The Maryland Department of Commerce has designated two Enterprise Zones this month, one on the Eastern Shore and another in Western Maryland.
The program provides real property and state income tax credits for businesses located in an enterprise zone in return for job creation and investments. The designated Zones encompass 129 acres straddling the City of Fruitland in Wicomico County, and about 1,870 acres in Washington County and the Town of Hancock.
"Economic development is a team sport, so we were happy to work with our partners in Washington and Wicomico counties as well as officials in Fruitland and Hancock to designate these zones," said Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. "Commerce, working hand in hand with our local partners, is laser focused on supporting job creation and creating opportunity for residents all across the State."
Last year, businesses located in the State's 28 Enterprise Zones received more than $17 million in property tax credits, which have contributed to $2.7 billion in capital investment in Maryland businesses in last year alone, and $13.7 billion over the past 5 years.
"Having our entire town designated as an Enterprise Zone is a powerful incentive for us to use as we court various businesses and industries into Hancock," said Dan Murphy, Mayor of Hancock. "We have a history of using this tool to make our community more attractive for potential investors. In these times of economic stress and challenge, any advantage we can acquire and present makes us more competitive."
"The City of Fruitland has experienced significant growth within the past 10 years and our local economy has performed very well in spite of the overall economic downturn experienced by many jurisdictions," said John Psota, City of Fruitland City Manager. "Therefore, we are very pleased that the Maryland Department of Commerce has again provided us this very important economic development tool. It is our expectation that Fruitland's enterprise zone designation is certain to keep the momentum going in our local region."