New “Runway to Success” Program Helps Businesses Boost Marketing Efforts and Support Employee Training

Southwest Airlines to Provide Travel Awards for Qualified Anne Arundel County Companies

Annapolis, Maryland (October 26, 2017) – Today the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation launched the Runway to Success Program Powered by Southwest Airlines. The program aims to assist Anne Arundel County small businesses with travel to out of state conferences and meetings as a way to enhance their marketing and sales or provide for workforce training.

“As part of our commitment to increasing Anne Arundel County’s business base, we continually seek ways to support companies that are working hard to take that next step in growth,” said AAEDC CEO Julie Mussog. “We thank Southwest Airlines for this partnership that will help our businesses expand and be successful.”

The announcement, made at a multi-chamber of commerce breakfast at the Crofton Country Club, was part of AAEDC’s slate of initiatives and events during Maryland Economic Development Week which is celebrated from October 22 to 28.

“As the name sponsor of the program, Southwest Airlines will provide AAEDC with ten travel awards to be distributed to qualified local businesses,” said Karen Price-Ward, Southwest Airlines Community Affairs and Grassroots Regional Leader. “The program is a win-win-win for Southwest Airlines, AAEDC and local businesses that want to explore an opportunity, seal a deal, or build on their professional development.”

Runway to Success is targeted to businesses with under 100 employees that generate annual revenue of less than $10 million. Companies will be required to detail their marketing goals, travel plans and staff assignments. Approved companies will receive travel awards for up to two employees. AAEDC plans to award all ten travel awards by the end of 2017, however, business travel can occur any time after that deadline.

Companies can also use Runway to Success with SWABIZ, Southwest Airlines’ corporate booking tool. The application allows businesses to manage and track its travel program. Companies that create a SWABIZ account are able to access the same low fares found on as well as SWABIZ exclusive offers.

Runway to Success may be used in conjunction with Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation’s Workforce Training Grant program. Qualified businesses located in the county can be reimbursed up to 50% of the cost per employee to cover on-the-job training, classroom/ offsite training, purchasing training software, and train-the-trainer scenarios to benefit new and incumbent workers. The program covers a maximum of $1,000 per employee.


The mission of the AAEDC is to serve as a catalyst for business growth in Anne Arundel County thereby increasing job opportunities, expanding the tax base and improving quality of life.
It provides investment and technical assistance and fosters community revitalization initiatives. AAEDC plays a vital role in enhancing commercial districts, improving county infrastructure, increasing agriculture-based business and promoting high-value business sectors such as technology and national defense. News and updates are available on the corporation’s website

Leave a Reply