DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

FUNCTIONS


[photo, World Trade Center Baltimore, at Inner Harbor, 401 East Pratt St, Baltimore, Maryland] To stimulate the economy and generate jobs in Maryland, the Department of Commerce promotes biotechnology, attracts new businesses, encourages the expansion and retention of existing facilities, and provides financial assistance and training. The Department publicizes Maryland's attributes, and markets local products at home and abroad to stimulate economic development, international trade, and tourism. The Department also invests in the arts and promotes film production in Maryland.

In January 2009, the Department moved from Redwood Tower, 217 East Redwood St., to the World Trade Center Baltimore, at 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore.

World Trade Center Baltimore, at Inner Harbor, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland, November 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


In October 2015, the former Department of Business and Economic Development first was renamed the Department of Economic Competitiveness and Commerce (Chapter 141, Acts of 2015), and then, by Executive Order, the Department of Commerce (Executive Order 01.01.2015.22). At that time, the Maryland Economic Development Corporation became responsible for overseeing the Department's operations (Code Economic Development Article, sec. 2.5-202). In July 2016, by statute, the Department of Commerce adopted its present name (Chapter 338, Acts of 2016).

The Department's objectives are carried out by six divisions: Administration and Technology; Business and Industry Sector Development; International Investment and Trade; Marketing and Communications; Military Affairs; and Tourism, Film, and the Arts.

OFFICE OF SECRETARY

World Trade Center Baltimore, 9th floor, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

As the chief executive officer of the Department, the Secretary of Commerce sets policy, promulgates rules and regulations, and determines the strategies necessary to fulfill the Department's mandate. Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the Secretary is responsible for the budget of the Department, its boards, commissions, and offices. The Secretary is assisted by the Deputy Secretary who is appointed by the Secretary with the approval of the Governor.

The Secretary of Commerce serves on the Governor's Executive Council; the Governor's Subcabinet for International Affairs; and the Smart Growth Subcabinet; chairs the Advisory Council on the Impact of Regulations on Small Businesses; and co-chairs the Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Stakeholder Work Group. The Secretary also serves on the Executive Board, Regional Additive Manufacturing Partnership of Maryland; the Board of Directors of the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation; the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Board; the Animal Waste Technology Fund Advisory Committee; the Bainbridge Development Corporation; and the Maryland Workforce Corporation. The Secretary is a member of the Governor's Intergovernmental Commission for Agriculture; the Maryland Aviation Commission; the Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays; the Coast Smart Council; the Correctional Education Council; the Maryland Cybersecurity Council; the Task Force to Study Recording Deeds for Victims of Domestic Violence; the Interagency Disabilities Board; Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund Authority; the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority; the Maryland Economic Development Commission; the Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council; the Task Force on the Maryland Clean Energy Center; the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities; the Interagency Food Desert Advisory Committee; the Maryland Green Purchasing Committee; the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority; the State Highway Access Valuation Board; the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs; the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority; the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board; the Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness; the Maryland Military Installation Council; the Task Force to Investigate the Challenges of and Opportunities for Minorities in Business; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; the Council on Open Data; the Board of Directors, PenMar Development Corporation; the P-20 Leadership Council of Maryland; the Maryland Port Commission; the Renewable Fuels Incentive Board; the Rural Maryland Council; the Governor's Commission on Small Business; the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority; the State Center Executive Committee; the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission; the Board of Directors of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation; the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland; the Governor's Warrior to Worker Council; the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Council; the Governor's Workforce Development Board; and the Youth Apprenticeship Advisory Committee.

Reporting to the Secretary are the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund Authority, the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board, and the Advisory Council on the Impact of Regulations on Small Businesses.

MARYLAND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
The Maryland Economic Development Commission was formed first by the Governor and then by statute in 1995 (Executive Order 01.01.1995.04; Chapter 120, Acts of 1995). The Commission establishes economic development policy and, since October 2015, oversees the Department's operations, including its efforts to attract and retain businesses and jobs in Maryland (Chapter 141, Acts of 2015).

In December 1995, the Commission completed a strategic plan for economic development in the State. The plan, Strategic Directions for Increasing Maryland's Competitiveness, recommended to the Governor program and spending priorities to attract business to Maryland. A second report, Strategic Directions for Increasing Competitiveness of Maryland's Growth Industry Sectors, was submitted to the Governor in May 1997. Inactive since 2006, the Commission was revived in August 2009.

From the private sector, the Commission raises funds to supplement economic development programs and financial incentives to business. The Commission also advises the Secretary of Commerce on regulations for financing programs and on the allocation of financial incentives.

Appointed to three-year terms by the Governor, the Commission has no more than twenty-one voting members. The Secretary of Commerce is a nonvoting member. The Governor names the chair (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 2-202 through 2-207).


DEPUTY SECRETARY

The Deputy Secretary is responsible for three divisions: Business and Industry Sector Development; Marketing and Communications; and Tourism, Film, and the Arts. In addition, the Deputy Secretary oversees Internal Audits and two offices: Administration and Technology, and Policy and Research. The Deputy Secretary is aided by the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Fair Practices.

OFFICE OF POLICY & RESEARCH
World Trade Center Baltimore, 9th floor, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

The Office of Policy and Research began as Economic Development Policy in 1995. At that time, the Assistant Secretary for Economic Development Policy served as the Governor's Ombudsman. In 1998, Economic Development Policy was renamed the Office of Economic Policy and Legislation, and in October 2003, it reorganized as the Division of Economic Policy, Research, and Legislative Affairs. In September 2008, the Division's legislative function transferred to the Office of Business Relations, and the Division reformed as the Office of Policy and Research. In March 2009, it reorganized as the Office of Policy, Planning, and Research, and in May 2009 as the Office of Policy and Government Affairs. In July 2011, the Office transferred to the Division of Marketing and Communications, and in July 2012 it was placed under the Chief Operating Officer. The Office was renamed as the Office of Policy and Research and transferred to the Deputy Secretary in October 2015.

Progressive economic development policies for the State are developed, evaluated, and advocated by the Office. The Office advises the Secretary of Commerce on how changes in State and federal regulations effect Maryland's economy, and on the effectiveness of economic development policies and programs. To the Governor, the General Assembly, and the private technology sector, the Office serves as a liaison.

The Office oversees Policy and Government Affairs; and Research and Information Services.


DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION & TECHNOLOGY

World Trade Center, 10th floor, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

In 1987, the Division of Administration and Technology originated as the Division of Administration. It became the Division of Administration and Information Technology in July 1999, and was renamed the Office of Administrative Services in July 2000. In December 2003, it reorganized as the Office of Support Services, and in 2005 resumed its earlier name as Office of Administrative Services. With the addition of Information and Technology Management in July 2007, it reformed as the Division of Administration and Technology, as the Office of Administration and Technology in September 2008, and as the Division of Administration and Technology in October 2015.

The Division develops departmental budget proposals and projections, and advises Department agencies and senior program directors on fund accounts, personnel, and purchasing. Requests for proposals and contract awards are reviewed by the Division for compliance with State purchasing regulations. The Division also provides mailroom services, monitors the use of departmental motor vehicles, and maintains liaison with building management.

Under the Division are five units: Budget and Finance; Contracts and Procurement; General Services; Human Resources; and Information and Technology Management.

INFORMATION & TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT
Functions of Information and Technology Management first organized in 1987 as the Division of Administration and became the Division of Administration and Information Technology in July 1999. The Division reformed in July 2000 as two offices, one of which became the Office of Information Technology. In December 2003, the Office of Information Technology reorganized as the Office of Information and Technology Management, and moved under the Office of Support Services. In 2005, it reformed as a separate office under the Deputy Secretary. In July 2007, it moved to the Division of Administration and Technology.

Information and Technology Management provides systems development, data processing, and microcomputer support and services to the Department, and manages the Department's major information technology projects. Information technology policies and standards also are developed by Information and Technology Management.


[photo, World Trade Center Baltimore, 401 East Pratt St, Baltimore, Maryland]

DIVISION OF BUSINESS & INDUSTRY SECTOR DEVELOPMENT

World Trade Center Baltimore, 15th floor, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

The Division of Business and Industry Sector Development originated in 1959 when the Department of Economic Development was created to encourage businesses to locate in Maryland and to retain and expand existing enterprises (Chapter 185, Acts of 1959). These functions later devolved on the Division of Business Development. In 1995, the Division was renamed Division of Marketing and resumed its former name as the Division of Business Development in 1999. The Division reorganized in December 2003 into three regional components: Business Development-Baltimore Region; Business Development-Capital Region; and Business Development-Rural Region. In February 2007, Business Development-Rural Region was discontinued. In September 2008, Regional Development reformed as the Division of Economic Development, and in July 2009 as the Division of Business and Enterprise Development. In July 2015, it adopted its present name.

World Trade Center Baltimore, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland, July 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


By attracting new and expanding businesses, the Division of Business and Industry Sector Development helps create jobs and improve the State's economy. It assists domestic and international firms in finding attractive locations in Maryland, produces market data and economic studies, and promotes international trade opportunities to Maryland firms.

The Division oversees five offices: BioHealth and Life Sciences; Business Development; Cybersecurity and Aerospace; Finance Programs; and Strategic Industries and Entrepreneurship.

OFFICE OF BIOHEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES

The Office of BioHealth and Life Sciences formed within the Department of Commerce as the Office of BioHealth Technology in 2015. It reorganized under its present name in March 2016.

OFFICE OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

In July 2009, the Office of Business Development began its work of promoting Maryland as a site for new and existing business and industrial facilities.

The Office works through three offices: Business Attraction; Regional Growth and Retention; and Small Business Resources.

OFFICE OF SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCES
Functions of the Office of Small Business Resources started in 1993 when the Office of Regulatory and Environmental Assistance began to focus on the needs of small and minority businesses. Within the Division of Regional Development, the Office reorganized as the Governor's Office of Business Advocacy in January 1997. In 1999, the Office transferred to the Office of Secretary and, in December 2000 was renamed the Governor's Office of Business Advocacy and Small Business Assistance. In February 2007, the Office reorganized as the Division of Small Business. In September 2008, the Division became Small Business Development under the Office of Economic Development and, in July 2009, restructured as the Office of Small Business under the Office of Business Services. In July 2012, it reformed under its present name.

The Office of Small Business Resources facilitates communication between the business community and government, and provides a regional ombudsman service to Maryland businesses, guides them through the regulatory and permitting processes, and serves as a source of information about government for them. It works to enhance Maryland's business environment by reviewing proposed legislation and analyzing its impact on economic growth. By identifying any duplicative, excessive or cumbersome regulations at all levels of government, the Office removes obstacles for business. It also advocates for, advises, and assists small and minority-owned businesses. In addition, the Office provides staff support for the Governor's Commission on Small Business.

OFFICE OF CYBERSECURITY & AEROSPACE

OFFICE OF FINANCE PROGRAMS

World Trade Center Baltimore, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

In 1987, the Office of Finance Programs began as Financing Programs under the Department of Economic and Employment Development. It reformed as the Division of Financing Programs in 1995 under the Department of Business and Economic Development. In September 2008, it restructured as the Finance Team under the Office of Economic Development. In July 2009, it assumed its present name under the Division of Business and Enterprise Development.

The Office of Finance Programs is responsible for Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority, the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority, and the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority. The Office also directs and supervises certain State funds used as incentives or seed money for businesses in Maryland. These funds include the Economic Development Opportunities Program (Sunny Day) Fund; the Enterprise Fund (includes Challenge Investment Program); the Maryland Competitive Advantage Financing Fund; the Maryland Economic Adjustment Fund; and the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Fund. They enable the State to retain businesses and attract new ones; foster economic growth; create new jobs; support commercial and industrial redevelopment; and help small, minority and high technology businesses.

MARYLAND ECONOMIC ADJUSTMENT FUND
From the Maryland Economic Adjustment Fund, loans originally were made to companies in communities adversely affected by reductions in the budget of the U.S. Department of Defense. Beginning in July 2010, the Fund began to authorize loans to companies with fifty or fewer employees. These loans enable Maryland companies to modernize manufacturing operations, develop commercial applications for technology, or enter and compete in new economic markets (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 5-203 through 5-209).

MARYLAND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE AUTHORITY
Under Financing Programs (now Office of Finance Programs), the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority was authorized in 1999 (Chapter 301, Acts of 1999).

After Departmental review, the Authority evaluates requests for loans from the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Fund, determines which to approve, and sets the terms and conditions for loans. From the Fund, loans may be used only to finance costs incurred for acquisition or construction of a building or real estate; acquisition, construction, or installation of machinery, equipment, furnishings, fixtures, leasehold improvements, site improvements; or working capital. Loans are intended for projects with a strong potential for expanding or retaining employment in the State.

The Authority's financing is through loans and grants (including conditional loans and grants), and investments (only in conjunction with a loan or grant). These go to specific growth-industry sector businesses which locate or expand in a Priority Funding Area, or to a local jurisdiction on behalf of such a business. Priority Funding Areas include municipalities, land within the Washington, DC or Baltimore Beltways, areas already designated as enterprise zones, neighborhood revitalization areas, heritage areas, industrial land, or other areas where local government wants to encourage development and which meet other criteria.

The Authority consists of the nine members who also serve on the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority. Seven are appointed to three-year terms by the Governor, and two serve ex officio (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 5-305 through 5-307).

MARYLAND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT FINANCING AUTHORITY
In 1965, the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority was created (Chapter 714, Acts of 1965). Through consolidation in 2000, the Maryland Industrial Development Fund replaced the Day Care Loan Facilities Loan Guarantee Fund, the Maryland Enterprise Incentive Deposit Fund, and its own Authorized Purpose Fund and Bond Insurance Fund (Chapter 305, Acts of 2000).

The Authority insures conventional loans made by financial institutions. It also may insure a loan or other obligation, or pay or insure the payment of premiums or fees for insurance, guarantees, or other credit support from a third party. The Authority insures up to the lesser of either 80 percent (or 90 percent in the case of export financing) of the obligation, or $2.5 million.

To participate in programs of the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority, a company must qualify generally in each of three basic categories: legal eligibility, economic impact, and creditworthiness (Federal Internal Revenue Code, sec. 146). A company also must be in a Priority Funding Area.

The Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority has nine members. Formerly seven were named to five-year terms by the Secretary with the Governor's approval. Since 2005, those seven members are appointed by the Governor (Chapter 360, Acts of 2005). The Secretary of Commerce, and either the State Treasurer or Comptroller of Maryland (as designated by the Governor) serve ex officio. The Authority's nine members also serve on the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority. The Authority appoints the Executive Director who serves as the Authority's Secretary (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 5-401 through 5-420).

MARYLAND SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FINANCING AUTHORITY
The Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority began in 1978 (Chapter 879, Acts of 1978). Initially providing financial assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged persons who own small businesses within the State, the Authority's eligibility criteria was extended in 2001 to all small business owners who are unable to obtain adequate financing on reasonable terms through traditional financing methods.

Programs of the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority are unique. A major criterion for approval of Authority guarantees and loans is the economic impact resulting from the use of available funds. This impact is measured according to the projected number of jobs retained and created, and the projected amount of tax revenue generated from the use of these funds.

In 1992, the U.S. Congress allowed states to use public funds to establish specialized small business investment companies to serve disadvantaged business owners (P.L. 102-366). Two years later, the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Administration was authorized to organize itself into a private Maryland corporation that would be such a company (Chapter 691, Acts of 1994). Since 1994, funds under the Authority have been managed privately. The Department contracted with that privatized organization to administer programs for a period of three years and has had an option to renew the contract every two years.

The Authority has nine members. Seven are appointed to five-year terms by the Governor. The Secretary of Commerce and either the State Treasurer or Comptroller (as designated by the Governor) serve ex officio (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 5-501 through 5-514).

Under the Authority are four programs: Contract Financing; Equity Participation Investment; Long-Term Guaranty; and Surety Bonding.

Contract Financing Program. For eligible firms with government or public utility contracts, the Authority may guarantee a loan from a financial institution; it also may provide a direct loan for working capital and equipment. These guarantees or loans may be offered only to fulfill contracts on projects financed by federal, State or local government, or by a utility regulated by the Public Service Commission.

Equity Participation Investment Program. To encourage and assist the start up, development, and retention of Maryland-based franchises and technology businesses, owned and operated by persons socially or economically disadvantaged, this program was created in 1985. For all eligible firms, the Authority may invest up to 45 percent or $100,000 (whichever is less) of funds to start a franchise operation. The Authority also may invest up to 25 percent or $500,000 (whichever is less) of funds to acquire a profitable business. For these options, the Authority requires the initial investment to be recovered within seven years. The Authority also may invest up to $500,000 in technology-based businesses to be repaid in ten years.

Long-Term Guaranty Program. For all eligible firms, the Authority may guarantee and/or pay an interest rate subsidy on a long-term loan made by a financial institution. The loan may be used for working capital, acquisition and related installation of machinery and equipment, or needed improvements to real property owned by the applicant.

Surety Bonding Program. Since 1985, the Surety Bonding Program has helped eligible small businesses obtain bonds they need to fulfill contracts funded primarily by government agencies or public utilities. These may be bid, performance or payment bonds. The Program either guarantees a bond up to 90 percent or $5,000,000 (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 5-561 through 5-575).

OFFICE OF STRATEGIC INDUSTRIES & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Through reorganization in July 2012, the Office of Strategic Industries and Innovation was established under the Division of Business and Enterprise Development, now the Division of Business and Industry Sector Development. The Office reformed as the Office of Strategic Industries and Entrepreneurship in October 2015.

The Office oversees three units: Education and Innovation; Energy and Agribusiness; and Manufacturing. The Office is aided by the Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness.

ENERGY & AGRIBUSINESS
Under the Office of Strategic Industries and Entrepreneurship, Energy and Sustainability originally formed in October 2015. It reorganized under its present name in August 2016.


DIVISION OF INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT & TRADE

World Trade Center Baltimore, 7th floor, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

In 1988, the Division of International Investment and Trade was begun by the Department as the Office of International Business Development. Reorganized as the Office of Developing Markets in 1992, and as International Trade Development in 1995, it became the Trade Development Program in 1997 and the Trade Development Group in 1999. In December 2001, it restructured as the Office of International Trade, and in 2003 became International Business. Formerly under the Division of Business Development, it joined Technology Strategy and Business Development in December 2003. As International Operations, it reported to the Deputy Secretary until July 2007, when it transferred to Business Development as the Office of International Trade and Investment. In May 2008, the Office moved back under the Deputy Secretary as the Division of International Trade and Investment, and in September 2008, was placed under the Secretary. In March 2009, it reformed as the Office of International Investment and Trade, and in July 2009 moved to the Division of Business and Enterprise Development, now the Division of Business and Industry Sector Development. In October 2015, the Office was restructured as the Division of International Investment and Trade.

The Division of International Investment and Trade assists Maryland firms in exporting their products and services to international markets. It also helps these businesses effectively initiate or expand their overseas marketing (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 3-301 through 3-309).

To attract foreign businesses to Maryland, the Division maintains ties to trade representatives with offices in twelve countries: Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Montenegro, South Africa, Sweden, and Taiwan.


DIVISION OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

World Trade Center Baltimore, 7th floor, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

In 1991 , the Division of Marketing and Communications began as the Division of Business Resources. It reformed as the Division of Regional Development in 1995, reorganized as Technology Strategy and Business Development in December 2003, and emerged as Business Development in 2005. In September 2008, it restructured as the Division of Marketing and Business Development, and in May 2009 as the Division of Marketing and Communications.

The Division promotes Maryland's competitive business advantages through an aggressive outreach strategy, using social media, interactive web marketing, and traditional business research and information.

Under the Division are two offices: Marketing, and Public Affairs.

OFFICE OF MARKETING

To promote Maryland's primary industries, the Office of Marketing conducts advertising campaigns, coordinates promotional events, plans displays for trade shows and conferences, and produces brochures.

The Office oversees Digital Content, and Digital Marketing.

DIGITAL MARKETING
Digital Marketing began as Digital Engagement, and adopted its present name in 2015.

This unit develops and operates an interactive marketing program that includes websites and social media.

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

The Office of Public Affairs is responsible for Business News.

DIVISION OF MILITARY & FEDERAL AFFAIRS

World Trade Center, 15th floor, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

Certain functions of the Division of Military and Federal Affairs started as the Office of Technology Development in January 1989. That office reformed as the Technology Commercialization Program in 1993, as the Office of Federal Response and Technology Commercialization in 1995, and as the Office of Technology Support in March 1998. It became the Office of Military Affairs and Federal Facilities in 1999. Formerly under the Division of Regional Development, as Military Affairs, it moved to Technology Strategy and Business Development in December 2003. It then transferred to the Office of Secretary in March 2004. In September 2008, it became the Office of Federal and Military Affairs, and in March 2009 reformed as the Office of Military and Federal Affairs. In July 2009, it moved to the Division of Business and Enterprise Development, now the Division of Business and Industry Sector Development. In July 2012, the Office was renamed the Office of Military Affairs, and in October 2015, it reformed as the Division of Military and Federal Affairs.

To support technology businesses, the Division of Military and Federal Affairs coordinates and leverages resources in the public, private and academic sectors. It also serves as liaison to federal government agencies located in Maryland. In addition, it provides financial support and training grants to companies affected by federal budget cuts and relocations.

The Division develops business relationships between U.S. military bases, federal laboratories, and private companies in Maryland to implement strategies for creating and retaining jobs, and redeveloping abandoned military sites. To minimize the adverse impact of closures of military bases or federal facilities, it helps businesses diversify to reduce their dependence on the federal government.


[photo, Hooper Strait Lighthouse at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland]

DIVISION OF TOURISM, FILM, & THE ARTS

World Trade Center Baltimore, 14th floor, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

The Division of Tourism, Film, and the Arts began in 1948 as the Department of Information under the Hall of Records Commission. The Department became an independent agency in 1949. It reorganized in 1959 as the Tourist Development and Publicity Division within the Department of Economic Development. When the Department of Economic and Community Development formed, the Division was renamed the Tourism Division in 1970, the Division of Tourist Development by 1973, and the Tourist Development Office by 1981. By 1989, the Office reorganized as part of the Division of Tourism and Promotion. In July 1996, the Division was renamed the Division of Tourism, Film, and the Arts (Chapter 321, Acts of 1996; Code Economic Development Article, secs. 4-102).

Hooper Strait Lighthouse at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels (Talbot County), Maryland, August 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Maryland as a destination for domestic and international travelers is promoted by the Division. The Division also supports the performing, visual and creative arts, and promotes Maryland as a location for film and television production.

Under the Division are two units: the Maryland Film Office [Office of Film and Digital Media]; and the Office of Tourism Development. The Division also is aided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

MARYLAND FILM OFFICE
[OFFICE OF FILM & DIGITAL MEDIA]

World Trade Center Baltimore, 401 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

The Maryland Film Office was created in 1980 as the Motion Picture and Television Development Office (Chapter 5, Acts of 1980). It joined the Department of Economic and Employment Development in 1987 (Chapter 311, Acts of 1987). After being placed under the Maryland State Arts Council in 1992, the Office reformed as a separate entity in 1994 and became part of the Department of Business and Economic Development in 1995. It was renamed the Maryland Film Office in 1997 (Chapter 49, Acts of 1997; Code Economic Development Article, secs. 4-301 through 4-305). Since 2010, it has been called the Office of Film and Digital Media.

For film and video production, the Office promotes Maryland's diverse locations. For feature films, and television programs and commercials, it works to provide facilities throughout the State. The Office helps with location scouting, permits, casting, film crew housing, catering, and equipment rental. It also prepares and distributes materials highlighting desirable film locations in the State. To bring more movie business to Maryland, the Office maintained a satellite office in Los Angeles from July 2000 to July 2007.

The Office has assisted in the production of many Maryland films.

OFFICE OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

The Office of Tourism Development had formed as the Tourist Development Office by 1981 and reorganized within the Division of Tourism, Film, and the Arts under its present name in 1996. Tourism is Maryland's fourth largest industry, and has an economic impact on Maryland by creating jobs, generating tax revenue, and increasing business income. In 2014, some 38.2 million visitors came to Maryland, six percent more than in 2013, when they spent an estimated $15.4 billion, and generated about 138,600 jobs and $587.9 million in State and local tax revenue.

To increase tourism, the Office of Tourism Development showcases Maryland's unique recreational, historical and cultural attractions. The Office promotes Maryland as a travel destination for domestic and international tourists. It publicizes major events and advises travel agents, tour operators, writers, and the Maryland travel industry about attractions, services, and facilities.

Free publications describing Maryland tourist attractions, accommodations, historic sites, State parks, camping facilities, and recreational opportunities are updated annually. These publications include Destination Maryland (travel and outdoor guide), Maryland Calendar of Events, and an official Maryland State highway map. Further, the Office publishes two newsletters: This Month in Maryland (monthly) and MARYLAND Insights (bi-weekly). The Office also works with travel and outdoor writers to provide tours of Maryland, research and information, and promotional photographs.

In addition to answering e-mail, mail and phone inquiries, the Office runs five highway information centers, two each on I-95 and I-70, and one on Highway 15 near Emmitsburg. Additionally, the Sideling Hill Center in Western Maryland reopened in October 2015 as a gateway to Western Maryland. The Office's matching funds and cooperative marketing programs strengthen and support county and regional travel promotion councils as well.

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