Skip to main content

Press Releases - County Council

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 7, 2024

From the Office of Council President Andrew Friedson

New Montgomery County J.O.B.S. Initiative led by Council President Andrew Friedson will create up to 1,000 new jobs, spur innovation and invest in historically under resourced businesses to promote equity

On Tuesday, May 7, the Montgomery County Council approved a $20 million appropriation for the County’s Economic Development Fund to spur economic development, create high-paying jobs and invest in businesses that have historically lacked access to capital. The New J.O.B.S. (Jobs, Opportunities and Business Support) Initiative will create three separate, complementary economic investments: a $10 million Job Creation Fund, a $7 million Innovation Fund, and a $3 million Founders Equity Fund.  

“We need to launch bold initiatives that will foster innovation and create lucrative jobs to help Montgomery County re-emerge as an economic powerhouse by giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to create a new business or expand and grow in our community,” Council President Andrew Friedson said. “That’s why we’re going bigger and bolder than any other jurisdiction in the region with this new J.O.B.S. Initiative to create jobs and opportunities focused on jumpstarting our economy.

“Together, by unleashing Montgomery County’s unrivaled talent and ingenuity, we can leverage private capital with public support to produce high-paying jobs and help companies bring new and exciting products to the marketplace that will grow our economy and transform the world. With intentionality, we can also simultaneously invigorate businesses that have historically lacked access to capital investment to help advance Montgomery County's racial equity goals.”

Council President Friedson led this effort in collaboration with Council Vice President Kate Stewart, Councilmembers Dawn Luedtke, Marilyn Balcombe, Gabe Albornoz, Sidney Katz, Kristin Mink, Will Jawando, and Laurie-Anne Sayles, County Executive Marc Elrich, and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation.  

“This historic level of collaboration between Montgomery County Councilmembers, County Executive Elrich and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation sends a strong message: If you are ready to invest in Montgomery County, we are united in our willingness to invest in you,” said Friedson.

“The J.O.B.S. Initiative will support Montgomery County’s entrepreneurs, particularly minority-owned small business, in our critical high tech and life sciences sectors,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “In order for us to create the ecosystem we need we will need tools, and today the Council approved some critical tools that will help us grow our economy and create new jobs. The $20 million investment for our Economic Development Fund aligns with my vision to create a world-class Innovation Ecosystem, so that government, the private sector, universities, individual entrepreneurs and others all work together effectively to produce new and exciting businesses and opportunities for our residents.”

“J.O.B.S. is a welcome initiative that will bring further economic investment and more high-paying jobs to Montgomery County, Maryland, particularly in key industries like life sciences, technology and hospitality management. This initiative will add more tools for spurring commercial development and expansion, including incentives for companies to locate and grow here,” said Bill Tompkins, president and CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. “We look forward to collaborating with County Executive Elrich, Council President Friedson and the County Council to support the successful implementation of J.O.B.S. to benefit our entire community.” 

“The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) wholeheartedly supports Council President Friedson and the co-sponsors of the J.O.B.S. Initiative for their deep understanding of how to jump-start equity-focused job creation in Montgomery County – particularly now, on the heels of National Small Business Week, this focus is critical,” said Gigi Godwin, president and CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. “The Initiative’s emphasis on equity-focused economic development, job creation, and innovation-focused industries shows that Montgomery County’s leaders are taking quantifiable actions to grow our economy, increase our tax base, and create good jobs.” 

“We are confident in the administration of the Initiative’s funds by our partner, the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, and look forward to witnessing the positive impact of this legislation on our communities. MCCC encourages our members and the broader business community to learn more about the J.O.B.S. Initiative and the opportunities that will become available to them,” Godwin said. 

“Montgomery County Black Collective supports this effort that gives a boost to a wide range of businesses, demonstrating an investment to our local companies that help build our economy. As we continue to battle back after economic impact from the pandemic, many companies, particularly small and under-represented will benefit from the investment in helping them sustain jobs, add new jobs, scale their operations, advance their innovation, and work with our economic ecosystem to return to a thriving and sustainable business community,” said Kim Jones, executive director of the Montgomery County Black Collective. “We look forward to the leadership, who boldly took steps to launch this effort, working with us and other development agencies to conduct the outreach and inclusion necessary for this initiative. It is an investment in our community and our future and is one of the leadership actions similar to the nations’ Great Society that launched sixty years ago this month.”

The $10 million Job Creation Fund will incentivize growing Montgomery County companies to create and fill high-paying jobs by providing employers with $10,000 for new jobs created offering salaries of $100,000 or more. The Job Creation Fund will support the growth of key industries, including employers in the life sciences, technology, hospitality and real estate industries, as well as national nonprofits, foundations, trade associations and corporate headquarters. Employers will be required to create a minimum of five jobs of $100,000 with a limit of up to $500,000 per company. This proposal, if fully utilized, would create up to 1,000 new jobs and generate an impact of $161 million in additional economic output. Additionally, every new job created from this fund has the potential to create another $470,000 in economic spinoff.  

The $7 million Innovation Fund will award up to $100,000 to eligible companies developing any innovative technology, design or process. The initiative will fund prototype development and pilot projects and help Montgomery County entrepreneurs successfully move toward commercialization. Preference will be given to advance technology and life science companies, but funds will be available to any eligible startup. Several local jurisdictions, including Washington, D.C., and Fairfax and Arlington Counties in Virginia, have launched similar funds to help promising startups navigate these initial funding hurdles.

The $3 million Founders Equity Fund will offer grants of up to $100,000 to early and growth-stage entrepreneurs and small businesses with owners who have been disproportionately disadvantaged by a lack of access to capital. This fund will help reduce barriers to entry for historically under resourced businesses. Eligibility will be determined by using Montgomery Planning's Community Equity Index tool. A marketing strategy will also be developed to focus on Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities.  

All of the economic investment grants will be administered by the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. The first round of funding is expected to be available beginning in July. The Council resolution creating the J.O.B.S. Initiative can be viewed here.

# # #

Release ID: 24-179
Media Contact: Cindy Gibson 240-620-8571
Categories: Andrew Friedson