How do you find Carroll County?
"Go to Baltimore and take a left," says a new economic development brochure aimed at attracting businesses to the county.
The directions aren't meant to be taken too literally, said Eileen S. Fisher, marketing manager for the county Department of Economic and Community Development.
They're meant to use humor to catch theeye of real estate brokers, bankers, economic development officials and others across the country who will receive the brochure, she said.
"Carroll County, Maryland's biggest challenge is where in the heck are we," Fisher told members of the county's Economic Development Commission Wednesday.
The county needs to spread the word about its strengths, she said. Carroll is close to Baltimore and Washington, yet far
enough away that land costs less, she said.
Carroll also has a "wonderful" work force that employers say is loyal, Fisher said. The education system also earns high marks, and the quality of life is good, she said.
Three separate brochures, which will includecolor photos of the area and some of its major employers, will be mailed as a series. Each will include a response card that will enable more information to be requested, Fisher said.
So far this year, 19 companies have expressed an interest in locating or expanding in the county, said William E. Jenne, county business development manager.
Sixteen of the companies are considered "prospects" -- companies that definitely need more space and like what they see in Carroll -- and three already have a facility in the county, he said.
The county does not release the names of companies interested in moving to Carroll.
Other companies have contacted the county for more information and are considered "suspects" because the county isn't sure how serious they are about locating here, Jenne said.
Most companies interested in Carroll need manufacturing or distribution space, which is in short supply in the county, he said.
Of the 19 companies thathave contacted the county in 1991, seven needed manufacturing space and four needed distribution space, Jenne said.
One needed 70,000 square feet for a storage and distribution operation, he said. About 70,000 square feet is available at the Kessler Shoe Manufacturing Co.on Shaeffer Avenue in Westminster, but that wasn't suitable, he said.
A metal fabrication business wanted to lease 100,000 square feet, but also could not find anything suitable, Jenne said.
More space should be available soon. In Eldersburg, Merritt, a Baltimore-basedreal estate developer, is building an industrial park with about 700,000 square feet, and Avondale Development Co. has plans to build a 90,000-square-foot warehouse on New Windsor Road outside Westminster once it finds a tenant, Jenne said.
Also interested in Carroll thisyear were companies needing space for construction offices, a storage yard, a biotechnology facility, recycling center, professional offices or services and one speculative developer, Jenne said.
The number of companies and the types of companies interested in locating inCarroll are comparable to those expressing interest at this time last year, he said.
Activity usually picks up at the end of April andthrough the summer when the weather is better, Jenne added.