City, 5 counties to recruit firms on regional basis $250,000 allotted for joint marketing

September 22, 1993|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

Baltimore and the surrounding counties will join forces in a $250,000 campaign to market the Baltimore region as a corporate location for national and international companies, a coalition of political leaders organized by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council said yesterday.

The effort is designed to help Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Carroll and Howard counties work together to lure companies and jobs to central Maryland, rather than fight each other over which jurisdiction will land a company that decides to open a facility in the region.

"There really hasn't been a regional economic development organization in Baltimore for many years," said Charles Krautler, executive director of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, a nonprofit corporation that helps coordinate joint efforts of regional county executives and Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

The council is kicking in $50,000 of the initial $250,000 annual budget for the Greater Baltimore Development Alliance.

The Greater Baltimore Committee is contributing another $50,000, Mr. Krautler said.

But the biggest check is coming from the Jacob and Annita France and Robert G. and Anne M. Merrick foundations. The groups will contribute a $125,000 grant that marks a departure for the foundations, which focus their giving on education, health and human services, civic and cultural activities and conservation initiatives.

"We think [there is] a social benefit of job creation," said Walter D. Pinkard Jr., who represented both foundations at yesterday's conference, held in the warehouse adjacent to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Anne Arundel County Executive Robert R. Neall said the alliance should focus on specific industries to get the best results. He mentioned life sciences, high-technology manufacturing and distribution facilities as examples.

Mr. Krautler said the Greater Baltimore Development Alliance will use its limited resources to "influence the influencers" by focusing direct-mail and other marketing efforts on relocation consultants, national commercial real estate firms and other business people who work with client companies planning expansion.

The alliance has already hired former Baltimore Development Corp. President David Gillece as a consultant to work with companies after they express interest in expanding to Baltimore, Mr. Krautler added.

Mr. Krautler said the effort should be judged a success or failure in two years based on the number of new companies expanding in the area, new investments made by out-of-state firms, the number of stories placed in national media and the number of inquiries from companies who first become interested in Baltimore after they or consultants advising them are contacted by the alliance.

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