Greater Baltimore Committee, Business Leaders Urge State to Adopt 'Core Pillars' for Maryland Business Growth

Dec 06, 2010, 11:50 ET from Greater Baltimore Committee

BALTIMORE, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Maryland's environment for job creation could be strengthened by government policies that include top-down support for business growth from elected officials, a streamlined and predictable regulatory system, a more competitive tax structure, and improved support for transportation, according to a consensus of business and economic development leaders released today by the Greater Baltimore Committee.

"The Number One priority of Maryland government policy makers, now and in the foreseeable future, has to be job creation and business development," said Donald C. Fry, GBC president and CEO. The organization, comprised of more than 500 business and civic leaders in the Baltimore region, released a report entitled "Gaining the Competitive Edge" that identifies eight "core pillars" for business growth that were compiled by business leaders and economic development experts in Maryland.

The full report can be viewed on the GBC web site at:

"These principles constitute a policy game plan for Maryland to successfully compete for business in the post-recession economy," Fry said. "The GBC will be urging state elected leaders to keep these foremost in their minds while considering legislative action and to use them to craft a strategic plan for statewide job creation and business growth.”

During the past year the GBC studied business climate rankings and conducted a series of discussions and focus groups with business executives and economic development experts on the topic of the Maryland's competitiveness for business locations and growth.

Maryland's elected leaders generally feel that the state's many strengths as a place to do business, including a highly-educated workforce, a major concentration of research activities, high rankings for technology development, superior location and a high quality of life, are sufficient to attract businesses and to generate economic growth, the report notes.

But business and economic development leaders contend that there is significant room for Maryland to be more competitive as a place for businesses to locate and to grow, according to the report.

The report lists the following "core pillars" for job growth and a competitive business environment:

-- Government leadership that unites with business as a partner. Maryland leaders must consider the private sector as a partner, not an adversary, and develop a strategic plan for job creation and growth.

-- Workforce that is highly-educated and meets Maryland's business needs. Maryland's education institutions must cultivate a workforce suited to the specific needs of Maryland's business sectors.

-- Regulatory policies that are streamlined, stable and predictable. Maryland must project to businesses that its government regulatory policies are reasonable, relevant, free of surprises or redundancy, and considerate of businesses' sense of urgency.

-- Tax structure that is fair and competitive. Maryland's tax policy must be perceived by business as being competitive and devoid of elements that unreasonably target specific businesses or business sectors.

-- Competitive costs of doing business. Public policies must reflect a government predisposition to nurture business growth and to avoid imposing additional overhead upon the business sector.

-- Superior transportation infrastructure with reliable funding mechanisms. Well-funded and maintained transportation infrastructure is an essential prerequisite for business growth.

-- Strategic and effective state investments in business growth. Investments should include competitive and effective tax credits, incentives, and tactical initiatives to nurture private investment.

-- Business marketing strategy that is aggressive, coordinated, long-term, and well-funded. Competitive states invest in comprehensive communication and promotion of business strengths to internal and national audiences.

SOURCE Greater Baltimore Committee