Senate Bill Allows More Wiggle Room For Giving Businesses a Boost

Senate Bill 67 provides the Department of Commerce more flexibility in providing economic development assistance to local governments and businesses. It renames the economic development assistance fund as the, “Advantage Maryland Fund Authority and Advantage Maryland Fund.” Along with the name change, the legislation allows for more grant and loan funding for enterprises that seek to expand employment in the State.

The bill is now being considered in the House, and has already passed the Senate 45-0. MACo submitted written testimony in support of SB 67 to the House Economic Matters Committee on March 21, 2018.

From MACo Testimony:

Counties and local economic development leaders appreciate the economic development benefits that this program provides. This program funds grants, loans, and investments to support economic development initiatives, including business attraction and retention, infrastructure support, brownfield redevelopment, and local strategic planning.

Last year, the program provided a $1.2 million loan for a new Amazon distribution center in Cecil County. Harford County partnered with the Department of Commerce to provide a package to Maines Paper & Food Service Inc. This program also contributed to the incentive package which led to Marriott International’s decision to remain in Maryland – which Montgomery County anticipates will produce $1.8 billion in economic activity over 20 years.

Economic development projects such as these promote vibrant business communities within counties. This in turn creates jobs, contributes to enhancing quality of life, and expands the local tax base – enabling counties to better provide core services for Maryland families and businesses.”

For more on this and other legislation, follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.

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