Howard County Director Calvin Ball and the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) highlight business resources and showcase economic development progress.
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Director Calvin Ball and the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) highlight business resources and showcase economic development progress to mark the 11th Annual Economic Development Week, sponsored by the Maryland Economic Development Association.
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Director Calvin Ball and the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) highlight business resources and showcase economic development progress to mark 11th Annual Economic Development Week, sponsored by the Maryland Economic Development Association.
Our business community is on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is essential that we continue to support our businesses and ensure we emerge stronger from this crisis.. With the support of federal, state and county funding and the expertise of our EDA, we have provided a vital lifeline to many of our local small businesses who have made Howard County their home.
Howard County Executive
“Economic Development Week is an opportunity to highlight the importance of a healthy and attractive business climate”, said Larry Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. “The Authority is honored to serve the community to help create opportunities for individuals and develop the business base.”
In recognition of Economic Development Week, HCEDA highlights businesses that have recently moved or expanded in Howard County:
Bioenergy Devco: Based in Italy, Bioenergy Devco has its US headquarters in Howard County and is a longtime contact for HCEDA. HCEDA provided technical assistance and commercial support to help complete the construction of their anaerobic digester that recycles organic waste into renewable natural gas and healthy, living soil. The project represents a $ 35 million capital investment in the county’s green infrastructure and has created approximately 30 to 50 jobs, including construction and long-term maintenance and operations positions.
Imperfect foods:With help from HCEDA, Imperfect Foods moved to Howard County and set up in a 110,000 square foot food distribution facility, creating 250 jobs in the county. Imperfect Foods is a reinvented grocery delivery service that focuses on eliminating food waste. They strive to find a home for imperfect or “ugly” fruits and vegetables that farms couldn’t sell to grocery stores. This concept has been extended to meat, eggs and dairy products, dry products, household and beauty items.
The Charm:The Charmery, an ice cream shop that sells delicious, original, premium quality artisanal ice creams, has secured a loan from HCEDA’s Catalyst Loan Fund to help with the expansion. The Charmery first opened in 2013 in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore and decided to expand and open an ice cream factory and four other stores, the most recent being located in the downtown Merriweather district. -City of Columbia. “The Catalyst Loan Fund has been instrumental in providing us with financing for construction and opening expenses – we are grateful that they have helped us realize this opportunity for expansion,” said Laura Alima, owner of The Charmery.
Shea Shine:Shea Radiance, a client of the Catalyst Loan Fund, has been in business for over 10 years. Shea Radiance is a global beauty brand that uses simple, healthy ingredients to create their products. The Catalyst Loan Fund has enabled Shea Radiance to expand significant resources within its business, including purchasing the equipment needed to start production and expand marketing to grow its brand.
The Howard County Economic Development Authority has completed more than 900 COVID-19-related support cases to help local businesses meet the challenges of the pandemic. Additionally, in conjunction with the Howard County Department of Finance and the Department of Community Resources and Services, HCEDA administered the Business Grants established by the County Executive Ball’s HoCo RISE initiative.
Howard County’s most recent unemployment rate was 4.3% in August 2021, down from 5.4% in August 2020 and 1.6% lower than Maryland’s August unemployment rate of 5.9% . Howard County’s rate is one of the lowest of Maryland’s 24 counties. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020, Howard County had an unemployment rate of 2.7%.
About the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA):
The Howard County Economic Development Authority is a public-private partnership whose primary objective is to promote economic growth and stability by supporting existing businesses, targeting new businesses and attracting corporate / regional headquarters. The Authority also operates several programs targeting the special needs of small minority-owned and agricultural businesses. In addition, the Authority strives to preserve the distinctive quality of life in Howard County. For more information, please visit:www.hceda.org (link is external).
“Economic Development Week is an opportunity to highlight the importance of a healthy and attractive business climate”, said Larry Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority.“The Authority is honored to serve the community to help create opportunities for individuals and develop the business base.”
This press release was produced by Howard County Government. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.