Small Business Saturday Promotes Local Businesses

Saturday, November 26th marks “Small Business Saturday”, a day established to help support local merchants and the economy on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. “The Small Business Saturday” movement started nationally last year to counter the big box store sales on Black Friday.  Mayor Randy McClement is encouraging people in the City of Frederick to take part and shop locally.

“Shopping locally is about personal service, that personal touch, remembering your name, having a sample for you to taste or remembering your favorite color.  It’s about seeing people you know on the streets, in the stores and at the restaurants and supporting our local economy here in Frederick.’  said Mayor McClement.

Whether it’s Under the Sun and Chanticleer Shoes on the Golden Mile or one of the many unique specialty retail shops in historic Downtown, you’re sure to find that perfect gift for the holidays at one of Frederick’s many small, independently owned stores.

The City and the Department of Economic Development encourage you to ‘shop small’ and locally; help fuel the economy. Also, “Like” Small Business Saturday on Facebook!

DED Unveils New Website

The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development (DED) on Thursday launched a redesigned website at The new site, completed as part of a major overhaul to the City of Frederick website, provides better integration and uniformity between DED and the overall City website. In addition, the redesigned site gives a fresh look and feel while offering a number of upgraded user-friendly features.

Improvements to the site include easier access to project-specific information, including Carroll Creek Park, the Golden Mile and the Downtown Hotel and Conference Center. City staff has a greater ability to change and update content, allow for a more dynamic and adaptable website with timely and relevant information.

Additionally, a new section focused on “Starting a Business” provides information on state and local licenses, permits, funding, incentives and free business support providers both locally and regionally.

“The DED site has always provided a wealth of information – from industry data to market analyses and demographic and wage data,” stated Heather Gramm, Business Development Specialist for the City of Frederick. “This new site has enabled us to present that information in a more intuitive, user-friendly interface.”

DED is a full-service economic development department of the City of Frederick with the mission to create economic opportunity in the City through job creation, revitalization and reinvestment. To learn more visit or call at 301-600-6360.

Golden Mile Sees Business Expansions, New Construction, Façade Improvements

The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development and the Golden Mile Alliance Organizing Committee is pleased to report renovations and new business activity on the Golden Mile including:

  • VERIZON store is renovating and will occupy the former Hollywood Video space at 1003 West Patrick Street, part of the Frederick County Square shopping center.

  • FAMOUS DAVE’S restaurant, also located in the Frederick County Square shopping center, is undergoing major exterior renovations but remains fully open and operational during construction.

  • RED LOBSTER restaurant recently completed a façade improvement of their location on the Golden Mile.

  • IF THE SHOE FITS has signed a lease in the Cellular One Center at 1170 West Patrick Street.

  • GOODWILL store is renovating the former 84 Lumber facility at 101 Willowdale Drive and is opening this month.

  • MCDONALD’S restaurant is planning to demolish and completely rebuild their location at 1501 Garrett Drive. The project includes a complete overhaul of the exterior, new interior décor and improvements to the drive-thru.

  • CVS PHARMACY is constructing a new 12,800 square foot location at 1460 West Patrick Street. Located on the west end of the Golden Mile on the corner of Old Camp Road, this new branch will replace the former Earthworks Garden Center.

“The Golden Mile continues to be a vibrant business location as evidenced by the investment being made by these businesses,” stated Richard Griffin, director of economic development for the City of Frederick. “We are pleased to see businesses growing, expanding and investing in our community.”

The City of Frederick in collaboration with residents, property owners, and businesses is establishing the Golden Mile Alliance. According to Mayor Randy McClement, the mission of the group which is nearing incorporation is “to promote and foster the Golden Mile gateway community through business, neighborhood and economic development programs.” The ad-hoc organizing committee meets at Hillcrest Community Center on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7PM and has established a vision “to ensure that the Golden Mile is an attractive, diverse, and highly dynamic, mixed-use commercial corridor with top retail, office, and service uses linked by safe pedestrian routes to healthy residential neighborhoods and parks.

World Trade Center Institute’s 22nd Founders’ Anniversary and Embassy Wine Tasting

Date: December 1, 2011 4:00-6:30pm
Location: World Trade Center Baltimore
                        232 East Pratt Street 21st floor
                        Baltimore, MD 21202

WTCI’s Founders’ Anniversary and Embassy Wine Tasting is an annual event that celebrates our mission of connecting local businesses to global opportunities. We invite you to raise a glass to the founders and founding companies who play integral roles in Maryland’s growing global community.   This year’s highlights include:
·         Insights about Maryland companies on the move in 2011 – including major international contracts, acquisitions, and expansions
·         Opportunity to sample fine wines from around the world at Embassy hosted wine tasting - win a bottle to take home!  
·         Unparalleled networking, appetizers, raffles, and more! 

Tickets: Members - $50, Non Members - $75

More information about the event can be found at the Event Page.   Registration is easy!

Monocacy Boulevard Opening in Late 2012

Last week Mayor McClement announced that the center section of Monocacy Boulevard would be open to traffic by the end of 2012. This is welcome news for the business community, as this new roadway will greatly improve access and traffic flow to major employment centers in Riverside and on the north end of town.

Completion of Monocacy Boulevard and improvements to Gas House Pike will create a new access point from I-70 to the businesses located in the Riverside business parks, Clustered Spires Golf Course, and to Route 26. Once fully completed Monocacy Boulevard serves as a mini-beltway around Frederick, connecting I-70 to Route 15 N along the east side. Future completion of the Rt. 15/Monocacy Boulevard interchange will continue the connection to the west side of the city.

“Continued investment in the City’s infrastructure is a critical component of economic development and the creation of new jobs in our community,” said Richard Griffin, director of the City’s Department of Economic Development.

The City’s costs to construct Monocacy Boulevard will be off-set in part by the Maryland BRAC Revitalization and Incentive Zone program. In 2008, the east side of Frederick City became one of the first such zones designated in the State of Maryland. A program of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, the BRAC Zone program was designed to assist communities with the development of new infrastructure projects in support of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) expansions at federal installations.

For more information on this project, or the BRAC Revitalization and Incentive Zone, contact DED at 301-600-6360.

Green Business Practices are the Focus of Upcoming County Programs

The Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) is putting local businesses in the spotlight with two fall programs that focus on local commercial recycling and waste reduction activities. The outreach efforts are intended to provide resources for businesses that would like to reduce their disposable waste stream and also to provide recognition for those that are already operating with a ―green‖ mindset.

Between September 1 and October 12, 2011 any local business, non-profit or public sector entity can be nominated for the County’s Business Waste Reduction and Recycling Award program. This annual award recognizes the efforts of organizations that have taken steps to reduce their impact on the waste stream, through preventative waste reduction practices or integrated waste management strategies. Examples of waste-preventative business practices include ordering supplies in bulk, distributing pay stubs electronically or avoiding disposable items where possible. While such front-end tactics can reduce the amount of waste generated, other strategies, such as equipment and supply reuse, materials exchange programs, composting and recycling, divert valuable resources that would have otherwise been disposed.
According to DWSM Superintendent Phil Harris, in 2010, almost 160,000 tons of waste were generated in Frederick County and sent for landfill disposal; local businesses contributed roughly half of that amount. Harris notes, ―"While much attention has been given to residential recycling in recent years, this awards program is part of our ongoing effort to promote integrated solid waste management practices to the local business community. We are committed to helping local business leaders recycle more and waste lessand to demonstrate that such practices are not only environmentally sustainable but are also economically feasible."
For businesses interested in establishing or improving a recycling program, the County is conducting a free, day-long forum on October 5, 2011; the purpose of the program is summed up in its title, Working Together: Helping Businesses Recycle. The goal is to provide attendees with information and resources for creating a recycling program that meets their particular needs. Dialogue will be facilitated to help identify and reduce perceived barriers to beginning a commercial recycling program.
To address concerns specific to individual sectors—such as retail, hospitality or multi-family housing—attendees will be able to converse with local business leaders who have already incorporated recycling into their enterprise as well as learn from regional recycling experts. Richard Anderson, principal consultant of CQI Associates, will present information on how recycling cooperatives were created in Howard County to assist businesses in arranging recycling collection service in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Local waste hauling companies that offer recycling collection will also be on hand to discuss the existing array of available services. Complete information for both the business awards program and the recycling forum are available on the county’s website, Applications for the award may be downloaded online and submitted by fax or mail. Those interested in attending the forum may register online; there is no cost to attend, but space is limited, so advance registration is required.

These programs are being administered by the Department of Solid Waste Management, in conjunction with The Frederick County Office of Economic Development, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, City of Frederick Economic Development and the Downtown Frederick Partnership. The Department of Solid Waste Management regularly assists businesses in developing waste reduction and recycling programs by providing technical assistance and outreach support. For more information on commercial recycling and waste reduction opportunities, contact Dave Helmecki, the county’s Commercial Recycling Program Coordinator, at 301-600-7404 or by email to

Community Focused on Filling Vacant Buildings

Long-time vacant commercial buildings (and we can all name several), are major nuisances for their immediate neighborhoods and the City as a whole, creating unsightly health, safety, and welfare issues. Such vacancies are eyesores and can result in declining property values, crime, vandalism, loitering, and other undesirable effects. Recent articles in the media have focused on this issue as one that is particularly visible and distressing since there are a number of notable vacancies which current policies, codes, regulations, and incentives have not been effective in forcing renovation and leasing.

It is important to note that the vast majority of the commercial leasable space in the city is occupied by terrific businesses employing nearly 49,000. While commercial vacancies have crept up into the upper teens during the recession and slow recovery, these properties are not the ones causing public outcry for action. Most commercial landlords are focused on minimizing vacancies and routinely invest in their properties keeping them leasable, all in hopes of driving strong revenue. Landlords who don't are often referred to as "slumlords" and their properties eventually become deteriorated and unleasable. There is little understanding for why they choose to allow this to occur, but the reasons they give range from the high cost of renovation including life-safety and ADA improvements to simply feeling overwhelmed and not knowing how to reposition derelict buildings. The latter is a good reason for them to consider selling their properties to others who do.

There is a strong correlation between public safety and economically vibrant, healthy neighborhoods with low vacancy rates and capital investment. The City has tried a number of ways to encourage and force delinquent property owners to maintain and lease their properties including recently condemning properties which are unsafe to occupy. What we need now is a well-coordinated, focused set of regulations and incentives to achieve progress.

In an effort to advance this issue, the city administration has announced that a blue-ribbon panel of local property owners, brokers, residents, and staff is being appointed to recommend regulatory and incentive strategies within 90 days. The group is being asked to review current policies, regulations and incentives, as well as to explore best practices from other communities. Many options have been identified by city staff, residents, elected officials and organizations like the Downtown Frederick Partnership which has been exploring the issue. Some of the alternatives include required registration for vacant properties, vacant property taxes or fees for long-time vacancies, land-value tax system, and increased incentives for building renovation and capital re-investment.

We all want Frederick to maintain and improve its reputation as a vibrant and safe community with healthy commercial occupancy rates, jobs, and available retail products and services. For more information check out

Local Businessman appointed to Governor's Maryland Economic Development Commission

Congratulations to Dave Severn, local Frederick attorney with Severn O’Conner & Kresslein, for his recent appointment to Governor O’Malley’s Maryland Economic Development Commission. The Commission’s 31 member board was created in 1995 with the mission to establish policies to create a competitive economic climate for business growth to compete more vigorously in the global marketplace.

Dave was quoted as saying, "These are challenging and uncertain times and more than ever we need to develop, support, and initiate programs and initiatives to position Maryland’s economy for growth. Maryland’s economic engine is driven by broad and diverse industries ranging from agriculture to manufacturing, tourism to technology, state and federal facilities to military bases. We need to invest in those economic drivers, promote entrepreneurial enterprises and make it easy to do business in Maryland. I look forward to lending my service and voice to the MEDC in its efforts to grow Maryland’s economy."

Business Preparation Guidelines for Hurricane Irene

The Greater Washington Board of Trade has issued suggested guidelines to assist businesses in light of Hurricane Irene and severe weather.

Hurricane Irene could cause significant disruption to business and property throughout Greater Washington. Severe flooding, strong winds and widespread outages may make for difficult days ahead. Transportation issues may affect commuter routes, bridges, tunnels, airports, METRO and AMTRAK. Access to workplaces, technology limitations and communication links may all be restricted. To assist area businesses in preparing for a wide spread disruption, the Greater Washington Board of Trade recommends the following considerations.

Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development for the City of Frederick shares, "I strongly encourage ALL Frederick businesses to develop their own Emergency Plan and "be prepared."

To learn more, visit the Board of Trade's Emergency Preparedness Website.

Don't Miss the 2011 Entrepreneur Expo - November 14th!

Entrepreneur Expo: Harnessing the Power of Innovation in Maryland will take place on Monday, November 14, 2011 at the BWI Airport Marriott. Selected as 1 of 10 nationally featured events for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the Expo will kick-off exciting GEW programming in Maryland! The Entrepreneur Expo will be the first large-scale event dedicated to promoting and celebrating the key to Maryland’s innovation economy, its entrepreneurs. Led by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and other key stakeholders, the Entrepreneur Expo Leadership Team (EELT) is the coordinating committee for the event. The full-day agenda includes a variety of unique educational  tracks, interactive programming, a dynamic exhibit floor, energized plenaries and other highlights for entrepreneurs! Registration is open. Sponsor and exhibitor opportunities are available. Learn more and register at (Note: Special exhibitor rates are available for entrepreneurs, government and non-profits.)


On Friday, City and County officials joined with MedImmune in celebrating the official opening of their 2nd manufacturing facility in the City of Frederick.

The new 331,000 square foot facility began construction in 2006. Construction was completed in 201, and the process of FDA licensure began. The approval came in early 2011, and MedImmune is now licensed to begin production.

"The multimillion dollar expansion of MedImmune's manufacturing capacity here in Frederick is a terrific example of a match between workforce, access, land availability and proximity to the MedImmune Headquarters in Gaithersburg," stated Mayor McClement. "Congratulations to MedImmune and its leadership team led by their president, Peter Greenleaf, on a job well done."

The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development has been involved with the company officials on this expansion since it was first a concept nearly 10 years ago. Our planning, engineering and permits departments have worked hard to ensure that MedImmune could deliver this facility on-time," said the City's economic development director, Richard Griffin. "We are immensely proud of MedImmune, this facility and its employees. We hope to have a long future together."

MedImmue first established a presence in Frederick in 1996, opening a manufacturing facility to produce Synagis®, which is FDA-approved to prevent RSV in high-risk children. The new plant, which will expand MedImmune's production capacity for Synagis®  as well as future marketed monoclonal antibodies, is on the same site as the first facility. Currently, MedImmune employs nearly 250 at the Frederick facility.

Making the Golden Mile Shine

The Golden Mile Retail Corridor has spiked new interest recently with the formation of the Golden Mile Alliance, which is a group of concerned property and business owners as well as residents in the area. The movement was spearheaded by City of Frederick staff and Director of Economic Development for the City, Richard Griffin was asked to submit a story for the on-line blog, Want2Dish. Check out the story here!

Do you love where you work and who you work for? Then let us know! Nominations for the 2011 BEST PLACES TO WORK - Frederick County are now open. 
Best Places to WorkThe Best Places to Work campaign, in its 9th year, is part of a countywide partnership between business, government and the community dedicated to increase quality of life opportunities for Frederick County employees. A qualifying business is any employer in Frederick County, including corporations, privately owned businesses, non-profits and federal, state and local government agencies who offer benefits such as Health Benefits, 401K, Profit Sharing, On Site Child Care, Health Care Incentives and other such benefits.

Please complete the survey at your convience; deadline for submission is Friday, September 16th. Winners will be announced at a reception on October 18th at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center, 5:00 - 6:30pm.

This campaign is sponsored by Frederick County &  City Economic Development, Frederick County Workforce Services and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information or to request the link to nominate your company, please call Frederick Economic Development at 301-600-1058 or 301-600-6360.

Frederick Biotech Company Participates in Governor’s Trip to Asia

Dr. J.J. Lin, founder of local Frederick biotech company Imagilin Technologies, joined a Maryland delegation lead by Governor Martin O’Malley in an economic development mission trip to Asia earlier this month. The mission trip took the 68-person delegation to China, Korea and Vietnam.

Imagilin Technologies, one of the first companies to graduate from the Frederick Innovative Technology Center Inc (FITCI), Frederick’s high-tech business incubator, specializes in innovative products and technology development for human and animal health and nutrition.

Dr. Lin traveled to Asia to develop relationships with existing partners and forge new business opportunities and he was successful in achieving both these goals. Since returning from the mission trip, Dr. Lin has received approval of his product registration from the Chinese government.

“To do business in China, it is very important to develop relationships and trust between business partners,” stated Dr. Lin. “It is also important for a U.S. business to show support from their local governments, and traveling with Governor O’Malley allowed me to demonstrate that support to my partners in China.”

Dr. Lin is no stranger to international business, having development distribution partnerships in both South America and Asia for the sale of MitoMax, a probiotic product line for animals intended to improve the health of pets.

“Imagilin Technologies is a terrific example of how entrepreneurship and innovation creates opportunity in our community.” said Richard Griffin, director of economic development for the City of Frederick. “Through the City’s support of entrepreneurs and small businesses, we are able to grow jobs and attract foreign-direct investment to Frederick and to the state. We’re proud that Imagilin Technologies calls Frederick, Maryland its home.”

For more information on Imagilin Technologies, visit To learn more about the City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development visit

2011 Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County Awards

The Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County held its annual Entrepreneur Awards Dinner last night at Dutch's Dautgher. Congratulations to the award winners:
  • Phil Catron, NaturaLawn America - winner of the Chris E. Olson Master Entrepreneur Award. This award is in honor and memory of Chris Olson, Frederick County Consultant for the Maryland Small Business Development Center and past president of the ECFC, who passed away this spring from an extended illness
  • Minda Metz, The Buzz - Start-Up Small Business award
  • CJ Dorman, Dorman Builders - Small Established Busines award
  • Jim Racheff, DMS Inc. - Large Established Business award
  • Hannah Light, Bow Down Cheer Bows - Youth Entrepreneur award
All of the nominees should be applauded. For Start-Up Small Business - Elin Ross, Cakes for Cause/Moxie Bakery & Cafe, Susan Centineo, Studio C Photography; nominated for the Small Established Business were Nick Damoulakis with Orases, Prett Hess & Phil Minni, Business Management Company and Bruce Zavos, Zavos Architecture & Design firm. Large Established Business nominees were Donald Combs, Colonial Equipment and Mark Wal, Lynne Severn & Thomas Wal with Medical Account Services, Inc.

The Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County fosters and promotes local entrepreneurship by hosting networking forums aimed at securing capital, coordinating executive roundtable series and other learning events for business owners.