While we are the richest state in the nation, too many are being left behind. Tom’s economic development plan will leverage Maryland's strengths, helping to build and grow Maryland based companies by investing in and supporting an entrepreneurial, green, and diverse economy. It will also invest in a world class workforce that provides opportunities for Marylanders, regardless of zip code.
The Perez Administration’s economic development plan will focus on Talent-Driven Economic Development, Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship, Regional Economic Development, and Investments in the Green Economy:
Talent-Driven Economic Development
In a recent Brooking’s study, 95% of businesses said that access to talent was an important factor in where they locate and where they will grow. Modern economic competitiveness means a race to develop the best workforce in the world. Maryland has the assets necessary to win that race.
Tom has served as both the Maryland and United States Secretary of Labor – he knows how to fuel growing, regional economies with the talent they need to flourish. He knows what works and what doesn’t. His administration will create jobs in Maryland by working harder, smarter and faster to cultivate the talents of Marylanders – no matter what zip code – so that our state’s businesses have the people they need to succeed in a global market. Under the Perez Administration, Maryland will have the best workforce development system in the nation – one that’s demand-driven and focused on good, family-sustaining jobs.
Tom’s Talent-Driven Strategy includes:
- Supercharging EARN Maryland to coordinate efforts in labor, education, and commerce so that workforce programs produce people ready to work at in-demand jobs in the most vibrant parts of Maryland’s economy.
- Supporting job-seekers so that they can complete workforce development programs, including opportunities to “earn and learn” and ensure they can access the services they need to enable them to participate in programs, such as childcare and transportation.
- Incentivizing successful Maryland businesses to stay in Maryland to continue innovating and creating economic opportunity by providing access to capital and streamlining business resources and regulations.
- Fully implementing the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future – because a world-class public education system is the most important economic development asset we can have.
- Investing in our state’s research universities, including Morgan State University, to create a pipeline of researchers to serve in our growing biotech industry.
- Facilitating extensive partnerships between regional business and local school systems to build career and technical (CTE) programs that can lead to well-paying jobs at local companies right out of high school.
- Leveraging the EARN programs as a vehicle to fund specific economic development initiatives. When a company wants to grow in Maryland or move to Maryland, EARN will build localized workforce solutions to spec – either for new workers or incumbents – that catalyzes economic growth.
- Revitalizing the Maryland Labor Department so it can do its job. The COVID unemployment insurance debacle, for example, did untold harm to our economy and to our people. This cannot repeat itself and we will do what’s necessary to fix it.
Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship
99.5% of Maryland’s businesses are small, and together they employ nearly half of all Maryland workers. For Maryland to prosper, our small businesses must thrive. As Governor, Tom will create an ecosystem that fosters small businesses to grow, thrive, and stay in Maryland.
Tom’s small business and entrepreneurship strategy includes:
- Getting small businesses the capital needed to start and expand in Maryland
- Expanding market access to Maryland Chartered banks and holding national banks to local lending obligations.
- Energetically implementing the Maryland Capital Access Program passed by the legislature last session, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), especially in under-served communities, including Baltimore, Prince George’s County, and the Eastern Shore
- Incentivizing lenders to work with local emerging industries, including green energy, biotech, and healthcare, by guaranteeing bank loans for the next generation of home-grown entrepreneurs in Maryland.
- Work with banks to encourage more SBA7A loans which can support the main-street businesses which form the backbone of Maryland’s economy.
- Working with Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and agencies to provide the full suite of resources needed for emerging entrepreneurs, including forgivable loans, legal support, .
- Leveraging the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative to create a private equity fund to finance local small and mid-size companies.
Developing a unified and comprehensive system for small businesses to receive support from the state government. While other state agencies have unified systems to administer programs, small businesses are currently left to their own devices to navigate the government’s complexities of programs, regulations, and requirements.
Creating a “Make Maryland Work” team in the Governor’s Office to assess regulations and eliminate unnecessary red tape, making it easier and more predictable to do business in Maryland without sacrificing protections to worker and public safety and the environment Marylanders agree are vital.
- Reviewing existing state programs that aim to support small and mid-sized businesses to ensure they meet the needs of 21st century businesses.
- Coordinating programs from various agencies into a one-stop-shop for economic development programs.
Appointing an equitable procurement coordinator to ensure opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses participation, and design and implement the program so it actually has an effect.
Regional Economic Development
Whether it’s Biotech in Howard, Montgomery, and Frederick counties, Cyber along the 95 corridor, Defense in Southern Maryland, or the Marine Trades all around the Chesapeake, Tom will make Maryland state government a more effective partner for companies by listening to and partnering closely with business leaders in each sector of our state’s economy. But listening is not enough. In unprecedented partnership with our state’s business leaders and other strategic partners, the Perez-Sneed Administration will build up the local business ecosystems on which Maryland companies depend.
Tom’s Regional Economic Development Strategy includes:
- Expanding funding programs (e.g., TEDCO) to support early-stage companies and support the expansion of existing firms in growth industries.
- Increasing the support for tech transfer, leveraging Maryland’s world class universities to spur economic growth.
- Creating and supporting more business incubation hubs that take the products of research and development to market efficiently.
- Establishing regional higher education centers, like the Velocity Center at the College of Southern Maryland, to be in-demand training hubs in partnership with higher ed and business leaders.
- Incentivizing the re-development of under-utilized real-estate to meet the needs of small to mid-sized companies.
- Working with private venture capital investors, in part by leveraging EARN MD investments to guarantee a trained workforce to individual, rapidly scaling companies.
- Investing in sustainable regional transportation projects – large and small – to support growth and the efficient transport of goods into and out of Maryland
- Reviewing the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority (MIDFA) and other financing programs like Advantage Maryland (aka. MEDAAF) to free these investments from the bureaucratic rules that are currently limiting their usefulness.
Investment in the Green Economy
With the expansion of the green energy sector, comes new opportunities for investment, job creation, and economic growth for Maryland. The clean energy transformation and the economic benefits of the green economy must be shared by all Marylanders. That’s why the Perez-Sneed Administration will prioritize utilizing the expansion of climate friendly policies to create new good union jobs for both people entering the workforce and for those looking to transition into the expanding green energy industry. Solar and wind technologies are now more cost effective - and profit generating - than traditional fossil sources so both the climate and economic incentives are in place. A bold, unwavering commitment to renewable energy in the form of offshore wind and solar is a win, win-, win - for workers, businesses and the environment. While we have fallen behind other states in this area, the good news is that we can catch up. Time is of the essence. Governors in other key states see the urgency of now: Tom knows it is imperative Maryland do the same. Tom will lead Maryland into a 21st Century green economy by:
- Leading the nation’s largest development of offshore wind infrastructure by manufacturing, installing, and maintaining offshore wind turbines and their components.
- Leveraging the resources from the federal government, including $109.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to fund projects that directly support job creation in communities impacted by changes in the energy economy and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
- Ensuring all state procurement is energy efficient and prioritizes businesses which have implemented Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies.