Howard County Delivers State of the Business Address

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball speaks at a podiumHoward County businesses find their momentum on the road to recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball delivered his annual State of the Business Address during Thursday’s Howard County Chamber’s Business Outlook Luncheon. During the address, Ball discussed the success of the County’s HoCo Higher program for small businesses and entrepreneurs, increasing county procurement opportunities for locally owned and minority businesses, and highlighted several businesses that are enjoying economic momentum in Howard County. Pictures of the event can be found here.

During his address, Ball:

  • Announced the fourth HoCo Higher cohort will begin on April 19, 2023. This program funded more than $300,000 in grants and over 60 businesses have completed the program.
  • Highlighted the County’s increase in spending with local businesses. In 2018, Howard County had 100 firms certified in the Local Business Initiative, comprising of a total spending of about $4 million. As of last month, the number of certified firms is now over 350, with nearly $16 million spent to date during the current fiscal year.
    • Complete Paving Experts, Inc, in Jessup was contracted to complete road resurfacing projects, keeping $4 million in the county.
  • Touted the hospitality industry has seen a 72% increase in visitor post-pandemic spending in its local hospitality establishments in the winter of 2022.
  • Showcased the Howard County Economic Development Authority’s BRITE Program, which served over 160 start-ups, with nearly 225 entrepreneurs completing the program.

Ball ended his address by emphasizing that Howard County is the “high-octane economic engine” for Maryland and the mid-Atlantic, with a job growth of 13.5%, which is nearly three times the state average.

“The Howard Chamber has a long history of working with the County Executive’s office and that has continued under Dr. Ball’s leadership,” said Leonardo McClarty, CEO/President, Howard County Chamber. “We look forward to hearing of the county’s 2022 successes as well as discussing the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead this year and beyond.”

Full text of the County Executive’s speech can be found here.