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Keyword: manufacturing

A health drink manufacturer and the makers of a gel to improve sports glove performance are among the latest small businesses to receive loans from the Baltimore County Boost fund, a flexible financing resource for entrepreneurs. More than $3.8 million in Boost Fund loans have been approved to 31 companies since the program launched in late 2014. Together, these businesses represent over 425 jobs.

“Fueling promising small businesses is one of the best investments we can make to grow our economy. Boost Fund loans come at a critical time when early stage companies are ready to add jobs, expand facilities, invest in new equipment and move to their next stage of growth,” said Baltimore County Executive Kamenetz.

Recent loans supported two growing Baltimore County manufacturing companies.

Mobtown Fermentation

Mobtown Fermentation brews Wild Kombucha, a drink made from fermented tea and organic juices. Based on a family recipe, Wild Kombucha is brewed in Timonium and is available at 230 locations in the Mid-Atlantic. A $100,000 Boost Fund loan helped the company move from hand to automated bottling.   

“Loan support from the Baltimore County Boost fund has allowed us to purchase an automated bottling line to keep up with product demand. We are adding jobs in Baltimore County as more and more people discover the fresh taste and healthy benefits of our unique kombucha brews,” said Sid Sharma, a partner in Wild Kombucha.

Grip Boost, Inc.

“It took two University of Maryland chemical engineers and a former Ravens tight end to come up with a product to improve the performance of athletic gloves. Our company, Grip Boost, found the additional working capital we needed to add inventory and grow our business in the perfect place, the UMBC Technology Center,” said Matt Furstenburg, CEO, Grip Boost.    

Grip Boost is used to improve the grip performance of football, baseball and golf gloves. A $100,000 Baltimore County Boost Fund loan will be used for working capital as the three-year old company expands and adds inventory.

Loans customized for each business

The Boost Fund, managed by the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development, can lend qualified small businesses in the region 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.

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

Suite of business assistance services

“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 or call 410-887-8000.

by Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore County Executive

There’s a lot of talk about how things are not made in the U.S.A. any more. I offer some Baltimore County numbers in response: 15,000 manufacturing jobs. 506 manufacturing companies. More than $1.18 billion total annual wages.

We have large manufacturers like McCormick, BD Diagnostic Systems and Textron -- each of these companies employs over one thousand workers in Baltimore County. But most manufacturers are smaller companies, with fewer than 500 workers each.  

Baltimore County manufacturers all benefit from a strategic location, integrated supply chain and distribution networks and a workforce steeped in the tradition of “a good day’s pay for a good day’s work.”

In celebration of Manufacturing Day, the first Friday in October, here is a small sample of Baltimore County’s 506 makers.

Synthetic athletic surfaces are made at Beynon; lacrosse equipment at East Coast Dyes. Windshield wipers are made by Saver Automotive in Halethorpe. In Rosedale, Acadia produces windows and doors and Victory Racing Plate makes custom horse shoes. Vulcan makes Viking kitchen equipment in Dundalk and Dap makes caulk in Edgemere. Green Bay Packaging manufactures cardboard boxes; Marquip Ward United and Sun Automation make the machines that make the boxes.

Lots of great food and beverage products are made in Baltimore County -- small batches from Michelle’s Granola and large batches of Old Bay and seasonings from McCormick; hand crafted chocolate from Kirchmayr Chocolatier and Mary Sue, Naron and Glauber’s candies from Ruxton Chocolates. Our beverages come from wineries named Boordy, Basignani, Royal Rabbit and DeJon and craft breweries DuClaw, Key Brewing, Heavy Seas, and soon, Guinness.

Even the thin brown paper that helps seal in the freshness of Hershey’s Reece’s Peanut Butter cups is made by Mann-Pak, a packaging company in Middle River.

Today’s industrial revolution is also a technology revolution

Some call it precision manufacturing, additive manufacturing or advanced manufacturing. Regardless of the description, technology now allows manufacturers to achieve levels of precision and productivity we could not imagine even just a few years ago.  

Robotics, computer aided design and advanced engineering have revolutionized production lines. You can see the changes at the GM electric vehicle motors and transmission plant in White Marsh, the Coty facility in Cockeysville where Cover Girl and Max Factor cosmetics are made, the complex vertical launch systems designed and built at Lockheed Martin in Middle River and unmanned aircraft systems at Textron in Hunt Valley.

Potomac Photonics at bwtech @ UMBC uses lasers, 3D printers and other technologies to alter and develop products with extreme precision, to the scale of one micron, smaller than a particle of dust. Pharmaceutics International (PII), a custom drug manufacturer in Hunt Valley, develops small molecules into custom drug formulations.

Innovate, design, engineer, build

Baltimore County companies have the expertise to not only make things, but to use the innovation of our well-educated workforce to design, engineer, test and come up with the next great thing. We see this at Stanley Black & Decker in Towson, where over 1,200 people develop and test new consumer products. Chemists at the TIC Gums R&D center in White Marsh are discovering new ways to improve foods. Fresh ideas are born in the test kitchens at McCormick’s Innovation Center and in the R&D labs at Lockheed and Middle River Aircraft Systems. SAFT long-life batteries have traveled from Cockeysville to Mars.

From caulk and cosmetics to Old Bay and beer, great things are made in Baltimore County. And we have 506 manufacturers and 15,000 jobs to prove it.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz today issued the following statement regarding the Maryland Public Service Commission’s (PSC) decision to award offshore wind renewable energy credits to two projects to be built off Maryland’s coast:

“The PSC’s decision creates a tremendous opportunity for Maryland to become a national leader in a new American industry. With the nation's first large-scale offshore wind projects, we will be able to protect our environment and support renewable energy solutions — all while we grow our economy.

“I commend the PSC for promoting environmentally sound policies that require port modernization at Tradepoint Atlantic and open the opportunity for a new steel fabrication plant at Sparrows Point. Baltimore County has unique assets here that can meet the needs of global manufacturers that support this 21st century industry.  

“Together we can transform our county and our state into the East Coast hub for offshore wind manufacturing and logistics.”

Revised September 11, 2017