Business Digest


December 04, 2008

APL is named Technology Company of the Year

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has been named the Howard Technology Council's first Technology Company of the Year.

The council, a component of the Howard County Economic Development Authority, encourages business growth and develops educational programs for the county's technology community.

APL Director Richard Roca accepted the award from Larry Collins, the council's executive director, during a ceremony on the laboratory's campus in Laurel. APL was among eight individuals and companies honored by the council for their innovative approaches and contributions to the economy and the Howard County community.

"APL is the premier technology generator in Howard County," Richard W. Story, chief executive officer of the Howard County Economic Development Authority, said during the award presentation. "It is a unique national treasure and intellectual powerhouse, and our community is greatly enhanced by its presence."

A nonprofit research and development division of the Johns Hopkins University, APL is Howard County's largest private employer, with more than 4,300 scientists, engineers and related staff members addressing some of the nation's toughest national security, space science and homeland protection challenges. The lab also promotes science and technology education through internships and school partnerships, as well as graduate-level engineering programs offered through the university.

"It's a privilege to be named the county's top technology company," Roca said. "APL has prospered for more than 50 years at our Howard County site, and we are grateful for the many advantages that come with working in such a vibrant environment."

OBA Bank joins program

OBA Bank has joined the Route 1 Revitalization Loan Program.

"Howard County welcomes OBA Bank's participation," said County Executive Ken Ulman. "Its involvement will help improve U.S. Route 1 and make it a thriving economic corridor of Howard County."

To revitalize and redevelop U.S. 1, the Howard County Economic Development Authority established the loan program to encourage businesses to improve building and site conditions. The program offers at or below market rate financing through participating banks based upon their lending criteria.

"OBA Bank's involvement presents a win-win situation for both the Route 1 corridor community and OBA Bank," said Charles E. Weller, the bank's president and chief executive officer.

The Howard County Economic Development Authority expects two more banks to join the program by the end of the year. Twenty-four projects, totaling more than $25 million, have been approved for the program since its inception in 2002 through five participating banks: BB&T, Howard Bank, M&T Bank, PNC Bank, and Columbia Bank.

Guidelines for revitalization loans include location and land-use criteria, redevelopment criteria and proposed building and site improvements that are encouraged as part of new development or redevelopment projects.

Information: 410-313-6500.

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