Rockville Economic Development, Inc.’s 2018 annual report highlights a year of growth and change that saw the introduction of new programs and a new executive director.
REDI’s programs include the Maryland Women’s Business Center, which helps entrepreneurs start and grow women-owned businesses positioned for long-term growth. In 2018, MWBC helped to launch 62 new businesses and served 1,768 individuals, helping to increase client sales by $3.8 million, an 81 percent increase over 2017.
REDI introduced two new programs in 2018. The state-funded Retail Façade Improvement Grant program awards eligible Rockville retailers matching grants to improve their building’s exterior façade. The Rockville Small Business Impact Fund offers financial assistance to qualified, small- and medium-sized businesses to promote economic development in mixed-use areas. In its first year, the program is focusing on Rockville Town Center. It will be expanded to other parts of the city in future years.
Those programs complement REDI’s successful, established incentive programs: the Rockville MOVE Program, which provides relocation assistance to companies moving into the city, and the Business Expansion Fund, which provides grants to businesses that are growing. Through those programs, REDI assisted five companies occupying more than 21,000 square feet and representing nearly 300 full-time jobs.
Rockville once again led Maryland municipalities with an average unemployment rate of 3.3 percent, well below the average municipal unemployment rate of 4.2 percent, Paul Newman, REDI’s board president, wrote in a letter introducing the 2018 report.
“Rockville remains a vibrant business community where education and diversity are valued, and business leaders’ voices are heard,” Newman wrote. “With the recent Amazon headquarters announcement and other regional growth, REDI remains poised to serve businesses that want to launch, locate and expand in Rockville.”
Download the full report at http://rockvilleredi.org/redi-2018-annual-rpt/.
Visit www.youtube.com/cityofrockville to view a recent Rockville 11 interview with Cynthia Stewart, REDI’s new executive director.