November 2018 Issue
Your DBD Team is on the MOVE!
Over the past month our team has been out networking with prospects, industry leaders and colleagues at various conferences, boot camps, training sessions, and industry expos. By attending and presenting at these events, we are learning how to make Washington County the premier location to live, work and play. The Business Development team is committed to helping our business community succeed and attract new businesses to Washington County, and we are excited to share our findings with you in this issue of  “Taking Care of Business”

As the holiday season approaches, we encourage you to Shop Small! Avoid the holiday crowds by shopping at the 2018 Premium Outlets Holiday Farmers and Artisan Market. Did you know that approximately 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business remains in the local community? And for every one dollar spent at a local business, it generates an additional 50 cents in local business activity. Shop small, spend local.

By Shopping Small you:
  • Support local jobs
  • Encourage a sense community
  • Invest in entrepreneurship
  • Celebrate our communities’ uniqueness
  • Keep more money in our local economy
  • Make our community a destination
Business Spotlight
2018 Washington County Farm of the Year
STAR Equestrian Center is a 30-acre horse farm that also serves as a therapeutic riding center and therapeutic farm. This year marks STAR Community’s 20-year celebration of doing business in Washington County. “This is a great honor to the staff at STAR for all of the hard work that goes into keeping our equine herd healthy, for keeping our farm beautiful and well maintained, for the dedication to the Washington County public for the past 20 years, serving folks with disabilities and those who join us without disabilities as well.” Congratulations STAR Equestrian Center for your dedication to connecting horses to humans and repairing the mind, body and soul!
Tax Reform for Farmers & Ranchers
Some recent changes brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (commonly referred to as tax reform) will affect farmers and ranchers. Tax Reform Tax Tips are posted on

A few highlights include:
  • Net operating losses can now be carried forward indefinitely.
  • Taxpayers other than corporations may be entitled to a deduction of up to 20 percent of their qualified business income.
  • More farm corporations and partnerships (average gross receipts of $25 million or less) can now use the cash basis of accounting for tax purposes.
  • TT-2018-168: Newly revised publication helps taxpayers understand changes to backup withholding
  • TT-2018-169: Here’s how tax reform affects farmers and ranchers
  • TT-2018-170: Tax reform changes to depreciation deduction affect farmers’ bottom line
Additional Resources: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: A comparison for businesses:
Centralized webpage:
Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary!
The Barbara Ingram Foundation kicked off its 10-year anniversary for Barbara Ingram School for the Arts (BISFA) earlier this year. The school serves as an economic driver in Washington County and is an invaluable asset to downtown Hagerstown’s Arts and Entertainment district. BISFA opened its doors in September 2009 with 83 students. Ten years later, BISFA welcomed over 300 students for the 2018-2019 school year! To celebrate this momentous occasion, the Foundation has selected 10 events to highlight. Several events have already taken place, but here is a list of what remains for this school year: 
  • Creative Writers presentation of True Lies, November 28 
  • Holiday Spectacular, December 20 and 21
  • Instrumental Pre-Festival Concert, March 5
  • Mama Mia the Musical, April 5,6,7 and 12,13,14 at The Maryland Theatre
  • The Gala Performance (which will include current and alumni BISFA students) for two performances on May 25th at The Maryland Theatre
To learn more about BISFA or upcoming events, please visit or contact Mimi Dickinson at or 240-347-4934.
Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination
The annual Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination event is less than one month away! Mark your calendars for Sunday, December 1, 2018. Volunteers place 23,110 luminaries for visitors to view by automobile from 6PM to midnight.

Economic Development Events
ACT Work Ready Communities
ACT Work Ready Communities empowers states, regions and counties with data, processes and tools that drive economic growth. Participants are leveraging the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate to measure and close the skills gap – and building common frameworks that link, align and match their workforce development efforts. Dr. James Klauber, president of Hagerstown Community College, introduced the WorkKeys programs to Washington County shortly after his appointment to President in June 2018. Representatives from Washington County traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas to attend and participate in the ACT Work Ready Communities Boot Camp.
Opportunity Zones Program Workshop
In partnership with the City of Hagerstown Department of Community & Economic Development, we recently hosted a local workshop to share information about the new Opportunity Zone program.  Frank Dickson, who serves as the Director of Strategic Business Initiatives in the Office of The Secretary for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, presented this new information to the group. Representatives from financial service and investment industry, developers and brokers, and overall economic development joined us for conversation as we begin navigating this new federal incentive program.

Workforce Development Summit
Local, regional, and state workforce development partners shared information on programs and services to attract, train, and retain workforce. To commence the half day event, Director of the Department of Business Development, Susan Small, delivered a keynote address about assistance the DBD can provide to businesses. Several different workforce development agencies and partners also delivered presentations to their peers and fellow employers to learn more about local workforce development opportunities. Following the presentations, organizations were available to meet one-on-one to provide more detailed information. Each employer received a resource guide detailing the programs/ services and contact information. This summit was planned to enhance the awareness of resources   available, as well as foster relationships with the business community for successful partnerships. Contact Angie Detrick for more information.
Call for Nominees! - Maryland Economic Development Association Awards
If your team has worked on a project or program that has made a significant impact on your community, we encourage you to submit a nomination for a MEDA Award! This is your chance to illuminate your work and elevate your organization. The Awards, sponsored by Miles & Stockbridge P.C., recognize the people, programs, and projects bringing economic prosperity to Maryland. If there is an individual, community, or business initiative that has created jobs and renewed spirit in your hometown, then you should consider nominating for a 2019 MEDA Award. 

If you would like to learn a little more about each award category, click on the links below.

The deadline for submission is December 7, 2018. If you have questions, please contact Sandy Sponaugle .