Archives For Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Photo of Amazon Fulfillment

Amazon’s new Baltimore facility will be patterned off others across the United States. Photo credit Amazon

An exciting year for business and Maryland’s overall economy is drawing to a close. Here were some of the highlights.

Amazon, other big brands, coming to town:

  • Amazon, the Internet retailer behemoth, announced plans for a new fulfillment center in Baltimore, taking the place of a former vacant General Motors facility. The 1 million-square-foot center will create 1,000 quality jobs. But Amazon isn’t the only big name investing in Maryland—Volvo Group is planning to expand its Hagerstown facility and Sephora announced a new warehouse and distribution center in Harford County.

First InvestMaryland Challenge culminates, a new contest launched:

  • RedOwl Analytics, i-Lighting and GrayBug won the top three $100,000 grand prizes in the inaugural InvestMaryland Challenge this past spring. Sponsored by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the contest was designed to boost the state’s most promising start-ups, but even non-winning finalists have enjoyed the benefits of publicity and outside investment resulting from the contest. Stay tuned to find out the winners of the contest’s second run in April 2014. 

Maryland manufacturers continue to innovate:

Small and local businesses, the backbone of Maryland’s new community-conscious economy:

  • B’More Organic‘s yogurt drinks are fat free, low lactose, gluten free and have no added sugar—not because it’s easy or popular to make a product with such high standards, but because they feel it’s the right thing to do. Likewise, Clean Currents, a wind energy distributor, leads neighborhood programs on cleaner living, and Local Color Flowers is helping to reinvigorate the state’s flower farm industry by sourcing 100 percent locally grown flowers and shrubs. These small and local businesses are not only the backbone of Maryland’s economy, they’re helping to make the world a better place.

Port of Baltimore expands to meet new demands:

  • Maryland’s bustling Port of Baltimore, which has gained an international reputation for excellence, is receiving some important upgrades. As ships continue to get taller, wider and heavier, the port has installed new cranes to accommodate super post-panamax container ships. Vice President Joe Biden even visited the port to welcome developments, slated to bring millions more in revenue to the state.

Legislators renew film industry incentives, keep hit TV series:

Cybersecurity’s prominence grows:

Maryland regains pre-recession jobs numbers:

  • Maryland officially regained all of the jobs lost during the Great Recession. Crossing that cusp in September, Maryland joined just 15 other states that had exceeded pre-recessionary jobs levels. That is no small feat considering the national economic upheaval that began in 2007. While Governor Martin O’Malley said there is more work to be done, he and other officials have praised Maryland businesses for weathering the changing marketplace better than most.

Contractors find new opportunities in Maryland infrastructure development:

  • Infrastructure is proving its investment potential in Maryland. U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, Governor Martin O’Malley, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray and Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Leonard J. Howie III have worked to draw millions of dollars in federal and state funding into infrastructure improvement. New projects range from the Purple Line extension to roads surrounding the Port of Baltimore. The state is also providing an unprecedented number of training programs and events to help educate contractors on qualifying for funding.

Worker training gains steam through EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now):

  • For the first time ever, Maryland companies, groups and organizations in a common industry can join together, identify a needed skill and deliver that training directly to employees. Governor Martin O’Malley signed the EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) bill in the spring, with an enthusiastic response from industry leaders. Funded through a public-private partnership, training programs will begin in summer 2014.

Tell us about the business stories you’ll remember most from 2013, and some of the developments you’re looking forward to in 2014 on our Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Facebook page

By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDBIZNews

HBO is back in Maryland and filming the second season of the award-winning series “Veep.”

The series, set in Washington D.C. stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, a former senator turned hapless vice president. Louis-Dreyfus took home an Emmy earlier this year for her work on the first season of the show. The series was also nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, as well as Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series.

“We are very pleased that HBO and the Veep cast and crew have returned to Maryland for what we are confident will be another very successful production experience,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley. “The State and HBO have had a successful partnership over the years, and we look forward to more seasons of filming Veep in Maryland.”

HBO also filmed the acclaimed drama series “The Wire” in and around Baltimore and, more recently, shot part of “Game Change” in the city.

Maryland’s Film Production Employment Act of 2011, which offers tax credits to offset the cost of production, helped to secure the Veep production.

The Maryland Film Office estimates the second season of Veep could have an economic impact in excess of $40 million. The first season of Veep resulted in the hiring of 978 Maryland crew, actors and extras, and the production company purchased or rented goods or services from 1,141 Maryland vendors.

The tax credit has also helped the state land “House of Cards,” the Netflix series headlined by Kevin Spacey; “Ping Pong Summer” starring Susan Sarandon; and “Better Living Through Chemistry” starring Olivia Wilde.

By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDBIZNews

A Maryland director will shoot an independent film called “Ping Pong Summer” in Ocean City for six weeks starting in September, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Monday.

The cast of the coming-of-age comedy includes Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon (“Thelma and Louise,” “Bull Durham”), Amy Sedaris (“Strangers with Candy,” “The Good Wife”) and John Hannah (“The Mummy,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral”).

“We look forward to welcoming Marylander Michael Tully and the ‘Ping Pong Summer’ production team,” O’Malley said. “Working together with our partners from Worcester County and Ocean City, we were able to secure this film that will strengthen our State’s economy, create jobs and highlight one of Maryland’s most family-friendly vacation destinations.”

The Maryland Film Office estimates the production could provide work for 90 local actors, extras and crew and inject $2 million in spending into the state’s economy.

“For 20 years I have fantasized about making “Ping Pong Summer” in Ocean City,” said writer and director Michael Tully, a Maryland native. “Now, thanks to the efforts of the State of Maryland, Worcester County, Ocean City and many enthusiastic people in Maryland, the time has come.  I am grateful and excited to be able to recreate the summer vacation of my dreams on film in Ocean City.”

The film is set in 1980s Ocean City and is based on Tully’s annual trips to the beach.

“A huge goal with this film was always to give it an authentic sense of place, specifically Ocean City,” said producer George Rush.

“Ping Pong Summer” will join a host of other movies and television shows that have set up shop in Maryland in recent years. Maryland’s new Film Production Employment Act of 2011, which offers $7.5 million in income tax credits for certain film production expenses, has helped maintain the string of high-profile productions in the state.

HBO shot “Game Change,” a look at campaign of GOP presidential nominee John McCain’s campaign in the waning days of the 2008 election, in Maryland. The cable giant returned to shoot VEEP, a comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as gaffe-prone Vice President Selina Meyer.

“Better Living Through Chemistry” began shooting in May and Netflix has also set cameras rolling in Maryland, shooting its adaptation of “House of Cards,” a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey, in and around Baltimore.