When visiting local small businesses, I consistently hear that inflation and workforce remain the top concerns facing them as we head into fall and winter seasons. This anecdotal information is supported by data from the US Chamber of Commerce which shows that inflation is disproportionately hitting small business, which in turn, is negatively impacting confidence, hiring, and business investment. Business owners are expressing some optimism that interest rate increases by the Feds will temper inflation trends. Fortunately, Frederick’s economy remains strong with positive residential and job growth, along with a very diverse industry base and highly desirable quality of life which help temper national trends.
As if national economic trends are not enough, businesses can also face a multitude of other adversities – like fire, flood, and theft. None of us expect bad things to happen, but those that plan for disaster recovery can be a step ahead when lightning strikes. Unfortunately, several city businesses - Tiara Day, Record Exchange, Frederick Book Arts, and Potomac Tile and Carpet – have experienced fire related damage to their business and each is in different stages of recovery. Look for resources in this issue of Business eNews to assist in disaster planning and preparation.
In closing, let me highlight a recent $4.6 million Federal EDA Grant to Frederick’s tech incubator/accelerator for its new facility located here in the city at 321 Ballenger Center Drive. This federal grant along with investments by the City and County will make this new state-of-the-art facility a reality - a huge step forward for growing new startup tech companies here in Frederick! Kudos to our federal delegation, the FITCI team led by Kathie Callahan-Brady and the City of Frederick federal grants consultant Sustainable Strategies DC for a job well done.
Enjoy the cooler breezes as fall arrives.