Business Digest


December 21, 2008

Two more banks join U.S. 1 loan program

Provident Bank and Susquehanna Bank have joined the Route 1 Revitalization Loan Program.

"As the second bank to join the program this year, Provident Bank's involvement will help enhance U.S. Route 1 and make it a thriving economic corridor of Howard County," County Executive Ken Ulman said in a news release.

"Susquehanna Bank is the third bank to join the program this year, and its commitment will help greatly enhance U.S. Route 1 and make it a thriving business community," Ulman said.

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

Arlene Sullivan, Provident vice president and commercial banking relationship manager for Howard County, said: "We are an active supporter of Howard County businesses during good times and the challenging times that are now upon us. Our role will be to act as a trusted adviser and partner with those businesses who want to take Howard County to the next level on a rejuvenated Route 1 corridor." Provident has four branches in Howard County with plans to open a fifth next year.

Provident will also work with SBA 504 program and j-ref (Jim Rouse Entrepreneurial Fund) participants.

Barry Luciani, Susquehanna's senior vice president, said his bank is excited to participate in the program. "We look forward to the opportunity to assist Howard County business owners and improve the Route 1 community," he said.

Susquehanna has 28 branches in the Baltimore area, including three in Howard County.

Last month, the Howard County Economic Development Authority announced OBA Bank's participation in the program.

Twenty-four projects, totaling more than $25 million, have been approved for the Route 1 Revitalization Loan Program since its inception in 2002 through five participating banks: BB&T, Howard Bank, M&T Bank, PNC Bank and The Columbia Bank.

For information about the Route 1 Revitalization Loan Program and revitalization efforts, call the Howard County Economic Development Authority at 410-313-6500, or go to

Trusant Technologies in 'Fast 50' ranking

Trusant Technologies of Columbia has been ranked as one of the 50 strongest-growth firms in the government information technology market.

The annual Fast 50 list, compiled by Washington Technology magazine, recognizes the fastest-growing small businesses in the government market, according to a news release. The companies are ranked according to their five-year compound annual growth rates. Trusant's rate was 64.14 percent, which positioned the company on the list at No. 50.

"For small businesses in the government market, success hinges on their focus on core capabilities, an ability to form partnerships that deliver results, and an understanding of customers' problems and how to help solve them," said Trusant co-owner Joe DiGangi.

Trusant provides IT consulting and construction management for federal agencies such as the departments of Defense and Homeland Security and various intelligence agencies. The company is moving into other areas of government, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. courts, and is expanding nationally with an office in San Antonio.


Vintage Shoppes' window is winner

The Ellicott City Restoration Foundation has announced that the Vintage Shoppes at 8086 Main St. was chosen as the Judges' Choice winner in the annual window-decorating contest.

The winner was determined by a panel of judges from Howard County Tourism and Patuxent Publishing as well as Ellicott City's County Council representative, Courtney Watson. The winner will receive a quarter-page ad in the July-August issue of Maryland Life Magazine, courtesy of Howard County Tourism.

Still Life, 8173 Main St., and Country Crafters, 8080 Main St., were the runners-up.

A People's Choice award will be chosen by popular ballot. All retail businesses within the historic district are eligible to participate. Ballots are available at the Howard County Tourism Visitor Information Center, 8267 Main St., and can be cast until 3 p.m. Dec. 31. The winner will be announced Jan. 5 and will receive a quarter-page ad in the Ellicott City Visitors Guide.

This year's People's Choice ballot also serves as an entry form for a $75 gift certificate to the historic district's shop or restaurant of the voter's choice.

M&T Bank to install 22 ATMs at 9 malls

M&T Bank has announced it will install 22 automated teller machines in nine shopping malls in the region, including The Mall in Columbia, and become the exclusive ATM provider for these malls.

This marks the second major ATM expansion for M&T in the past two years after the 18 ATMs that were installed in January 2007 at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

M&T will provide ATMs at four Baltimore-area malls: Towson Town Center, White Marsh Mall, Owings Mills Mall and the Gallery at Harborplace. Other properties are in Delaware and Northern Virginia. The majority of the machines will be installed by early next year.


Business women: The Business Women's Network of Howard County will meet at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 21 for a lunchtime presentation from Doralee Billings of Small Office Solutions. Billings will discuss what a business owner can and can't expect from a bookkeeper. Learn how a bookkeeper can help reduce costs, improve cash flow, and provide information for tax planning and short- and long-range financial planning. BWN meetings for the 2008-2009 year are at That's Amore, 10400 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Lunch meeting admission for members is $30 with early registration; admission for guests and member walk-ins is $40.

Business Digest items may be sent to howard or faxed to 410-715-2816.

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