Businesses asked to give $1 million

March 01, 1995|By a Sun Staff Writer

Howard County's business community has been asked to give $1 million over the next five years to the county Economic Development Authority to promote local economic development, business and county officials said yesterday.

Organizers say the authority, a public-private partnership promoting economic development, would use the money to attract and retain medical, health-related and high-tech business and to expand county programs aimed at luring international businesses.

The authority would spend about $580,000 of the $1 million to attract new businesses to the county. It would spend another $375,000 to expand and retain existing businesses. The rest of the money would be spend on education programs.

None of the money would be spent on administrative costs of the economic development office.

About $400,000 of the goal already has been pledged in cash and contributions, such as employee time and equipment, said Richard Story, director of the authority. He hopes to have pledges for the $1 million wrapped up by the end of April. But those pledges will be collected during the next five years.

Donors to the effort will be allowed to suggest how they want their money used, said Marion Stalzer, a spokeswoman with the county economic development authority.

The authority plans to disclose a list of all donors after the pledge drive is complete, officials said. So far, all of the authority's board members have made pledges on behalf of their companies.

Among those companies are some of the county's most well known employers: The Rouse Company, Columbia's developer; The Columbia Bank, and The Ryland Group, the country's third largest homebuilder.

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