To spur economic development and the creation and retention of jobs in Queen Anne’s County the commissioners last year established an Economic Development Incentive Fund. The county received 17 applications from businesses representing technology and manufacturing firms as well as agriculture, medical, hospitality and mixed use commercial companies.
County Commissioner Bob Simmons said, “The fund was created to nurture existing and emerging Queen Anne’s County businesses with a primary focus on those related to technology, agriculture, medical, start-up businesses and capital improvements for existing, vacant or underutilized space. So we are very pleased that so many of these types of businesses are planning on expanding here.”
The county originally committed $750,000 and the commissioners also approved $0.50 of each $4.95 recordation tax transaction be dedicated to replenish the fund. The recordation tax monies are expected to generate about $350,000 each year. Currently, the fund has approximately a $1.4 million balance. This year’s applicants requested a total of $3.66 million.
Of the 17 applicants, 10 firms were selected to enter into the next round of interviews with the Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Incentive Fund Commission which will make the determination of which firms will be selected to receive loans. According to Director of Economic Development, Dr. Faith Elliott Rossing, all of the applicants have been advised of the Incentive Fund Commission action as it relates to their submission. For those not moving forward to the interview segment, additional support is being offered through SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and other potential resources and funding options.
County Commissioner James Moran said, “The strength and completeness of the applications validates there is a need for programs such as this one to assist with economic development initiatives in Queen Anne’s County. This process confirms the county has an existing business base ready to expand in place and potential businesses willing to relocate here.”
The disbursement of the Funds is at the sole discretion of the Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Incentive Fund Commission based specific criteria. Eligible businesses must be located within the geographic boundaries of Queen Anne’s County although homeowner residency is not a requirement. Applicants must demonstrate the expected economic impact, such as job creation and retention; increase in production or potential for a new niche market. Projects must be consistent with the county’s development land use goals and economic priorities and applicants must demonstrate a need for the funds.
The Economic Development Fund Commission looks forward to finalizing the first round of applications but is also anxious to see what other businesses future rounds of the program will bring forth. Additional information is available online at www.qactv.com/economic-development-incentive-fund.