ELLICOTT CITY, MD - Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today delivered his annual State of Business Address, and embraced “a brand new day” for Howard County during the Business Outlook Luncheon hosted by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce. During his address, Ball declared the state of business “strong” as the county earns a AAA bond rating from all three credit rating agencies this week. Ball also highlighted Howard County’s stature as having the lowest unemployment rate in the State at 1.6 percent. Photos from the event can be found here.  Presentation visuals can be found here. Full text of his speech can be found here

We are facing a pivotal time for Howard County’s future. This post-pandemic era has left us with an uncertain global economy, but here in Howard County we are embracing a brand new day and setting a strong foundation for the future. Let me unequivocally say that here, in Howard County, the State of Business is strong. Our future is bigger, bolder, and brighter. We are resilient and embracing economic vitality. We are defined by the promise of this brand new day that will set an unshakeable foundation for our shared future.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

During his address, Ball:

  •  Committed another $250,000 towards the Route One Tax Credit program. To date, the program has supported 18 renovation projects along Washington Boulevard.
    • Ball also announced efforts to pursue a Howard County Redevelopment Authority that will focus originally focus on Route One. He announced an investment of $500,000 to jumpstart this effort.
  • Announced an investment of $60,000 to Howard Community College to grow and expand its cybersecurity apprenticeship program. This investment will match funds provided by the Howard County Economic Development Authority, creating an opportunity for more than 30 registered apprenticeships.
  • Announced an investment of $2 million to build out data centers and allow businesses the opportunity to house their data safely and securely within the cloud and off their premises.
  • Announced plans to launch a new, small area transit service for Historic Ellicott City. This effort will provide transportation connections between the Historic Circuit Courthouse, Main Street, and Ellicott City businesses.
  • Discussed efforts to move his comprehensive Ellicott City Safe and Sound flood mitigation plan forward, as well as highlighted the lowest vacancy rates in Ellicott City in three decades, at 0.5 percent.
  • Relaunched and expanded the floodproofing grants to business and property owners in Ellicott City. This relaunch brings the total program investment by Ball to $280,000.
  • Announced the winners of the Inaugural Enhanced Agriculture Grant Pilot Program, which he launched in August of 2023. This program supplements Howard County Economic Development Authority's agriculture grants. The winners are:
    • Sharp Farms
    • William Dale Hough
    • Haybusters
    • Howard County Library System
    • Bowling Green Beef
    • Little Portion Farm
    • Chesapeake Flower Exchange

  • Announced an expansion of broadband, in partnership with Verizon and the Maryland Office of Statewide Broadband, to residents along Route 40 and the I-70 Corridor. This expansion will provide broadband to nearly 400 homes.
Media Contacts
Safa Hira, Director of Communications

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