Archives For Maryland Economy

Horseshoe Casino opened in Baltimore City with fanfare and the promise of new economic growth.

Catch up on the latest Maryland business news.

Maryland business successes:

  • Horseshoe Casino opened in Baltimore City with fanfare and the promise of new economic growth. Half of its employees are local residents, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.
  • Maryland’s tourism industry may see a higher-than-usual uptick this weekend. AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates that nearly 728,000 Marylanders will travel at least 50 miles away from home this Labor Day holiday, MDBIZ News reports.
  • Recently closed deals by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development have helped create 1,497 jobs and retain 1,214 other positions in July throughout the State, StateStat recorded.
  • The State’s largest organic farm will be restored in Anne Arundel County, thanks to a public-private partnership, according to the Capital Gazette.

Maryland business resources:

Dr. Karen Zeller, research associate and instructor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, speaks to students about synthetic biology at Westminster High School. Photo courtesy Maryland Business Roundtable for Education

Dr. Karen Zeller, research associate and instructor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, speaks to students about synthetic biology at Westminster High School. Photo courtesy Maryland Business Roundtable for Education

As Maryland students return to school, a growing number of professionals are also finding themselves back in the classroom. The Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT), a nonprofit coalition of employers, is continuing its award-winning Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau and STEM Specialists in the Classroom programs, and is recruiting new volunteers for the 2014-15 school year.

MBRT’s Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau includes volunteers of various backgrounds and professions who speak with students on the connection between educational achievement and workplace success. The STEM Specialists in the Classroom program offers professionals from science, technology, engineering and math fields, federal agencies and higher education the opportunity to co-teach lessons illustrating the real-world application of STEM skills.

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Lockheed Martin has secured a U.S. Defense Department contract to develop its exoskeleton technology. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Catch up on the latest Maryland business news.

Maryland business successes:

Maryland of OpportunityA series of reports and analyses have recently examined the apparent wage stagnation phenomenon in the United States. The concern over wages comes amid robust employment growth nationally, where the economy has added 1.6 million jobs in the first seven months of the year. Unemployment rates have fallen across the states while the national rate fell to 6.2 percent in July, the lowest it had been since September 2008. The fall in the unemployment rate would supposedly lead to an uptick in average wages due to increased demand for labor; however, private non-farm weekly earnings since June 2013 have grown on average by only 1.96 percent, while inflation over the same period stood at 1.6 percent.

Amid job expansion, slow wage growth, among other things, signals some slack in labor markets. This is of particular concern for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who addressed lawmakers on July 15 and spoke on the issue. The subject of wages represents a challenge for the Fed, especially over the issues of how much longer the economy needs to be stimulated and when to raise interest rates which have been kept near zero for a long time. The Federal Reserve maintains that slow wage growth is mostly due to cyclical forces in a slow recovery.

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The Star-Spangled Spectacular, with events beginning in September, revved up this week with singing, fireworks and Governor Martin O'Malley.

The Star-Spangled Spectacular, with events beginning in September, revved up this week with singing, fireworks and Governor Martin O’Malley.

Catch up on the latest Maryland business news.

Maryland business successes:

  • Baltimore’s NV3 is working to make it easier to charge your phone while you’re on the go. Learn more on MDBIZ News.
  • Maryland’s casinos are growing in popularity and revenue. During this last fiscal year, they generated $849 million, WBAL reports.
  • Johns Hopkins University’s tech transfer office and the Maryland Innovation Initiative have helped a pair’s biomedical researchers develop AsclepiX Therapeutics, the Baltimore Business Journal reports.
  • Who will protect your network from next-generation malware attacks? Consider Rockville-based Triumphant. The company is planning to expand following a $750,000 Maryland Venture Fund investment, MDBIZ News reports.
  • The Maryland Venture Fund continued its support of Maryland’s cybersecurity industry with a $451,000 follow-on investment in Luminal. Learn more about their innovative cloud security solutions on MDBIZ News.
  • Two Maryland-based companies, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions and Maddrix, LLC, earned accreditation in the pilot National Security Cyber Assistance Program. Only seven companies across the nation received the honor, following a positive assessment in 21 critical focus areas of Cyber Incident Response Assistance.

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond released its Maryland Survey of Business Activity for July, showing some record positive trends in business conditions in the State. The monthly survey provides information on overall business activity, including sales, investment in new equipment, software and inventories. Survey respondents also provide information on employment trends, wages, business costs and prices. Results are published using diffusion index—a measure of how spread out the change is in activity among respondents. A large index number, either positive or negative, indicates that change is greater, while numbers closer to zero show little change in activity.

The July survey results revealed that both general business conditions and sales indexes at 39 and 27, respectively, were the highest since the survey began in 2007, continuing on a six-month trend of solid readings in double digits. The average index of 23 for business conditions, over the last six months, is a major improvement compared with the previous period which averaged an index of negative 2. Business spending on services jumped five points from last month to an index of 16, while business spending on equipment or software increased by 11 points to 37—a sign of solid growth in business investments.

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BWI air travel

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was selected as a winner in Government Security News magazine’s 2014 Airport / Seaport / Border Security Awards Program.

Two of Maryland’s busiest points of commerce have been named leaders in national security. Governor Martin O’Malley announced Tuesday. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Port of Baltimore were selected as winners in Government Security News magazine’s 2014 Airport / Seaport / Border Security Awards Program.

Recent national security advances at the airport include an automated dispatching system, mobile dispatching equipment in all first responder vehicles, an emergency call processing system, a fire station alerting system, a detailed mapping of the BWI Marshall facilities with emergency apparatus GPS tracking, and a new back-up dispatch center. The airport earned two first-place awards in the competition, including Most Notable Airport Security Program, Large Airports and Best Physical Security Information Management System.

“This highly successful project provided our security and public safety personnel with cutting-edge emergency response technology,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld, CEO of BWI Marsh

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Despite heavy rain swelling the Inner Harbor, fireworks burst in synch with the singing of the national anthem outside the Baltimore Visitor Center Tuesday morning. Officials, including Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, kicked off next month’s Star-Spangled Spectacular, with details on events commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner and Maryland’s role in pushing back against British troops and war ships in the War of 1812.

“In Baltimore, we’ve been doing homeland since 1812,” Governor O’Malley said. “(Francis Scott Key) saw our flag, a flag that had been sewn together here in Baltimore by black and white hands, in anticipation not of defeat, but of another 200 years of creative service of the greatest nation that has ever been brought forth on the planet.”

He urged Marylanders to participate in the celebration and spread the word to friends and family. ”Audiences from Fort McHenry to the Pier Six Pavilion, along with spectators on recreational boats and national television audiences are in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that includes amazing concert-stage performances and the largest fireworks display in the Chesapeake since 1814,” he said.

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Triton Metals, a St. Mary’s County metal manufacturer, earned a $5,000 grant through DBED’s Partnership for Workforce Quality Program.

Triton Metals, a St. Mary’s County metal manufacturer, earned a $5,000 grant through DBED’s Partnership for Workforce Quality Program.

Catch up on the latest Maryland business news.

Maryland business successes:

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum during the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum during the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

As President Barack Obama wrapped up the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit this week in Washington, D.C., he urged more American companies and investors to get involved in African economies.

“Some of the fastest-growing economies in the world. A growing middle class. Expanding sectors like manufacturing and retail. One of the fastest-growing telecommunications markets in the world. More governments are reforming, attracting a record level of foreign investment. It is the youngest and fastest-growing continent, with young people that are full of dreams and ambition.” President Obama said in a Summit speech.

Maryland companies are at an advantage when it comes to interactions with African markets. Businesses interested in exporting internationally will find several resources available through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), including the following: Continue Reading…

Employment in Maryland expanded in seven out of 10 major industries between February 2010 and June 2014. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the 2007-2009 recession in the United States began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009; the economic recovery process in Maryland started in February 2010. While a host of sectors and sub-sectors have expanded since then, industries with largest gains in employment during this period included Leisure and Hospitality (17 percent), Professional and Business Services (11.4 percent) and Mining, Logging and Construction (11.3 percent). Other growing industries included Education and Health Services, Trade, Transportation and Utilities and Financial Activities (see Figure 1).

Prior to the onset of the national recession, Maryland’s total nonfarm employment stood at 2,609,400 in November 2007. During the economic downturn, nonfarm employment fell to its lowest at 2,467,900 in February 2010. By December 2013, however, Maryland’s economy recovered all the nonfarm jobs that it had lost during the recession to match the November 2007 employment level. Since the beginning of the State’s economic recovery in February 2010, total nonfarm employment in the State has expanded by 6.1 percent or by about 151,300 jobs, 92 percent of which have been in the private sector. The unemployment rate for the State fell from an 8.0 percent high in March 2010 to 5.8 in June 2014, while the national unemployment rate for the same period fell from 9.8 to 6.1.

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Maryland is committed to supporting its farmers. Photo courtesy of Maryland's Best

Maryland is committed to supporting its farmers. Photo courtesy of Maryland’s Best

It wouldn’t be a Maryland summer without fleshy tomatoes, juicy peaches and steaming hot corn on the cob. Warm weather brings an abundance of fresh local produce to the State. But behind the farm stands are businesses facing unique challenges. Fortunately, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development is active in supporting these businesses and connecting them with other agencies, as well as federal and local government programs, which offer solutions and relief.

One of the State’s most powerful resources for assisting Maryland farmers is the Maryland Agricultural & Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO). The organization offers low interest loan and grant programs and assists with rural land preservation, among other services. MARBIDCO recently assisted Red Rock Enterprises—a Garrett County-based third‐generation, family‐owned and operated sustainable forestry company—purchase additional timber from the State. It also helped a young husband and wife, JC and Kristina Davis, secure a loan to purchase a 77‐acre farm in Caroline County. Together they will continue a family legacy.

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