Major Industries and Commercial Activity
Annapolis has long had its economic base in federal, state, and local government, aided by its quick access to Washington, D.C. But in more recent years Annapolis is rapidly becoming a center for high-tech industrial development as well. The city's location in the high-tech corridor between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. helps attract and retain technology companies and services. New companies concentrate primarily in the areas of fiber optics, telecommunications, computer-related technologies, Internet-based services, regional data centers, medical equipment and supplies distribution, and environmental concerns.
The main industries in the city are the production of radar electronic equipment and underwater military devices, as well as research and development, and communications. Annapolis is a port of entry and a farm produce shipping center for nearby agricultural areas.
Anne Arundel County's largest employer, the National Security Agency, is a high-technology organization responsible for the collection and processing of foreign signals intelligence and for the communications and computer security of the U.S. government. The county's second largest employer, Fort George G. Meade, has been evolving from a troop training facility into a federal business park for military and civilian tenants.
Tourism is a thriving industry in Annapolis, with many tourists drawn by the city's authentic colonial character and the U.S. Naval Academy. Tourism brings more than $1.4 billion annually into Anne Arundel County, with more than 12,000 people employed in the industry.
Items and goods produced: radar and electronics equipment, undersea warfare equipment, seafood processing, small boats, concrete products, plastic, beverages
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) provides loans of up to $300,000 to county-based or new companies seeking a county presence. Loans are made through the Arundel Business Loan Fund in the form of direct loans and Small Business Administration guaranteed loans.
The Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority (MIDFA) provides financing assistance for capital assets and working capital to small and mid-sized businesses that demonstrate a significant economic impact. This assistance includes programs that insure loans made by financial institutions up to 80% and not exceeding $2.5 million; taxable bond financing; tax-exempt bond financing for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations and manufacturing facilities; linked deposits that provide loans below market rates to qualified small businesses in rural areas with high unemployment rates; and trade financing for industrial or commercial businesses that are engaged in the export and import of goods through Maryland ports and airport facilities. Other programs are the Maryland Industrial Land Act, the Community Development Block Grant for Economic Development, and the Economic Development Opportunities Program Fund. The Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA) provides financing for small businesses through a variety of programs, including a contract financing program, an equity participation investment program, a long-term guaranty program, and a surety bonding program.
Major incentive programs include Job Creation Tax Credits amounting to the lesser of $1,000 or 2.5 percent of annual wages for each qualifying permanent job, Employment Opportunity Tax Credit, Neighborhood Partnership Program Tax Credit, Research and Development Tax Credit, and Employer Commuter Tax Credit. Some areas of the state are also eligible for Enterprise Zone Tax Credits. The Clean Energy Incentive Act of 2000 also provides a number of tax incentives and exemptions for businesses that purchase products that use less energy and generate less pollution, including solar energy systems, hybrid electric vehicles, and biomass energy fuel sources.
Job training programs
The Office of Business and Industry Training at Anne Arundel Community College offers business training programs in computers, management and leadership, communication, and customer service. The University of Maryland provides training specialists to review, analyze, and recommend safety training programs.
The Maryland Industrial Training Program helps with training for new employees, and Partnership for Workforce Quality targets training grants to firms to improve business competitiveness and worker productivity. The Partnership for Workforce Quality (PWQ) offers skill training grants and support services designed to improve the competitive ability of small and mid-sized manufacturing and technology companies throughout the state. The Maryland Community Colleges' Business Training Network (MCCBTN) serves as a clearinghouse for workforce training at the 16 community colleges serving the state of Maryland. Other programs help employers who wish to establish apprenticeship programs and provide customized technology training.
Major projects in Anne Arundel County underway in early 2005 include Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole, a 33-acre site featuring 650,000 feet of retail space, 90,000 square feet of office space, 900 residential units, and a full-service hotel; the 500,000 square foot Arundel Mills Corporate Park; the 1,622-acre Odenton Town Center; Park Place, an 11-acre development designed to offer 250,000 square feet of office space in two five-story office buildings, plus retail stores, a four-star hotel, a performing arts center, and a concierge condominium complex; and the 100,000 square foot National Business Office Park.
Economic Development Information: Annapolis Economic Development & Public Information Office, 160 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis, MD, 21401; telephone (410)263-7940; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation, 2660 Riva Road, Suite 200, Annapolis, MD 21401; telephone (410)222-7415; email email@example.com
Freight carriage is provided by the Chessie System and the Consolidated Rail Corporation (CONRAIL). More than 100 motor freight common carriers serve Anne Arundel County. The international Port of Baltimore is nearby, providing a 42-foot shipping channel. To take advantage of the channel by bringing its products to the port, Anne Arundel County has invested in the local transportation infrastructure by upgrading and expanding its highway, commuter, and light rail system.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Maryland's is among the best educated and highly skilled work forces in the nation. It is projected to grow 14 percent by 2008. More than 82 percent of the Annapolis work force has a high school diploma and 38.7 percent hold a college degree. Anne Arundel County has 223 businesses that employ 100 or more workers.
The following is a summary of annual data regarding the Annapolis/Baltimore metropolitan area labor force as of 2003.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 1,246,400
Number of workers employed in . . .
construction and mining: 73,700
trade, transportation, and utilities: 237,000
financial activities: 81,800
professional and business services: 172,000
educational and health services: 199,500
leisure and hospitality: 107,100
other services: 55,700
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $15.75 (state of Maryland, 2003 average)
Unemployment rate: 3.7% (December 2004, state of Maryland)
Cost of Living
In 2004 the average cost of a home in Annapolis was $335,746. The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Annapolis area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported
State income tax rate: 2–4.75% (corporate business tax rate, 7%)
State sales tax rate: 5%
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: None
Property tax rate: $6.93 per $100 of assessed value (2005)
Economic Information: Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, 49 Old Solomon's Island Road, Suite 204, Annapolis, MD 21401; telephone (410)266-3960; fax (410)266-8270; email firstname.lastname@example.org
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