ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today delivered his annual State of the Business Address during the 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.  

Howard County must keep our positive momentum especially as the premiere destination for businesses to launch and expand. We are also a place for business to expand. Our local entrepreneurs are bringing fresh ideas and energy to our community, and we are here to support them at every step of their journey. Through our collaborative efforts, we are the place where businesses want to grow and thrive, and it is safe to say that the State of Howard County’s Business is strong. I’m optimistic about the future of Howard County. We have the right mix of resources, location, and educated workforce that maintains us as a County in perpetual forward motion.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

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.


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