Assisting Local Business
The Department of Economic Development offers an array of services to the business community. Department staff acts as advocates for the county's businesses and those businesses looking to locate or expand in Calvert County. We work with a variety of agencies to provide assistance to businesses.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), with funding support from the Board of County Commissioners, offers business counseling services to county businesses at the local office in Prince Frederick. Most services are free of charge. Whether you are just thinking about starting a business or would like to expand your current business, the SBDC can help guide you through the steps necessary to be successful.
To take advantage of this service, please contact the SBDC at 301-934-7583. For more information, please visit the SBDC website.
Information for Business Owners
Starting or expanding your business can be overwhelming. We have developed the Calvert County Business Resource Guide as a tool to assist new and expanding businesses throughout the county.
The Calvert County Health Department has developed a frequently asked questions list for building permit review to help individuals better understand and navigate their process.
Email or call for a printed copy of the guide and to learn more about how Calvert County can assist your business.
Reducing Turnaround Time
Fast Track Permitting is an economic development tool used to expedite projects through the development process while adhering to all established standards. Qualified projects receive accelerated reviews and the highest priority from county staff.
To qualify, projects must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, Town Center Master Plans and Calvert County Zoning Ordinance. Consideration will also be given to any ancillary or complementary industries that may accompany the project. Special preference is given to development projects within our targeted industries of defense contracting, information technology, tourism, energy, advanced manufacturing, medical services and administrative services.
Applicants receive points based on criteria such as job creation, targeted industries, capital investment and average annual salaries. Approved applicants must meet with the appropriate staff to discuss project scope and details prior to plan submission.
If the project is located within the Patuxent Business Park, the project must be consistent with the established Design and Usage Standards, qualify as a permissible commercial or industrial use in the Park and have a minimum of $1 million in new capital investment in real and tangible personal property.
To discuss the potential to fast track your project, call the Department of Economic Development at 410-535-4583 or complete the online Fast Track Permit Form (PDF).
Opportunity Zones are a part of a community and economic development program established by Congress as a part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are designed to encourage long-term private investment in low-income and/or rural communities. This program provides a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds, which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in Opportunity Zones.
The zones themselves are comprised of lower-income community census tracts and designated by governors in every state. Maryland has designated 149 Opportunity Zones across the state. Qualifying Zones are based on the 2011-2015 American Community Survey.
Calvert County Opportunity Zones
View a map of Calvert County Opportunity Zones here.
The Patuxent Business Park is located in a federally designated Opportunity Zone.
Opportunity Zones Incentives
The Opportunity Zones program offers investors the following incentives for putting their capital to work in these communities:
- Investors can roll existing capital gains into Opportunity Funds with no up-front tax bill.
- A 5-year holding increases the rolled-over capital gains basis by 10 percent; a 7-year holding increases the rolled-over capital gain investment basis by another 5 percent for a total of 15 percent.
- Investors can defer their original tax bill until Dec. 31, 2026, at the latest, or until they sell their Opportunity Fund investments, if earlier.
- Opportunity Fund investments held in the fund for at least 10 years are not taxed for capital gains.
The Department of Economic Development can assist in negotiating financing opportunities in your effort to locate your business in Calvert County. The department will help businesses determine which state or local financing alternative is most appropriate for your business, work confidentially with you to help clarify your needs and assist in preparing applications to state and federal agencies.
For more information about the state's economic development financing programs, please visit our state economic development partner, the Maryland Department of Commerce, for an array of state economic development incentive programs.
Help for Businesses Expanding or Relocating to Calvert
Calvert County currently offers the Economic Development Incentive Fund to companies looking to expand or locate in Calvert County. The fund, provided by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), is available to qualifying companies that can show significant economic impact within the county’s business community and can demonstrate that they are within the county’s specific target industries.
Rules and Regulations
The interested party should be able to demonstrate that they are establishing new operations or facilities within the county or plan to significantly expand existing operations. The company must also:
- Create 10 new full-time jobs or full-time equivalent jobs
- Make a capital investment of at least $1 million
- Remain in Calvert County for at least five years
Note: The request must be consistent with the county's Comprehensive Plan. The Incentive Fund is provided at the sole discretion of the BOCC. Terms and conditions vary.
Alternative Funding for Business Expansion
The Calvert Economic Development Loan Fund is a revolving loan that provides an alternative funding source for business expansion in Calvert County. The fund is designed to help fund new capital expansion projects, increase the commercial tax base and increase business and employment opportunities in Calvert County.
Rules & Regulations
Businesses may be eligible if:
- primary sales/activities are manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade and/or business services
- the business is a legal entity qualified to do business in the State of Maryland, and
- the business has a minimum 2-year operating history with a completed business plan.
Selected business start-ups may be eligible. Help in preparing a business plan is available.
The maximum loan request is limited to $100,000; the minimum loan request is $2,500. Loans considered desirable are those that are used to purchase fixed assets, equipment, inventory and finance contracts as well as loans to expand business in Calvert County. The fund may not be used for debt refinancing.
If you are interested in applying for the loan fund or have any questions, please email Kathy MacAdams, Business Retention Specialist.
Aid for New and Expanding Businesses
Calvert County offers new or expanding businesses a tax credit against county property taxes imposed on real property. Businesses must meet the criteria set forth in the ordinance.
Requirements & Restrictions
The amount of the credit shall not exceed 50 percent of the amount of the property tax due in any taxable year. If the expanding or new business is engaged in the generation of electricity, the credit may be granted against the county property tax imposed on personal property and real property owned by the new or expanding business.
Eligible businesses are new or expanding businesses that own the land, building and personal property or any party responsible for paying the real property taxes on all or part of the land or building.
In order to be eligible to receive the credit, the new or expanding business shall:
- Employ at least 25 new additional full-time employees in industries identified by the Board of County Commissioners as target market sector industries for the Department of Economic Development
- Provide individual compensation for the new full-time positions that shall be greater than the annual average salary in Calvert County for similar or equivalent positions in the industry
- Spend at least $2.5 million for land in Calvert County, improvements to land in Calvert County or equipment to be located in Calvert County
House Keys for Employees Program
Maryland's House Keys 4 Employees program provides the county's working population an additional opportunity for affordable home ownership. It is an employer partnership initiative that matches funds for closing costs and down payments for eligible employees to purchase a home.
Eligible employees are those who have not owned a principal residence in the last three years and meet specific eligibility requirements. Local match for private-sector and public-sector employees could total up to $5,000, equivalent to the state benefit/contribution.
The county government is also a participating employer in the program and provides matching funds for eligible county government and public school system employees.
For complete information, download our online tutorial (PDF).
Maryland Financial Incentives for Businesses
View all of the programs available, filter by program type, category or keywords.