During the week of March 10-14, the Rockville, MD Mayor and Council joined Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) board members and staff, Rockville Chamber of Commerce board members and senior city staff to visit with the leadership of 51 diverse Rockville companies as part of the 9th annual Rockville “Business Appreciation Week.”
During a wrap-up breakfast held March 21 at The Glenview Mansion, many local business leaders mingled with many of the ambassadors who visited companies throughout the week and local elected officials, including Rockville City Council members Beryl Feinberg, Virginia Onley, and Julie Palakovich Carr.
Featured speaker, Kaplan University's Director of Business Development, Steve Shinham, stressed the importance of the link between education and economic development emphasizing that it takes a commitment to working together to make the relationship between the two successful. Mr. Shinham also noted that out of all their learning centers, Kaplan's Rockville location has experienced the fastest growth and has had tremendous success in placing graduates in jobs in the community.
There are over 8,600 businesses, ranging from small family-owned establishments to major corporations, located in Rockville. These businesses employ over 74,000 people. The greater Rockville business area includes over 25 million square feet of commercial office space, which is more than 33% of the total office space in Montgomery County. The Rockville business sector contributes $13.6 million, or about 42%, of the property taxes collected in Rockville.
Some of the industries visited by the 32 Rockville “ambassadors” included the Technology, Financial, Professional Services, Retail, Construction and Hospitality sectors. Of those businesses responding to REDI’s survey last week, 88 percent said a Rockville location enhances their business; 92 percent reported hiring at least one employee in the past year and 77 percent reported an increase in revenue. Of those surveyed, some companies expressed concerns such as uncertainty in Federal spending and the highly competitive market in this area.
“It was a very successful week full of visits and we got a lot of positive feedback from the companies we saw,” said Laurie Boyer, Director of Rockville Economic Development. She stated that overall, Rockville businesses appear to be on the uptick in terms of growth and profitability and companies have a positive outlook for the year ahead.To learn more about Rockville Economic Development, Inc., visit www.RockvilleREDI.org. To coordinate a visit with REDI officials throughout the year, contact 301-315-8096 or visit www.RockvilleREDI.org.