Economic Developers Welcome Legislation to Improve State’s Business Climate, Spur Job Growth
Kicking off the 2018 MEDA Winter Conference was Julie Mussog, CEO of Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation. Highlighting Maryland’s economic activities, Mussog mentioned that Maryland’s unemployment rate is 3.9%, 24th in the nation, under national average of 4.1% (as of November 2017). Governor Larry Hogan recently proposed expanding the “More Jobs for Maryland Initiative” and modernizing the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority Fund (MEDAAF). Economic developers welcome legislation that aims to improve our business climate and spur job growth.
Locally, AAEDC team has been focused on understanding their cyber technology industry based on proximity of Fort Meade, National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and U.S. Cyber Command. By meeting with tech entrepreneurs, listening to their stories, and finding out what resources are most helpful, AAEDC had the foundation of their new Arundel Defense Tech Toolbox, a program mix of financing, workforce development grants and access to expert mentors. They even have taken the focused work group and started examining the hospitality industry, providing a great example on interacting with the end customer to assess needs and obtain valuable feedback.
Mussog then handed the baton to Mayor of Annapolis, Gavin Buckley, who encouraged attendees to foster restaurants and retail shops in their municipalities. Their innovative, dynamic and entrepreneurial ways bring light into the area. “The biggest solution to crime is a job!” He explained the need to have both crime control and crime prevention at work in an area. Mayor Buckley expressed adoration of visitors and legislators since they spend lots of money on restaurants and hotels while legislation is in session.
Mayor Buckley further explained how he was focused on rebranding old buildings instead of tearing them down. They add character and history to the area and efforts should be made on revitalizing them instead.
And you could always paint a mural on a building.