State Launches RISE Zone Program to Help Spur Economic Development

The Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) has launched a new state program aimed at tapping into the economic development potential surrounding higher education institutions and certain nonprofits.  As reported in the Baltimore Business Journal:

The state is now taking applications for its new Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise Zone program (called the “Rise Zone” program for short). It requires two application stages. The first stage, which is now open, requires higher education institutions, regional higher educational centers or nonprofit organizations that are associated with federal agencies to apply to the state Department of Business and Economic Development. The state will then qualify those groups.

At that point, institutions that have qualified will need to work with a county or city government on a second application. The second application will go to DBED to create the RISE Zone.

Once a zone is established, businesses that relocate or expand in the zone would be eligible for certain benefits such as property tax credits. The partnership with local governments to complete the second step of the application process helps ensure the proper businesses are targeted and that the proper incentives are granted to reflect the needs of the local jurisdiction. As reported in The Daily Record:

The program was designed to leverage the expertise of the state’s colleges, universities and federal research hubs, and amplify their potential to create new jobs and activity in their own backyard, said Mark Vulcan, DBED’s program manager for tax incentives.

“The other important part is to have the local jurisdictions sign off, because they’re the ones giving up the tax revenue,” Vulcan said, adding that it’s possible some jurisdictions may not be interested in that idea.

For more information:

Maryland is Accepting Applications to Create Economic Development Zones Around Colleges (Baltimore Business Journal)

Program Hopes to Spur Economic Projects Near Universities, Nonprofits (Daily Record)

RISE Zone website