Department of Economic Development Cultivates City’s Business Climate

While the city of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development doesn’t directly create jobs, it commits time into making Frederick an attractive destination for new businesses and to making it an area where existing businesses can prosper.

“Our role is trying to make Frederick a great place for businesses to want to invest in,” Economic Development Director Richard Griffin said. “We’re creating the playing field, but it’s the private sectors that are making the investment and creating the jobs.”

Currently, over 3,500 businesses operate within Frederick’s city limits. While the target industries of Frederick include advanced technology, bioscience, professional services and tourism and film, the city plays host to a wide variety of business types and sizes.

Small businesses and large businesses alike are afforded the opportunity to begin and thrive in Frederick with the department’s commitment to providing the necessary land, utilities, and workforce. The workforce, which derives from the city and its vast surrounding areas, is a versatile population well-trained to succeed in a number of different industries that require unique skills and specializations.

“The business cycle is very fast,” Griffin said. “A business that has an idea, they’re not going to wait for five years while you build what they need. They need the space and people in the short-term, so we have to be nimble and provide to them on a real-time basis.”

A key area to the city’s business climate is the hub of commerce, culture, entertainment, and government that exists in Downtown Frederick. Revitalization efforts in the area have exceeded millions of dollars as the city focuses on keeping downtown a relevant area, rather than focusing all of its efforts on the periphery and relegating the center of the city to lesser importance.

While a strong emphasis has been placed on the city’s downtown area, the department strives to balance its efforts in every area of Frederick. With each area serving different roles for the community, including health corridors, transportation, retail and ethnic options, economic development ensures all of these components come together for the sum of the parts.

“The city as a whole is 22 square miles and we’re incredibly proud of every square inch of Frederick,” Griffin said.

Since Griffin became involved with economic development, he has seen the city of Frederick grow by well over 20,000 people and over 700 businesses. As the area continues to grow, the department is focused on attracting quality businesses who will sustain success with long-term commitments to Frederick.

“Economic development is really about the people and something they value highly, which is their job. Providing people with the dignity of work is a beautiful thing,” Griffin said. “Building a Frederick that is diverse and has jobs at all levels is what motivates us.”

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