Taxes & Incentives – Supporting Programs
Washington County is known for our pro-business climate. With incentives and financing programs from a variety of sources, we are ready to help businesses open, expand or relocate in one of our great communities. We strive to fully understand your business needs. Then we work with partners to develop custom programs that help you accomplish your goals.
For qualifying economic development projects, Washington County employs its “Fast Track Team” to oversee and facilitate the approval processes for a business’ construction project. The benefits of a quick turnaround and phased permits creates up to a 50% time savings during the planning processes. The guidance and coordination of all departments involved in construction approvals can significantly reduce costs.
A Variety of Financing and Funding
As the state’s primary economic development agency, we stimulate private investment and create jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. Commerce also promotes the state’s many commercial advantages and its outstanding quality of life to spur economic development, international investment, trade and tourism.
Accessing capital and securing financing are essential to start or grow a business—driving innovation and creating jobs are the benefits.
Programs include venture capital investments and tax credits, direct loans, grants and loan guarantees. These programs work together to attract new companies to the state, encourage expansions and job creation, and revitalize our economy.
There are six financing capabilities offered through the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF), with assistance being provided to the business community and political jurisdictions. To qualify for assistance from MEDAAF, applicants are restricted to businesses located within a priority funding area and an eligible industry sector. With a few exceptions, assistance cannot exceed 70 percent of the total project costs.
The specific capabilities are:
- Significant Strategic Economic Development Opportunities: A project that provides eligible industries with a significant economic development opportunity on a statewide or regional level.
- Assistance is provided to a business in the form of a loan.
- Maximum assistance cannot exceed the lesser of $10 million or 20 percent of the current fund balance.
- Local Economic Development Opportunity:A business that provides a valuable economic development opportunity to the jurisdiction in which the business is located and is a priority for the governing body of that jurisdiction.
- The local jurisdiction must sponsor the business and must participate in the form of a guarantee, a direct loan, or a grant in an amount equal to at least 10 percent of the State’s financial assistance.
- Loans may be up to $5 million, while conditional loans and grants may be up to $2 million.
- Direct Assistance to Local Jurisdictions or MEDCO:DBED may provide financial assistance to a local jurisdiction for local economic development needs.
- The total amount of assistance cannot exceed $3 million unless the jurisdiction is a “qualified distressed county.”
- The use of funds includes land acquisition, infrastructure improvements, acquisition of fixed assets, leasehold improvements, up to 70 percent of the cost of a feasibility study and up to 50 percent of the cost of preparing a local economic development plan.
- Regional or Local Revolving Loan Fund:Grants to local jurisdictions to help capitalize local revolving loan funds.
- Eligible applicants include a county or regional economic development agency, whether public or private. A jurisdiction may transfer all or a portion of its allocation to a regional revolving loan fund.
- Each jurisdiction may receive a grant of $250,000 annually.
- To qualify for a grant, the local government must provide a matching grant of funds to the local revolving loan fund.
- Special Purposes Loan:This loan targets specific funding initiatives that are deemed critical to the state’s economic health and development.
- The specific program determines the level and type of financial assistance provided.
- The special purpose initiatives required by the legislature include the Brownfield Revitalization Incentive, Seafood and Aquaculture, Animal Waste, Arts & Entertainment, and Child Care Center programs.
- Economic Development Opportunities Fund (Sunny Day Fund):This fund promotes Maryland’s participation in extraordinary economic development opportunities that provide significant returns to the state through creating and retaining employment as well as the creation of significant capital investments in Priority Funding Areas.
- Applicants must possess a strong balance sheet and be credit worthy. Projects must be consistent with the State’s strategic economic development plan.
- Substantial employment, particularly in areas of high unemployment, must be created by the project.
- Participants must provide a minimum capital investment of at least five times the amount of the Sunny Day assistance.
MIDFA, which is administered by DBED, encourages private sector financing in economic development projects located in Priority Funding Areas. MIDFA facilitates capital access by issuing private activity revenue bonds and can provide credit insurance in the form of a deficiency guaranty to reduce lender’s risk. While the transaction size is generally not limited, the credit enhancement is subject to the applicable program limits.
Industrial Revenue Bonds
- Taxable Bond: Provides access to long-term capital markets for primarily fixed asset financing.
- Tax-Exempt Bond: Provides access to long-term capital markets for fixed asset financing at tax-exempt rates. Eligibility is limited by Federal tax law to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, manufacturing facilities and certain solid waste projects. Additional limitations apply to the specific transaction type.
- Conventional Program: Insures up to 80 percent, not to exceed $2.5 million of a transaction made by a financial institution. Export transactions may be insured up to 90 percent.
- Bond Program: Insures bonds up to 100 percent, not to exceed $7.5 million of taxable or tax-exempt bonds.
- Linked Deposits: In certain rural areas with qualifying high unemployment, MIDFA can provide a certificate of deposit to the lender as a funding source and pricing incentive to provide below market rate loans to an eligible small business. The certificate of deposit is not a guaranty or collateral to the loan.
Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, Inc (TCCWMD) is a Local Development District serving a three-county region in Appalachian Maryland. The website is designed to provide an overview of the programs and services administered by TCCWMD and how to access these programs.
TCCWMD is owned by its member governments of Allegany, Garrett and Washington Counties and has provided economic and community development assistance to its partners since its inception in 1971. TCCWMD encourages and facilitates government cooperation by addressing issues of greater than local significance on a regional basis.
Summit Financing Solutions offers two programs for small businesses looking to obtain financing. These two programs are the Western Maryland Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) and the State Lottery Terminal (SLoT) Fund.
The Western Maryland Revolving Loan Fund Program is a pool of money granted by federal and state entities for the purpose of making loans to create and/or save jobs. Borrowers repay loans and the money is returned to the RLF to make other loans. In that manner, the RLF becomes an ongoing or “revolving” financial tool.
The Summit Financing Solutions Revolving Loan Fund serves as a source for gap financing for small businesses seeking to locate or expand in Maryland’s Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties. Established in 1980, the program has facilitated the creation and expansion of businesses that have created or saved jobs in the Appalachian region. The program operates by participating with banks and other lenders to assist in financing a business project.
The State Lottery Terminal (SLoT) Fund, under Maryland law, provides for 1.5% of the proceeds generated from video lottery terminals (slots) to be contributed to the State Lottery Terminal (SLoT) Account to be distributed to small, minority and women-owned businesses (Targeted Businesses). At least 50% of the SLoT allocations will be deployed to targeted businesses located within a 10-mile radius of the five casinos—Hollywood Casino Perryville, Ocean Downs in Worchester County, Maryland Live! in Anne Arundel County, Rocky Gap Casino in Allegany County, and Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore City. The other 50% will be available to small, minority and women-owned businesses located throughout Maryland.
Tri County Council for Western Maryland serves as a fund manager for the State Lottery Terminal Account. TCCWMD’s allotment of funds is distributed through its lending program – Summit Financing Solutions. Small, minority, women and veteran owned businesses located within 10 miles of any of Maryland’s five casinos (Target Areas) and those located elsewhere in the state may be eligible for loans between $10,000 and $500,000.
The Appalachian Regional Commission was established by Congress in 1965 to support economic and social development in the Appalachian Region.
The Commission is a unique partnership composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a presidential appointee representing the federal government. Grassroots participation is provided through local development districts—multi-county organizations with boards made up of elected officials, businesspeople, and other local leaders.
In an era of reduced federal funds for valuable job-creating infrastructure, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) program continues to merge local, state and federal funds to implement such projects.
Reduced federal and state funding for economic development projects has contributed to intense competition for these funds, enabling some projects to be funded, while others must wait their turn. Throughout the six-county region, the need to improve municipal infrastructure continues to grow, while the sources of funding for these improvements continue to diminish. The ability to package multiple funding sources for a single project continues to be a challenge in this environment.
The City of Hagerstown Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) works in collaboration with our residents, businesses, investors and visitors to advance the economy, image and quality of life in Hagerstown.
Programs and services of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) include Grants for City Center Redevelopment, City-Wide Redevelopment, Façade Grants, Retail and Restaurant Incentives, as well as services related to Grand Openings, Business Celebrations, and Homeownership Programs. Complete program guidelines apply, and programs are subject to funding availability. Please visit The City of Hagerstown’s complete program & services guide for more information.