So you have that Big Idea for a new business. But what you need is the right place, the right advice, and the right people to help it take off. We've got your launch pad right here in Howard County.
You've finalized your business plan, turned on the phones, and printed up cards - now what? If you've launched a new business in Howard County, HCEDA has your back from day one forward.
Howard County is strategically located between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Howard County is easily accessible from Baltimore Washington International and given our central location along the Eastern seaboard we are a distance from Richmond, Philadelphia and New York City.
This is a dynamic time to diversify your farm, or add additional products, if it works for you. The demand for locally grown products and the movement to know the source of your food makes it a perfect time to grow and harvest different products, or begin producing products or offering services onsite.
The MCE incubator program, called the Innovation Catalyst (iCat) helps companies accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies.
Howard County offers farmers markets five days a week throughout the county. Farm fresh produce is much closer then you think.
"Buy local" has, over recent years, become part of the pop culture lexicon. But, in reality, it's more than the cool thing to do, buying local makes sense - for consumers who want and should know the source of their food - and for local farmers whose survival is dependent on community support.
On average, our food travels over 1,800 miles and spends five to seven days in a truck before it reaches our grocery stores. Buying local means the food we consume could be harvested in the morning and consumed tonight.
Providing Howard County citizens with the freshest, healthiest locally grown products has become a priority for many of our farms. Buying local supports Howard County farmers.
There are many advantages to buying produce produced by a local farm.
First, the fruits and vegetables you are receiving are fresher than anything that you are going to find in a store. Most store brought produce is picked 4-7 days before it arrives at the store to be sold. The produce that you buy locally will have needed less travel time and will end up being fresher and lasting you longer.
Second, it is much more environmentally friendly. Store bought produce travels an average of 1,500 miles before arriving at the store. A great deal of energy is consumed to transport these goods, and during that process many items will spoil or become damaged during the shipping. Local produce travels a shorter distance, consuming far less energy.
Lastly, it supports farmers and businesses right here in Howard County. Choosing to buy from a local farmer or farmer's market means that you are reinvesting your money in the Howard County farming community. This helps us to build a stronger community and stronger economic environment for the county.
With so many farms, produce stands, farm to table restaurants and farmers markets in the county, supporting Howard County Agriculture is easier then you think.
To learn more about where you can find locally grown produce please visit our Farm Search.To see a list of farmers markets with their locations and hours / seasons of operation, please visit our Farmers Market page.
Dining out tonight? Taste the difference that local produce makes. Find a Farm to Table Restaurant near you!
A resource to find out more information on State, Regional, and National loans and grants for farms.
Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Diversifying your farm's production is a great way to grow your business - and meet increasing consumer demand for fresh foods.
HCEDA is the catalyst for economic growth and sustainability in Howard County
Columbia/Ellicott City #8 on "America's Best Places to Live 2012" list.
Howard County was ranked the healthiest county in Maryland
Most Digital County Government – 2011
Best Workplaces for Commuters - 2011
Fast Company ranks Maryland No. 3 on its List of the Most Innovative States
Maryland Ranked No. 4 on Fast Company's Breakdown of the Number of Startups Per Million