a new monthly feature: Frederick Facts. Frederick Facts will highlight interesting statistics and data points unique to Frederick's business community. This feature will cover a wide range of industries and topics, including retail, office, tourism, and more. A compilation of all Frederick Facts will reside on the DED blog.

July 2017

Frederick claims a highly educated workforce. For the past decade, Maryland has ranked among America’s top states for public education. The Frederick County Public School system maintains a graduation rate of 93.5%, and, in 2017, local graduating students received over $41.1 million dollars in scholarship offers. Frederick is home to three higher education institutions – Frederick Community College, Hood College, and Mount Saint Mary’s University – which host over 10,000 scholars annually. Pulling beyond local talent, Frederick was recently recognized nationally by GoodCall as one of the”2017 Best Cities for New Grads.” The City’s amenities, median salary, increased salary potential, and availability of jobs are major factors of attraction to competitive employees.   

June 2017

Frederick is home to over 80 bioscience companies and is the northern anchor of the I-270 Technology Corridor.  The industry has more than doubled since 2000 and provides family-supporting jobs to residents while advancing breakthrough research and manufacturing vaccines and drugs that save lives around the world.

May 2017

Tourism spending in Frederick County continues to increase and now exceeds $390 million a year, or an average of over $1 million in spending a day. The industry employees over 6,500 people in Frederick and visitors contribute taxes of nearly $109 million annually, according to the Tourism Council of Frederick County. Frederick's vibrant arts community contributes to the successful tourism industry.  

April 2017

The number of minority-owned businesses in Frederick continue to grow and follow many national trends. According to the Minority Business Development Agency, the formation of minority-owned businesses continues to significantly outpace the formation of non minority-owned businesses. From 2007-2012, the number of minority-owned businesses increased 39% according to the Census Bureau.

March 2017

 The office market continues to improve in Downtown Frederick.  Over the last year, the vacancy rate has fallen from 9.0% to 7.8%, according to CoStar.  This has resulted in over 24,000 square feet of absorption as new technology and professional companies locate to Downtown Frederick.

January 2017

As Hood College students return to class this week, we are reminded that Frederick is well-positioned to retain future graduates. A survey of Hood students indicated at 60% of students "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that they would choose to live in The City of Frederick following graduation. Students interested in staying in Frederick can feel confident in their decision as GoodCall recently named Frederick as one of the 2017 Best Cities for New Grads (#43). The rankings considered factors including amenities, median salary, increased salary potential, and the availability of jobs.

December 2016

The bioscience industry employs over 2,700 people in Frederick County and created nearly 250 new jobs in 2015 according to Frederick County Workforce Services. The Department of Economic Development (DED) remains committed to supporting this industry as the biosciences afford family-supporting wages and career growth. Most recently, DED entered into a new partnership with BioBuzz Workforce Foundation Inc. to provide Frederick bioscience companies and their employees collaboration opportunities through the BioHive platform.

November 2016

According to ESRI,Frederick households spend over $3,500 a year on food purchases made outside of the home, including restaurants. Much of this spending is anticipated to occur during the holiday season with special occasions, including family gatherings and holiday parties. According to data from the National Retail Federation, over 17% of annual sales at food and beverage stores occurs during the holiday sales season.

October 2016

According to ESRI, the City of Frederick is home to nearly 100 manufacturers. This targeted industry for the City employs almost 2,000 individuals. As we celebrate Maryland Manufacturing Month, we are reminded that manufacturers provide family-supporting wages and career opportunities for the Frederick community. According to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MED), the annual average salary of a manufacturing worker in the United States is more than $77,000 a year. 

September 2016

Frederick County Public Schools recently released its Educational Partnerships report for the 2015-2016 school year. The report recognizes the more than 1,200 businesses and organizations that partner with the school system annually. Many of the City's largest employers provided funding and staff resources to support public education in Frederick County. 

August 2016

As Fredericktonians prepare for the start of a new school year, back to school shopping is a part of the tradition. According to the National Retail Federation, spending for the 2016 back to school season will reach nearly $76 billion, including spending for both K-12 and college students. This equates to K-12 families spending approximately $675 on their children and college families spending approximately $890. The same survey evaluated where shoppers plan to visit. The research indicated that over 60% of consumers plan to shop at a discount store, nearly 60% plan to shop at a department store, and nearly 40% plan to shop at an office supply store. With over 700 retailers located within The City of Frederick, residents will not need to travel far to check off each item on their back to school shopping list.

July 2016

Frederick's residential population continues to grow at a time when many small towns are experiencing a contraction in population. Today, the City is home to over 68,000 residents and this number is expected to grow at a rate of over 4% per year through 2020.
June 2016

Frederick's millennials account for 24% of the City's resident population. Over 40% of millennials in Frederick hold at least a bachelor's degree and over 65% hold professional jobs. 

May 2016

The Frederick retail market analysis compared Frederick's spending on Food purchases by category. Citywide, Frederick consumers spend more than the national average in every category, most notably spending 17% higher than the national average on alcoholic beverages and 10% more than average on overall food purchases.

 April 2016

The Golden Mile is Frederick's original retail corridor and is currently home to over 1.6 million square feet of retail space. Following the completion of the Golden Mile Gateway and Frederick Towne Center projects, the total retail along the Golden Mile will exceed 2.3 million square feet, or nearly half of the total retail space within The City of Frederick.