Archives For Maryland Living

tourism magThe tourism industry is an important player in Maryland’s economy. In 2013 alone, travelers spent $15.4 billion exploring the State.

But what will draw visitors to Maryland in 2015?

Look no further than Destination Maryland: The Official Guide to Maryland State Travel. The free travel magazine was released Tuesday by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development (OTD).

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More than 3 million people attended events commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

When it comes to celebrating our national anthem, Maryland certainly knows how to throw a party.

Between 2012 and 2014, more than 3 million people attended events commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. The two-year patriotic festival had an economic impact of $333 million on Maryland’s economy, according to a report by the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and Star- Spangled 200, Inc., within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

“The War of 1812 on the Chesapeake and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner are critical moments in Maryland’s heritage and are part of the thread that blends the fabric of our nation together,” Governor Martin O’Malley said.

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volunteer work

The value of volunteer work is one of many indicators that have contributed to a rise in the overall quality of life of Marylanders.

Overall quality of life—factoring in economic, environmental and social indicators—is on the rise for Marylanders, Governor Martin O’Malley announced Friday.

Maryland’s Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) was first created in 2009 to measure the impact of 26 factors, ranging from income inequality to the value of volunteer work. In 2013, the overall index increased by 3.27 percent. Economic factors rose nearly 2 percent, while the cost of environmental impacts fell almost 4 percent and social factors increased 3 percent.

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Thousands gather to celebrate Star-Spangled Spectacular at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Whether you’re strolling Ocean City’s Boardwalk or escaping to a cabin at Deep Creek Lake, your vacation makes an important impact on Maryland’s economy.

Jobs and revenue related to tourism activities are on the rise throughout the State, according to the Fiscal Year 2014 Tourism Development Annual Report, released Tuesday by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development (OTD) at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

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As part of our #BuyLocalMD series this holiday season, MDBIZ News hopes to inspire you to explore the small businesses in your own community.

When you buy from a Maryland winery or brewery, you support a local business while getting a full taste of what the State has to offer. From the western mountains to the Atlantic seashore, each local product is seasoned with Maryland flavor.

Hear from some of Maryland’s finest beverage connoisseurs on how they give back to the community.

  • Blue grapes primary logoDeep Creek Cellars
  • Garrett County
  • Owned by husband and wife team Paul Roberts and Nadine Grabania, this Friendsville winery focuses on “natural wine-making” by using sustainable farming practices. Additionally, Deep Creek Cellars is known as one of the few Pinot Noir specialists among Mid-Atlantic wineries.

“Local wine, like locally-produced food, is one of the most personal gifts one can give. Wine reflects its season and, like a favorite song, helps us remember an important moment or event,” said Paul Roberts. “When customers select Deep Creek Cellars’ Pinot Noir at a neighborhood wine retailer in Maryland, they’re not only getting a wine from the world’s most sought-after grape variety, but also a little piece of the winemaker’s personality—plus, an imprint of the exact place and time those grapes ripened.”

 

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As part of our #BuyLocalMD series this holiday season, MDBIZ News hopes to inspire you to explore the small businesses in your own community.

Maryland’s unique sellers and small shops have plenty to offer for holiday gifts and goodies. From Main Street stores to craft market vendors, buying local products benefits not only the seller, but also the community and local economy.

Meet some of Maryland’s craftsmen who are ramping up production for this holiday season.

  • knot by tiffa holidayknot by TIFFA
  • Montgomery County
  • Based out of Silver Spring, knot by TIFFA offers men a new twist on traditional attire by providing hand-sewn neck ties and bow ties. Each item is inspired by a song, with its pattern and color specifically chosen to highlight the music’s message and emotion.

“People who buy our products are more than just customers—they are supporters of our dream,” said Tiffany Rogers, owner of knot by TIFFA. “We are not a business that will receive millions in startup investment; we rely on customers buying our products. We can’t change Maryland’s economy overnight, but we are contributing to the community by partnering with retail stores and markets. We are growing together.”

 

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As part of our #BuyLocalMD series this holiday season, MDBIZ News hopes to inspire you to explore the small businesses in your own community.

Maryland farm goods—from Christmas trees to goat cheese—not only make meaningful gifts and family experiences, but also help ensure the future of Maryland’s agriculture industry.

Meet some of Maryland’s producers and sellers of farm goods who are working overtime this season.

  • Tree Farmers buy localBlue Heron Tree Farm
  • Queen Anne’s County
  • This choose-and-cut Christmas tree operation is family owned and operated by Harriet and Ed Caporin. The scenic farm also provides complimentary spiced apple cider, coloring books and candy canes. All proceeds from wreath sales are donated to local charities.

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Buy Local Maryland You have a lot of options to support Maryland small businesses this holiday season. You can choose to buy a handmade gift from an artisan in your neighborhood. You can choose to buy a turkey raised on a local farm. You can choose to buy a Christmas tree grown right here in Maryland.

“Every time you choose to support a local business, you are boosting Maryland’s economy and helping to create jobs—and you’re giving a gift with a real lasting impact,” said Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray. “Invest in the hardworking members of your community by treating your family and friends to Maryland-made quality goods.”

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Ever wonder which states are considered the richest or poorest? According to a new report, Maryland is considered one of the top.

A new study by WalletHub.com – a social media company aimed at encouraging customers to make smarter financial decisions – has ranked Maryland as the third wealthiest state. Overall, Washington, DC and New Jersey tied for first place, while Connecticut tied for third.

WalletHub ranks 2014's richest and poorest states. Photo courtesy of WalletHub.

WalletHub ranks 2014′s richest and poorest states. Photo courtesy of WalletHub.

WalletHub researched three key statistics, taken from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to determine the rankings. In addition to ranking third wealthiest overall, Maryland placed first in “income,” 11th in “GDP per capita,” and 14th in “federal taxes paid per capita.”

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Cidalia Luis-Akbar and Natalia Luis, sisters and co-owners of Rockville-based M. Luis, announce their plans to scale Mount Kilimanjaro to benefit Children's National Medical Center.

Cidalia Luis-Akbar and Natalia Luis, sisters and co-owners of Rockville-based M. Luis, announce their plans to scale Mount Kilimanjaro to benefit Children’s National Medical Center.

The past 12 years have thrown a series of challenges in the path of Cidalia Luis-Akbar and Natalia Luis, sisters and co-owners of Rockville-based M. Luis, a regionally recognized asphalt manufacturer and construction services company.

In 2002, after five failed in-utero surgeries, Cidalia lost her first son. The family also found themselves steeped in hospital bills after they were unable to find appropriate care within their insurance network from a local facility. Cidalia would later battle and survive cancer before successfully giving birth to a daughter in 2009. While the family celebrated her birth, the financial crash brought a drastic decrease in demand for the company’s construction services. Against the odds, the company has survived and even thrived, though it continues to confront a lagging market.

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For more than 100 years, fruit and vegetable growers have turned to Pete Pappas & Sons for their repackaging and wholesaling needs. But when the company recently decided to move from Washington, D.C. to Maryland, it turned to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

With DBED’s assistance, Pete Pappas & Sons found a new headquarters in Jessup, Maryland. To support the company’s move to Howard County, the State approved a $15,000 grant through the Partnership for Workforce Quality Program (PWQ). The grant will be used to train employees in food safety and equipment handling. Pete Pappas & Sons also plans to create 70 new jobs, DBED Secretary Dominick Murray announced Thursday.

“With DBED’s help, we have made a seamless transition from Washington, D.C. to Jessup,” said Gus Pappas, President of Pete Pappas & Sons. “Howard County will be a great location for our business—most of our customers are in the area and this will save time and gas on deliveries. The county has been a huge help to those of us new to the area.”

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The Maryland House Travel Plaza serves Interstate 95 travelers in Harford County.

The Maryland House Travel Plaza serves Interstate 95 travelers in Harford County.

Good news for the State’s tourism industry: More Marylanders are expected to hit the roads this weekend, AAA Mid-Atlantic announced Tuesday.

Nearly 728,000 Marylanders will travel at least 50 miles away from home this Labor Day holiday, AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates. That is a 1.2 percent increase from 2013 and the third-highest travel volume on record for the Labor Day holiday.

According to Ragina Cooper-Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic, the projected traffic increase reflects “Marylanders’ enthusiasm for travel.”

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