Economic Development Aid Recipient To Repay State, County

Direct Energy, a solar company which received a conditional loan from the Maryland Department of Commerce and a workforce training grant from the Howard County Economic Development Authority, will have to repay the grant and loan because it failed to meet job creation goals. In fact, the company announced this week that it will lay off 108 employees in September.

Direct Energy received a $500,000 conditional loan from the state and $50,000 workforce training grant from the county when it opened its new headquarters in Columbia two years ago.

The Baltimore Business Journal reports:

Lawrence Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority, said the state and county working are working with the firm on repayment of $550,000 since it did not meet job creation goals. …

Direct Energy’s announcement of layoffs did not surprise Twele. He said the economic development authority stays in contact with companies when they receive funding.

Changes to business models happen, Twele said, and the economic development authority and the state have been working with Direct Energy for the past several months on creating a repayment plan.

Right now the main priority is helping those who are getting laid off find new jobs, Twele said. A rapid-response team will go in and assess the skills of the employees and match them up with new positions.