The COVID pandemic has changed many aspects of doing businesses across the globe, with many companies moving to virtual meetings and events and enabling numerous employees to telework. And in a time when workers can do their job from most anywhere, Maryland is well positioned to benefit from this growing trend.
Offering an outstanding quality of life, a strategic location, and significant upgrades in broadband service across the state, Maryland is making it easy to achieve the work-life balance.
Across just 10,460 square miles of land and water, you can find just about any kind of natural feature in Maryland – a key reason why the state is known as “America in Miniature.” Maryland’s variety of landscapes – mountains and beaches, big cities and small towns, suburbs and farms – offer diverse options for living well across five regions.
In Central Maryland, anchored by the state’s largest city, Baltimore, there are charming ethnic neighborhoods, an outstanding culinary scene, and many of the state’s largest businesses and start-ups. In the state’s historic capital of Annapolis, waterfront activities abound, including boating and sailing, kayaking, as well as excellent fishing and crabbing.
Some of the nation’s most desirable and sophisticated neighborhoods lie just outside Washington, D.C., in the state’s Capital region, which hosts many of Maryland’s life sciences companies as well as dozens of federal facilities and military bases. The City of Frederick is the second largest city and the surrounding Frederick County, is located in both the Appalachian Mountain and Piedmont Plateau regions and has a wealth of Civil War history.
In Western Maryland, forested mountains and rushing streams invite hunting and fishing, hiking and biking, and help support the state’s forest products industry. The area is home to the beautiful Deep Creek Lake as well as Maryland’s only ski resort and also has a strong agricultural economy where apples, peaches, maple syrup and honey are abundant. Washington County is home to the intersection of I-70 and I-81 and is a booming logistics and manufacturing hub.
Rich coastal farmland and quiet, quaint small towns and fishing villages dot Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Dorchester County is the birthplace of famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman and home to The Underground Railroad: Harriet Tubman Museum and Gift Shop. Also in Dorchester County is the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, an important resting and feeding area for wild geese, osprey, swans, owls, muskrats, rare Delmarva fox squirrels and bald eagles. Kent County offers excellent access to the Chesapeake Bay and all of the resources it provides. And, of course, one of the state’s top destinations is Ocean City, a family-friendly resort town welcoming millions of visitors each year.
Long known for its proud maritime heritage and prized seafood, Southern Maryland is an affordable Washington, D.C. suburb. The region is home to a number of top aerospace and defense companies, as well as the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, the U.S. Navy’s premiere site for military aviation testing.
The state’s five regions boast an excellent infrastructure, both in transportation and more recently, a significant upgrade in broadband access statewide.
Under the leadership of Governor Larry Hogan, the state recently announced the launch of Connect Maryland, a transformative new initiative to supercharge the State of Maryland’s broadband investment with a total new investment of $400 million to fully address the digital divide.
“The State of Maryland has set an ambitious goal of ensuring universal broadband to everyone in every single corner of the state by no later than 2025, and Connect Maryland is the game-changing initiative that is going to get us there,” said Governor Hogan. “This is just one more shining example that we aren’t just committed to fully recovering from the pandemic, but we are committed to coming back even stronger and better than ever before.”
In fact, CNBC named Maryland the overall most-improved state in CNBC’s 2021 America’s Top States for Business. The state has one of the most reliable power grids in the country, according to Department of Energy data. Maryland’s electric utilities announced a plan in 2021 to join forces to build a “smart grid” throughout the state, using automation to make the grid even more reliable as well as more efficient.
These upgrades also come with improvements in the state’s transportation infrastructure and the ability to reach one-third of the U.S. population within an overnight drive. A safe, efficient network of roadways connects Maryland businesses with customers and workers near and far through five major interstates (I-95, I-70, I-68, I-83, and I-81), which crisscross the state, carrying cargo and commuters.
The Port of Baltimore is one of America’s most efficient and capable deepwater ports. It is the largest automobile handler, tops in container berth productivity and the leading Roll On/Roll Off port in the country.
Maryland businesses are also well served by railroads. Two Class I carriers, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway, provide modern, high-tech freight rail connections to the U.S. interior, Canada and Mexico. Every year, millions of Marylanders get to work aboard Amtrak and Maryland’s own MARC trains. In Suburban Maryland, Metrorail trains stop at more than two dozen stations to connect people and businesses to the nation’s capital.
Just outside Baltimore and only about 30 miles from Washington, D.C., Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport serves passengers from around Maryland and neighboring states. It’s also a significant cargo hub, with a Foreign Trade Zone and over 400,000 square feet of cargo space.
Combine all these assets with top-ranked K-12 schools and higher education institutions and outstanding healthcare resources, Maryland is one of the most desirable places to live, work and do business.
In fact, data from the 2020 U.S. Census shows that Maryland is the 23rd-fastest growing state, with a seven percent increase in population since the 2010 Census. Since then, the state grew from 5.77 million to nearly 6.18 million people, an increase of 403,672 over the decade. This Census data, which includes household size and income levels, helps local businesses understand their customer base and adjust pricing strategies. It can also help companies select an ideal location, leading to more economic development projects throughout the region. Additionally, census information impacts funding for education, workforce development training and transportation infrastructure—all things that impact careers, as well as communities, throughout the state.