March 31, 2015
10th Annual BAW a Success!
During the week of March 9-13, Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) board members and staff were joined by the City’s Mayor, Council and Senior Staff and Rockville Chamber of Commerce board members in visiting the leadership of 50 diverse Rockville companies representing more than 1,700 employees as part of the 10th annual Rockville “Business Appreciation Week.”
During a wrap-up breakfast held March 20 at the Best Western Plus Hotel & Suites in Rockville, many local business leaders mingled with many of the ambassadors who visited companies throughout the week and local elected officials, including Rockville City Council member Virginia Onley.
”It’s always nice to show our appreciation and let businesses know how important they are, that we want them to stay in Rockville, and thrive in Rockville”, said Council member Onley.
There are over 8,600 businesses, ranging from small family-owned establishments to major corporations, located in Rockville. These businesses employ over 75,000 people. The greater Rockville business area includes over 23 million square feet of commercial office space, including office, industrial, flex and retail space, which is more than 20 percent of the total commercial space in Montgomery County. The Rockville business sector contributes $16.4 million, or about 40 percent, of the property taxes collected in Rockville.
Some of the industries visited by the 43 Rockville “ambassadors” included the Life Sciences, Technology, Financial, Professional Services, Insurance, Retail/Restaurant, Construction and Hospitality sectors. The businesses ranged from businesses founded 90 years ago to startups created last year. Of those businesses responding to REDI’s survey last week, 75 percent said a Rockville location enhances their business; 34 percent reported hiring at least one employee in the past year and 72 percent reported an increase in revenue. Of those surveyed, many companies cited quality workforce, available public transportation, and name recognition of the City as some of the top reasons why they continue to choose Rockville for their business.
“The great news is that, of the firms we visited, over 70% plan to expand programs or services this year, and nearly 20% plan to hire additional staff,” said Laurie Boyer, Executive Director of Rockville Economic Development. She stated that overall the biggest challenge for local firms is getting the word out about their product or service, and REDI can help with that through social media, blog postings, and e-newsletters.