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Baltimore County Now

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Keyword: economic development

New Strategic Factory and Miller's Minuteman Press

A 100 KW solar array powers millions of dollars of state-of-the-art equipment in Strategic Factory’s new Owings Mills production headquarters. The new building also is powered by financing made possible through the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.

Strategic Factory’s 40,000 square foot facility more than doubles the size of the printing and marketing firm’s former leased space. Financing for the expansion was supported by a $1 million loan from the Baltimore County Small Business Loan Fund, a privately financed partnership between Baltimore County and 23 of the region’s leading financial institutions. Sandy Spring Bank, a member of the Fund, provided the loan. A $5,500,000 Industrial Revenue Bond issued by Baltimore County to KM Printing-Miller’s Minuteman Press supported the company’s construction and equipment purchases. Baltimore County has no financial liability for the bonds, which are available to manufacturers making capital investments that meet federal bond requirements.

Production Headquarters Opens

Strategic Factory’s new production headquarters was built by Merritt Properties. The 40,000 square-foot facility, located on 8.5 acres on Dolfield Boulevard in Owings Mills, houses multiple agencies including Miller’s Minuteman Press, BRANDED4U, Graphic Tango, Master Signs and Production Facility.

Healthy Business Community

“A sure sign of a healthy business community is when companies make significant new investments. With Strategic Factory and Merritt Properties, we have two successful, locally owned companies investing in Owings Mills,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Baltimore County is pleased to have played a part in facilitating financing for Strategic Factory’s growth through our Small Business Loan Partnership and revenue bonds. Our confidence is well placed, as Strategic Factory already has added jobs at their new production headquarters.”

The company currently employs 100 people and added 21 new jobs since moving into the new building. They plan to hire an additional eight to 10 people by the end of this year.

“Our new headquarters brings new jobs and new investment to the Owings Mills business community. Since opening our doors we’ve increased our workforce by twenty percent, and we’re continuously adding new technology and equipment to the mix,” said President and CEO Keith Miller. “We’re looking forward to growing and expanding the company and collaborating with the local community to ensure continued growth and success, while bringing quality and excellence to the region.”

Small Business Loan Fund

The Baltimore County Small Business Loan Fund, a public-private partnership between the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development and 23 of the region’s leading financial institutions, has a pool of to $13.9 million in loan commitments from the financial institutions. Qualified small businesses with fewer than 100 employees may borrow up to one million dollars from the privately-financed loan fund. These fixed rate loans only require 10 percent equity, freeing capital for additional investment.

"These loans are critical to providing small businesses with capital to invest in people, equipment or buildings. It is heartening to see 23 local financial institutions stepping up to support economic growth through the Baltimore County Small Business Loan Fund,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "The fund’s lower equity requirement, lower interest rates and lower fees are an added incentive for small businesses to explore this loan option."

Baltimore County reviews each applicant’s financial statements, credit history and collateral to secure the requested loan. All applicants are then reviewed by an independent loan review board established by the participating lenders.

Participating Lenders

The following lenders participate in the Baltimore County Small Business Loan Fund:

  • Bank of America
  • Bay Bank, FSB
  • BB&T
  • BlueRidge Bank
  • CFG Community Bank
  • Chesapeake Bank
  • Columbia Bank
  • Farmers & Merchants
  • First National Bank
  • First Mariner Bank
  • Hamilton Bank
  • Howard Bank
  • M&T Bank
  • Northwest Bank
  • Peoples Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • Rosedale Federal
  • Sandy Spring Bank
  • SunTrust Bank
  • Susquehanna Bank
  • TD Bank
  • The Harbor Bank
  • Wells Fargo Bank

Information

For more information on the Baltimore County business financing assistance, contact the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development, by calling 410-887-8000 or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/business .


Flexible Funding

More flexible loan funds are now available to small, veteran- minority- and women-owned businesses with $1.6 million in new funding for the Baltimore County Boost Fund. A total of $1.38 million in small business loans already has been approved since the program launched in October 2014.

“Our first round of funding supports an amazingly diverse group of entrepreneurs that reflects our entire business community, from a women-owned food manufacturer to a veteran-owned building contractor, to cybersecurity, edtech and environmental technology companies,” said Baltimore County Executive Kamenetz. “Every dollar in loans goes back into the economy to generate jobs and support the growth of promising small businesses.” 

Loan funding comes from the Maryland Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Loan Fund, which was established with revenue from Maryland casinos.

The next round of Boost loan funds is available to help businesses in Baltimore County and throughout the State.

How Loans Can be Used

The Boost Fund, managed by the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development, can lend qualified small businesses between $50,000 and $250,000 for start-up and gap funding, building and leasehold improvements, business and equipment acquisition, commercial real estate acquisition and working capital.

Boost Fund loans are flexible, with a reduced down payment and interest rates set at or below market rates. Payment plans are customized to meet the cash flow needs of each business.

Suite of Business Resources

“The Boost Fund is a valuable addition to the County’s business resources, which include free employee recruitment and training programs, site selection assistance and a suite of financing options. Baltimore County stands ready to support companies when they are ready to expand and add jobs,” said Will Anderson, director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.  

For more information on the Boost Fund or to apply for a loan, visit Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development at www.BCBoostFund.com or call 410-887-8000. 


interior photo of McCormick HQBaltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Will Anderson, Director, Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development

The economic development race was on when McCormick & Company, the global spice and flavorings powerhouse, announced it was looking for a new headquarters campus location. We suspect there was a gleam of hope in the eyes of every governor, county executive and mayor in the mid-Atlantic as they revved up their economic development operations and opened Power Point to prepare their pitches.

Baltimore County rolled up its sleeves. One of the first business meetings of this administration was with the CEO of McCormick, one of our largest employers. Maintaining that sound relationship set the groundwork for open dialogue as the company started its site selection process. Baltimore County worked for more than13 months to identify sites and appropriate incentives to meet the company’s requirements.  

After rounds of due diligence and a lot of public speculation, McCormick chose to stay home, in Baltimore County Maryland.   

Here’s why we believe McCormick decided to stay and invest here.

·        Baltimore County’s business climate is right for a global company. Our property and income tax rates have not gone up for decades. This stability is critical for business planning.

·        For more than 40 years, McCormick’s C-level headquarters and key operations have been spread out in northern Baltimore County. An R&D innovation center and two active manufacturing plants already are in Hunt Valley, so it made good business sense to have these operations and talent closer together in a 21st century business environment.

·        McCormick employs more than 10,000 people around the world.  One fifth of McCormick’s workforce – 2,100 employees – work in Baltimore County. About 900 of these employees will be moving to the new Hunt Valley campus.

·        McCormick is a global publicly traded company with $4.2 billion in annual sales of spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and flavorings.  Baltimore County has ready access to international airports, Wall Street decision makers and services that support manufacturing and trade.     

·        McCormick told us they need a location that helps them recruit and retain top-tier talent. Hunt Valley is a perfect fit. We have some of the region’s most exclusive executive housing and great schools. Hunt Valley Towne Centre and Wegmans are right across the street from the new headquarters site. Plus employees can take light rail right from work to an Os or Ravens game.

So we say ‘thank you McCormick’ and raise a jumbo crab doused with OLD BAY in your honor. We’re glad you chose to stay here in Baltimore County, home of McCormick innovation for generations to come. 

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