Starting a business is tough work. Whether you’re getting started with a new app or you’re looking to provide state-of-the-art technological solutions to your clients, founding a start-up is a big risk with the potential for great rewards. Choosing the right people, the right product, and the right mindset can improve your chances to become a successful company, but the location where you open your doors will also have the biggest impact. Here are several reasons why setting yourself up on Silicon Main Street in Westminster, Maryland will give you the foundation you need to succeed.
We are a Gigabit Fiber Community
A great technology start-up needs a great network infrastructure. Thankfully, you can enjoy all that gigabit fiber has to offer when you open your business here in Westminster. Unlike traditional internet offerings, gigabit fiber is crazy fast, low latency and boasts an unmatched uptime. That means you can depend on your internet connection to support your business around the clock. On top of all that, our municipal fiber network is managed by an awesome ISP called Ting who provides unmatched customer support and service, not to mention their state-of-the-art Makerspace.
Location, Location, Location
Westminster is not only centrally located in Carroll County (and is the county seat), but also centrally located in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region. Give or take 15 minutes, you have Baltimore, Frederick, Harrisburg, and Hanover all within an hour drive; Washington D.C., and Wilmington within 2 hours; Philadelphia, NYC, Richmond and Pittsburgh all within 3-4 hours. Driving not your thing? Then charter a jet from our adjacent Carroll County Regional Airport, which can accommodate business jets for up to 12 passengers. Okay, so maybe that will be an option after you’ve built your billion-dollar unicorn startup.
Zones on Zones
Westminster has Carroll County’s only Opportunity Zone along with many other tax credits and matching grants thanks to its unique features as a historic Main Street community. Here is a complete list:
- Opportunity Zone
- More Jobs for Marylanders Incentive Program
- Sustainable Community
- Main Street Area
- Maple Street Area
- Maryland Heritage Area
- Priority Funding Area
- Communities of Opportunity
- Downtown Westminster Facade Improvement Grants
The Small Business Community is Thriving
If you take a stroll through Westminster’s downtown, you’ll see a lot of amazing local brands and businesses. Take JeannieBird Baking Company, for example. They offer world-class pastries, coffee, and other delicious confections to widespread acclaim. We also have Run Moore, “Carroll County’s premier running store”. They’re all about helping the community achieve their fitness goals, run that marathon, and “moore”. And technology here is no joke — defense contractors and cybersecurity businesses abound! Take [redacted], [burn upon reading], and [top secret] for example. Into gaming? Battleground is driving traffic to our TownMall with their gigabit-connected gaming events.
A ‘Social Good’ Mecca
Are you a social good startup or non-profit? You couldn’t choose a better city than Westminster for your headquarters. You’ll be able to network with over 300 registered nonprofits and social good organizations. Our Carroll Nonprofit Center provides free resources, office space, and conference rooms, while our Community Media Center provides production facilities and public access programming to give a voice to the community.
Internships & Workforce Development
Need some qualified interns or early entry employees? McDaniel College and the Carroll Community College both offer comprehensive programs for connecting students to small businesses and technology companies. Even the local high schools and vo-tech school offer various robotics, cybersecurity and coding clubs to get students started early on their technology careers.
Councils, Chambers, and Centers Galore!
Part of what helps our small businesses thrive is our very active community of various partners who are all here to help you succeed. The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, Miller Resource Center for Entrepreneurs, MAGIC, Carroll Technology Council, and America’s SBDC are all amazing resources that can help your company get up and running in Westminster.
For all of these aforementioned reasons, and the quality of life that living in Carroll County provides, Westminster is a great city to plant your startup business and family. Still not sure? Contact us at MAGIC to connect with mentors in our community that can help answer all of your questions, and to find out why Westminster is quickly becoming known as the Mountain View of Maryland.