Council President Andrew Friedson Proposes $20 Million Initiative to Spur Job Creation and Economic Stimulus

The Office of Council President Andrew Friedson issues the following news release on Monday, March 11:

On Tuesday, March 12Montgomery County Council President Andrew Friedson will introduce a $20 million appropriation for the County’s Economic Development Fund to spur economic development and create high-paying jobs in Montgomery County.

The New J.O.B.S. (Jobs, Opportunities and Business Support) Initiative will create three separate, complementary initiatives: a Job Creation Fund, an Innovation Fund, and an Equity Fund.

“We need to launch bold initiatives that will foster innovation and create lucrative jobs to help Montgomery County re-emerge as an economic powerhouse by giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to create a new business or expand and grow in our community,” Council President Friedson said. “That’s why we’re going bigger and bolder than any other jurisdiction in the region with this new J.O.B.S. Initiative to create jobs and opportunities focused on jumpstarting our economy.

“Together, by unleashing the genius of the talent we have in Montgomery County, we can leverage private capital with public support and help companies bring new and exciting products to the marketplace that will grow our economy and transform the world. With intentionality, we can also simultaneously invigorate our Equity Focus Areas along the I-270 and Route 29 Corridors and eastern downcounty to promote small and growth-stage businesses.”

The proposed $10 million Job Creation Fund will incentivize growing Montgomery County companies to create and fill high-paying jobs by providing employers with $10,000 for new jobs created offering salaries of $100,000 or more, or $12,000 per job if located in one of the County’s Equity Focus Areas. The Job Creation Fund will support the growth of key industries, including employers in the life sciences, technology, hospitality and real estate industries, as well as national nonprofits, foundations, trade associations and corporate headquarters. Employers will be required to create a minimum of five jobs of $100,000 with a limit of up to $500,000 per company. This proposal, if fully utilized, would create up to 1,000 new jobs and generate an impact of $161 million in additional economic output.

The $7 million Innovation Fund will award up to $100,000 to eligible companies developing any innovative technology, design or process. The initiative will fund prototype development and pilot projects and help Montgomery County entrepreneurs successfully move toward commercialization. Preference will be given to advance technology and life science companies, but funds will be available to any eligible startup. Several local jurisdictions, including Washington, D.C., and Fairfax and Arlington Counties in Virginia, have launched similar funds to help promising startups navigate these initial funding hurdles.

The $3 million Equity Fund will offer grants of up to $80,000 to early and growth-stage small businesses with owners from Equity Focus Areas, helping reduce barriers to entry for small businesses. Equity Focus Areas are primarily found along the I-270 Corridor, the Route 29 Corridor and eastern downcounty. The grants will be administered by the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation.

The proposed funding package can be viewed here.

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FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

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