Meeting Information

Meeting Notice: The Senator George C. Edwards Fund Board

The next meeting of the Senator George Edwards Fund Board will be on Monday, April 8th at 2:00pm. Members of the public may observe the open session portion of the meeting by calling in with these credentials:

(484) 546-8127 PIN: ‪170 454 647#


Agendas and Minutes
June 10, 2024:
May 13, 2024:
April 8, 2024:
March 11, 2024:
February 12, 2024:
January 8, 2024:
December 11, 2023:
November 13, 2023:
October 30, 2023:
October 16, 2023:

In the 2022 Legislative Session, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 474, sponsored by Senators George Edwards, Paul Corderman and Katie Hester to catalyze economic development in Western MD. The legislation called for the creation of the Senator George C. Edwards Fund and established the Western Maryland Economic Future Investment Board to review, evaluate and rate applications for funding from the program.

It also made this program a part of the Tri-County Council of Western Maryland, which staffs the board and administers the fund.

In the 2023 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 865 and House Bill 768 called for a larger board with fewer voting members and allowed for the hiring of an Executive Director. The present board makeup is described in The Board section below.

Background

Program Information

The Board will seek projects that make a substantial economic impact, bringing significant employment opportunities and/or increasing the tax base in Western Maryland.

There are two categories of funding. Money in the fund can only be used to award grants and provide loans to capital infrastructure projects and business development projects to improve the economic conditions in the region.

Infrastructure Funding

  • Used in the traditional sense of infrastructure, such as broadband connectivity, road access improvement, utility connections, property purchases, building/housing construction, and improvements, etc.
  • Must lead to creating new jobs that pay at least 120% of the State Minimum Wage.
  • Requires at least a minimum 20% match of total project costs from local government, the business itself, or another source to be reviewed and approved by the Board. Higher matches will be given preference.
  • The Board may increase the minimum match requirement from local government, the business itself, or other sources to preserve fund capital and allow funding of more projects.

Business Development Funding

  • Must lead to creating new jobs that pay at least 120% of the State Minimum Wage.
  • Requires at least a minimum 10% match of total project costs from local government, the business itself, or another source to be reviewed and approved by the Board. Higher matches will be given preference.
  • Assistance may be offered in the form of a grant or a loan, depending on available funding and the characteristics of the project.
  • The Board may increase the minimum match requirement from local government, the business itself, or other sources to preserve fund capital and allow funding of more projects.

Senate Bill 865/House Bill 768 in the 2023 session changed the positions which are represented on the board and allows for the hiring of an Executive Director. Currently, the Western Maryland Economic Future Investment Board is comprised of the following positions and is filled by the people listed:

Garrett County Commissioner (Voting)

Commission President Paul Edwards

Allegany County Commissioner (Voting)

Commission President David Caporale

Washington County Commissioner (Voting)

Commissioner Jeff Cline

District One Private Sector (Chair, Voting)

George C. Edwards, Councilman, Town of Grantsville

District Two Private Sector (Voting)

Andrew Serafini, Principal, Wealth Enhancement Group

Garrett County Economic Development (Non-Voting)

Steve Kelley, Director, Community & Economic Development & Planning

Allegany County Economic Development (Non-Voting)

Jeff Barclay, Director, Community & Economic Development

Washington County Economic Development (Non-Voting)

Jonathan Horowitz, Director, Department of Business Development

District One Private Sector (Non-Voting)

Gary Ruddell, Total Biz Fulfillment

District Two Private Sector (Non-Voting)

To be appointed.

District One State Senator (Non-Voting)

Senator Mike McKay

District Two State Senator (Non-Voting)

Senator Paul Corderman

District One State Delegate (Non-Voting)

Delegate Jason Buckel

District Two State Delegate (Non-Voting)

Delegate Brooke Grossman

Maryland Department of Commerce (Past Chair, Non-Voting)

Andrew H. Sargent, Senior Business Development Representative

Executive Director (Non-Voting)

Jake Shade, The Lockhouse Group

The Board

Process

The first round of applications has closed. In January 2024, the Board adopted a new application process. Projects need to have significant job creation or provide significant increases to taxable base. The minimum grant amount is $150,000, projects less than this amount may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Inquiries should be made to Executive Director, Jake Shade at jshade@lockhousegroup.com, a Member of the Board, or the Economic Development Director in the county in which the project will take place.