Howard County EDA to Receive Inaugural MEDA Transformative Excellence Award
April 11, 2017
The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) has awarded the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) its inaugural Transformative Excellence Award for their response to the Ellicott City flood.
MEDA created the Transformative Excellence Award to recognize the role economic development plays in crisis management and to showcase standout practices exhibited throughout the year.
The HCEDA received recognition for the over 5,000 hours of work dedicated to the recovery of Historic Ellicott City’s business district. The organization helped 75 businesses to reopen and restore the workplace of more than 450 people.
“The Howard County Economic Development Authority’s work after the flood was a unique representation of the transformative challenges economic developers tackle in communities that are faced with adverse situations,” said MEDA Executive Director Pamela J. Ruff. “Their efforts inspired MEDA to unveil the first-ever Transformative Excellence Award during the 2017 awards season”
In the wake of the July 2016 floods, many businesses owners in Historic Ellicott City were cut off from their establishments as emergency responders worked to clear the damage. The HCEDA served as a vital liaison between enterprises and county departments to expedite their return to operation. The HCEDA worked with owners to assist them in gaining access to facilities, navigating the permits and licensing process, and locating external real estate for temporary or permanent relocation.
Many companies also required financial assistance to cover damages and rebuilding efforts. The HCEDA employed its Catalyst Loan Fund program to help a handful of affected businesses get back on their feet.
“The work of our Economic Development Authority team has been absolutely critical in Ellicott City’s recovery. Their efforts have been transformative,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “This organization is heavily invested in helping the Howard County business community. They are as motivated in helping small shop owners along Main Street as they are in helping major employers and large firms.”
The HCEDA will receive its award at the 2017 MEDA Annual Conference on May 1 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland.
“When we were called upon to respond, the staff was fully committed to help the business owners recover and rebuild,” said Lawrence Twele, Chief Executive Officer of the HCEDA. “It was another way to show how economic development can impact the community.”