Baltimore County News
By Stan Jacobs, Department of Economic and Workforce Development
Building, expanding and equipping a manufacturing plant can easily cost millions of dollars. Baltimore County is helping manufacturers invest in their facilities by reducing the cost of borrowing.
How tax exempt bonds fuel manufacturing growth
Enter Industrial Revenue Bonds. Since 2001, Baltimore County has issued $25.7 million in tax exempt Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs) to help manufacturers finance the costs of acquiring and expanding facilities, including land, buildings and new equipment. It’s important to note that IRBs carry no financial obligation or risk to the County.
Two Halethorpe firms used tax-exempt bonds to finance the expansion of their facilities: Saver Automotive designs and manufactures windshield wiper blades and Goodwrappers makes stretch wrap packaging for consumer and industrial applications. Strategic Factory, a print marketing company, used an IRB to finance construction and equipment for a new 40,000 square-foot facility in Owings Mills. Zentech, an electronics manufacturing company, used bond funds to buy specialized equipment to make circuit boards for medical, communications and military use.
In 2017, Ruxton Chocolates will move to Baltimore County and begin producing Mary Sue candies in a new plant at Baltimore Crossroads near White Marsh. An $8 million IRB will help finance the chocolate factory.
These companies are investing and putting roots in Baltimore County, adding jobs and generating economic activity.
How IRBs work
A bank buys an industrial revenue bond. Bank loans that use funds from the IRB are partially exempt from federal and state income taxes. This tax savings is passed from the bank to the borrower through a lower interest rate. The bank and the company determine the interest rate and terms. IRBs also can mature for a longer period than conventional loans, sometimes up to 30 years.
The bottom line: a manufacturer pays less interest and can have more time to pay back the loan. This frees up the company’s capital to invest in even more expansion and job creation.
A lot of good things are made in Baltimore County. Tax exempt bonds can provide manufacturers the financing they need to ramp up production even further.
$1 million grant to CCBC will provide educational programming, employment services
Jobs are out there for young adults who have left school. But some young people have not yet mastered the work values that make them job ready.
Comprehensive educational programming and employment services will be expanded to Baltimore County young adults through $1 million in federal funds awarded by the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development to the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC).
“Too many employers tell us they are actively looking for workers, but often find some young adults need additional training and mentoring in order to be successful in the workplace. This substantial grant to CCBC engages one of our best educational resources to help young adults bridge the gaps and move forward with their careers,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
Candidates ages 17 to 24 who are out of school will have the opportunity to participate in a bridge program where they will explore and learn about work values, social and life barriers, industry and careers, financial literacy, conflict and anger management, problem solving, time management, job readiness and successful study skills. Eligible participants will also engage in creating individualized life plans, which may include earning a Maryland high school diploma or a continuing education workforce credential, taking credit classes and/or obtaining employment. Case managers, mentors and coaches will provide guidance throughout the program.
"We are extremely excited about this new initiative that will make a positive difference in young people’s lives,” remarked CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “At CCBC, we can provide these students with a whole-learning experience that will give them greater confidence in making educational, career and life choices.”
“For many years, CCBC has been a workforce engine, including innovations in our K-12 system with early college and dual enrollment,” said Will Anderson, Director of Economic and Workforce Development. “We are confident that the youth CCBC will serve will not only reach their program goals, but will benefit from exposure to college and life-long learning.”
Baltimore County awarded the $1 million grant to CCBC through a competitive selection process.
County wide orientation sessions will introduce candidates to CCBC and the college’s resources and provide an overview of new workforce programing. Program orientations begin October 18.
For more information about orientation sessions and program enrollment, contact the Community College of Baltimore County at email@example.com or call 443-840-5671.
CVS Pharmacy has opened at the center of downtown at Towson Commons, on the corner of York Road and Chesapeake Avenue. The more than 9,000 square foot store includes a full service pharmacy and a wide range of high quality health, beauty and personal care products.
Chipotle Mexican Grill also has announced it will be opening a new location at Towson Commons.
“Downtown Towson has many amenities – shopping, restaurants, entertainment and parks. But for those who live, work and visit here, what’s missing has been the convenience of a pharmacy and drug store,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “CVS fills that need at Towson Commons. This is a prime retail location with a growing customer base. Over 3,000 new apartments and townhomes are built or under construction in downtown Towson.”
CVS and Chipotle Mexican Grill join Boho Nation and a two-story LA Fitness in Towson Commons.
Retail-focused brokerage firm MFI Realty is the leasing agent for the 115,000 square feet of retail space at Towson Commons.
Over $1 billion in recent private investment
Downtown Towson has seen more than $1 billion in recent private investment, including more than 3,000 apartments and townhomes that have been built or are under construction. New residential projects include The Flats at 703, Towson Mews, The Winthrop, Southerly Square, The Palisades, Promenade and Towson Green, plus residential towers in the 1 million square foot mixed-use Towson Row development currently under construction.
More than 55,000 people live in greater Towson, with over 48,000 people working at companies including GBMC, General Dynamics, Goucher College, MileOne, Sheppard Pratt, Stanley Black & Decker, Towson University, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center and Whiting Turner.
Revised September 26, 2016