Ah, the end of summer. The time when phone calls start being returned promptly, when everyone works on Friday, when new deals get done.
Well, that's not exactly how it will go in Montgomery County. This summer, phone calls were returned and deals were done. No summer lull here. More than 40 companies either expanded or decided to relocate in the county this summer, economic officials said.
Some 1,800 additional jobs were created and 780,000 square feet of space leased.
"There was no time for a lull," said David Edgerly, director of economic development. "Businesses are reinvesting, the real estate market is strong, and deals are moving along."
The new or expanded companies reach across several industries: They include financial institutions, nonprofits, telecommunications companies, government contractors and, of course, biotechnology firms.
The companies that expanded or located officers here include: Startec Global Communications, a Canadian provider of voice and data services and Internet access; CIS Global, an information technology firm; and Macrogenics, a biotech firm working on treatments for cancer and autoimmune disorders.
The county divvied up $500,000 in an economic incentive package to seven of the 40 companies, with the highest award -- $200,000 -- going toward the expansion of WorldSpace Inc., a Silver Spring satellite-radio company.
Award for the Most Awards
Here's a new game: How many Entrepreneur of the Year awards can Brian Hendricks possibly rack up? Close readers of this column will recall that Hendricks is the 16-year-old Potomac boy who founded, at age 13, StartUpPC, a company that fixes computers on-site and also builds customized machines from scratch.
Earlier this summer, Hendricks brought home -- to his family's home, which doubles as the firm's headquarters -- awards from Ernst & Young and the Washington regional office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Now he's won the National Student Entrepreneur of the Year award from JA Worldwide, an organization that educates young people about business, economics and entrepreneurship.
So that's three awards. Stay tuned for more. The only question: How many more?
Rockville Gets High Ratings
Good news for Rockville's efforts to sell bonds to finance the $29.7 million construction of parking garages for the redeveloped Town Center: Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's recently assigned the city high credit ratings.
Moody's rated the city Aa1; Standard and Poor's rated it AA+.
"The rating reflects the City's substantial and growing tax base, solid financial performance and manageable debt position," the assessment from Moody's said. "Moody's expects that the city's substantial $7.6 billion tax base will continue to expand, given its location in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, robust development activity and appreciation of existing properties."
Proxy Aviation's New Director
Proxy Aviation Systems Inc., which is developing unmanned aircraft for the federal government, has appointed Francis "Buzz" Raborn to its board of directors.
Raborn was formerly the chief financial officer of United Defense Industries, which is now part of BAE Systems.
The Germantown company said Raborn's extensive financial management experience in the defense industry would help the firm. He was also previously a U.S. Air Force pilot.
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