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Business as (Un)usual: REDI Moves Rockville Forward Amid Pandemic

New ways of doing business during the pandemic marked Fiscal Year 2020 for Rockville Economic Development, Inc., the nonprofit charged with helping businesses launch, locate and expand in Rockville.

“Although the hospitality sector is hard hit, as well as many small businesses, Rockville is an area with some strongly performing business sectors like bio health and technology, which continue to grow and support jobs despite the economic impacts of the pandemic,” states REDI’s annual report for FY 2020, which ended June 30.

REDI worked with state and county economic development agencies to create incentives that led Aurenia Pharmaceuticals to announce in March that it would bring its U.S headquarters to Rockville with up to 500 jobs and 120,000 square feet of commercial space.

The REDI board and CEO completed a Strategic Initiatives and Work Plan for FY 2021, focusing on business retention, expansion and attraction, city projects, small business assistance and workforce alignment.

REDI participated in a number of city projects in FY20, including assisting city staff presentations during a two-day study of Rockville Town Center by a panel of experts from Urban Land Institute in July 2019, partnering with the city and Federal Realty Investment Trust to create a retail incubator in Rockville Town Square that allows Maryland Women’s Business Center clients to try out a brick-and-mortar location before making a long-term leasing commitment. REDI also provided input on the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan, reuse of the King Farm Farmstead and redevelopment of the Rockville Metro station.

MWBC is REDI’s signature program, serving 1,500 unique clients, who brought in $870,000 in equity capital and over $1.5 million in business loans during FY20, while providing 2,543 entrepreneurs with 137 training sessions to support business needs. MWBC also worked with the Small Business Administration, the county and the state to provide information about economic relief resources counseling, and provided online trainings and workshops during the pandemic.

REDI’s board is scheduled to meet with the Mayor and Council on Monday, Oct. 5. Find more information at www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter.

For more information, visit rockvilleredi.org.

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