Let me tell you a little bit about the great State of Maryland...

It's not just my home, it's home to the Port of Baltimore which imports over 10 million tons of cargo a year.

Maryland, my Maryland—Why you should choose it, too

Blog post by Larry Richardson

Larry Richardson is the vice president of government affairs at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. He is an attorney who brings over 25 years of lobbying experience to the Chamber where he advocates on behalf of the Maryland business community to grow jobs and reduce regulations.


Who’s the best?

It’s a question that can be asked in just about any format…sports teams, restaurants, vacation spots, cars—you name it. Try it. Answers will normally result in heavy debate.

I recently participated in a discussion with a colleague from the great State of Delaware (at least that is how he always refers to the home of his fighting blue hens) involving that very question. While the talk was good-natured, it did get me thinking – which geographic location IS the best choice for a company to do business in – Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or the free state (that’s Maryland’s nickname, in case you didn’t know)?

Here is what I found out:

Location, location, location

Maryland sits at the heart of the eastern seaboard’s commercial corridor, within an overnight drive of one-third of the United State’s population. Maryland’s ports, roads, rail and air combine for some of the most comprehensive and efficient infrastructure system for the transportation of goods in the area.

Maryland’s ports are the closest inland port to the midwest markets, allowing for a cheaper, more cost-effective means of inland shipment to those markets. The port leads the country in “roll on, roll off” shipping, and leads the nation in container berth productivity. In 2017, the port handled 10.7 million tons of cargo.

A series of interstate roadways – I-95, I-70, I-68, I-83 and I-81 intersect the state, providing quick movement of goods and materials.

Both CSX and Norfolk Southern service businesses, and the ports, with high-tech freight rail connections.   Amtrak provides high-speed service up and down the east coast—especially to New York and Washington DC. Maryland’s local rail service, MARC, also provides commuter rail service to and from Washington DC and it’s cheaper than Virginia’s VRE rail service!

Baltimore Washington International-Marshall Airport serves as a major hub for Southwest Airlines and boasts a foreign trade zone and over 400,000 square feet of cargo space. In 2012, Travel + Leisure rated BWI the sixth best airport in the U.S. (Philadelphia and Washington Dulles, it should be noted, were rated third and seventh from the worst).

Hitting the books

Maryland has consistently evidenced one of the best overall education programs, both pre-K through 12thgrade and higher education, in the nation. US News and World Report’s “Best States 2018” ranked Maryland as 11th in the nation (well above Delaware (ranking 18th), Virginia (20th), and Pennsylvania (38th). Thanks to the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, UMBC, and the other 38 four-year and 16 two-year educational institutions, the old line state (that’s Maryland’s other nickname), provide that businesses have a steady and highly-educated stream of talent to choose from.

State of innovation

Maryland outpaces its neighbors in innovation. In a recently-completed study on innovation and technology, financial research entity Wallet Hub referred to innovation as a “principal driver of U. S. economic growth”. In that study, Maryland was ranked fourth in the listing of “most innovative states” in the nation; Virginia was seventh, Delaware was ninth, and Pennsylvania was 26th. What was even more impressive was that Maryland was in the top five for:

Maryland has more “top five” rankings than all our neighbors!

Don’t worry, be happy

Who doesn’t want to work in a place where they are happy? Well, compared to our neighbors to the north and south, you definitely want to work in Maryland! According to the U.S. News study, Marylanders were the 11th happiest folks in the country. Virginians was almost as happy at 12th; Pennsylvanians were somewhat pleasant at 23rd; and Delawarians were downright grumpy at 35th!

I could go on and on about happiness, but I think you can see the writing on the wall.

In the aforementioned US News and World Report’s “Best States 2018”, Maryland overall was ranked the 13th best state in 2018 (Delaware was 18th; Virginia was 20th; and Pennsylvania was 38th)!

So, the next time you get asked the question, “Why is Maryland a better place to start or relocate a business than the surrounding jurisdictions?”

Simply top off your argument the same way that you would a blue crab…

“We are the home of McCormick’s Old Bay seasoning!” Case closed!





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