The Conductor Program
The Conductor Program is a comprehensive resource guide for new and existing businesses within the Main Street district. To learn more about the startup process for new businesses (adapted from the Frederick County Office of Economic Development to fit
Brunswick, or market research on the demographics, the retail potential and the existing business environment of downtown Brunswick, or discover state and county grants and loan programs, click on the links below!
The Brunswick Market
In 1890, the B&O Railroad decided to locate extensive freight yards and locomotive maintenance shops in Berlin so that all trains running between eastern and western points could conveniently be reclassified.
Berlin was chosen by the B&O to solve one of their main operating problems: refueling. Since coal-powered trains could only travel so far before needing rest and refueling stops, a new “yard” was created near the East End that could serve Philadelphia, Washington and the scattered Baltimore terminals, and provide locomotive servicing facilities for westbound trains.
The B&O donated land for parks and public buildings and in 1907 the YMCA was built. By 1910, the population was estimated at 5000 and homes, schools, churches, meeting halls and paved streets appeared almost at once. Brunswick was now competing with Frederick to be the largest town in the county. The town continued to grow and prosper until the mid 1950’s when the railroad began changing from steam to diesel power. Diesel locomotives could travel farther between service stops, were more fuel efficient, and required far less maintenance, so the yard began shutting down its operations. As the steam locomotives departed forever, the railroad boom in Brunswick came to an end.
In the late 1800’s a commuter line began to transport area residents throughout the region, but it wasn’t until 1983, when that line was named MARC Train (Maryland Rail Commuter), that it really took off and gave Brunswick a new avenue of business. Because of Brunswick’s affordability, beautiful landscape and easy access to the capital, residents in the DC Metro area naturally began moving out to this area.
Brunswick draws from:
- Frederick County, MD Knoxville, Jefferson, Point of Rocks, Burkittsville, Middletown, Frederick and Rosemont
- Washington County, MD Sandy Hook, Boonsboro, Hagerstown
- Loudoun County, VA Lovettsville, Purcellville and Leesburg
- Jefferson County, WV Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, and Bolivar
*These are the immediate surrounding areas. Brunswick also pulls business from Pennsylvania via route 15, Washington DC via route 270 and Baltimore via route 70
The National Main Street program is designed to preserve and revitalize traditional downtown business districts. It commonly focuses on the “main street(s)” of a town or city. For Brunswick, that main street is Potomac Street. The vast majority of the buildings along the commercial corridor of Potomac Street is more than 100 years old and is traditionally the properties that are most in need of Main Street expertise and revitalization tools. All properties in the B2 and B3 zones were included to offer equal opportunities to properties in those districts. A property located in the Main Street district will qualify it for Brunswick, Maryland and National Main Street benefits. Many of the buildings in this zone are also in Brunswick’s Historic District. To find out if a building is in the historic district, go to the National Register of Properties in Maryland.
Brunswick, MD is a designated Sustainable Community. This program was established in 2010 to promote efficient use of scarce State resources based on local sustainability and revitalization strategies. It provides resources for historic preservation, housing and economic development under a single designation. The designation places special emphasis on infrastructure improvements, multimodal transportation and development that strengthens existing communities.
The EZ program provides real property and state income tax credits for businesses located in a Maryland enterprise zone in return for job creation and investments. Businesses located in Focus Areas may be also qualified for personal property tax credits on new investment in personal property and enhanced income tax credit for creating new jobs. Not every business located in an enterprise zone is eligible to receive tax credit. In order to claim the credit, the business must be certified by the local enterprise zone administrator as eligible for the credit. The City of Brunswick’s EZ Coordinator is Bruce Dell (firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 834-7500 ext. 300). Click here for more information.
An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they are a low-income census tract with an individual poverty rate of at least 20 percent and median family income no greater than 80 percent of the area median. There are three types of incentives available: Temporary Deferral, Step-Up in Basis and Permanent Exclusion. For more information click here.
Opening a Business
1. Develop a Plan
- Small Business Development Center | Website | 301-600-1967
- Frederick County Public Libraries Business Resource Center provides market research information | Website | 301-600-1630
- Women’s Business Center | Website | 301-315-8091
- SCORE Frederick Chapter free counseling | Website | 240-215-4757
2. Choose a Business Structure
- U.S. Small Business Administration | Website
- State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) for information about registration requirements for legal entities | Website | 410-767-1340
3. Financing Your Business
4. Register your Business Name, Verify the Right to Use the Name and Establish Tax Accounts
- State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) and the Maryland Comptroller’s Office Central Business Licensing and Registration Portal | Website
5. Get a Federal Employer Tax Identification Number (EIN)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) | Website | 410-962-2590
6. Obtain Business Licenses
- Traders licenses are administered by the State of Maryland at the Frederick County Courthouse Clerk of the Circuit Court | 301-600-1962
- Regulatory Licenses for industry specific licenses, as required Maryland Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing | Website
- Frederick County Health Department oversees all food service | 301-600-1029
- Frederick County Liquor Board administers alcohol licenses | 301-600-2984
7. Explore Business Location Options
- Reach out to Brunswick Main Street for active listings | 301-834-5591
- The Own It Company for businesses who are looking to start smaller and work in a co-working space | Website | email@example.com | 301-675-3098
8. Obtain Proper County and Local Permitting and Zoning Approvals
- Businesses, including home-based businesses, are subject to County or municipal zoning restrictions. Determining zoning requirements before signing a lease or contract is imperative | Website
- For all other areas, submit a Zoning Certificate/Building Permit application in person at the Frederick County Department of Permits and Inspections located at 30 N. Market St. Frederick. Applications are accepted Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 3:00pm. | Website | 301-600-2313
- Contact City Planner and Planning & Zoning Administrator Bruce Dell | 301-834-7500 ext. 300 | firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Prepare for Employees
- Maryland Insurance Administration | Website | 410-468-2000
- Frederick County Workforce Services provides assistance with hiring and training | Website | 301-600-2255
- Information on state requirements for hiring employees and Maryland Division of Labor and Industry | Website | Website | 410-767-2241
- Social Security Administration provides guidance on withholding Social Security and Medicare taxes and reporting employees’ annual earnings | Website
10. Contact Brunswick Main Street
Sophie Smith | 301-834-5591 | email@example.com
Click here for a comprehensive list of State resources. This has a special focus on Small Businesses, Women-owned Businesses, Minority-owned Businesses, Veteran-owned Businesses and Technology-inclusive funding. Click here for Business Funding Resources.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans | Website
- Maryland Department of Commerce | Website
- Frederick County Small Business Loan Guarantee Program | Website | 301-600-1058
- Neighborhood Business Works Loan Program in Sustainable Communities | Website | 410-514-7237
- OED Job Creation and Property Tax Credits | Website | 301-600-1058
- Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Loans (C-PACE) | Website
- Water and Sewer Capacity Leasing and Payment Plan Options | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Heritage Preservation Tax Credit Program
The state of Maryland offers a tax credit to owners of historic properties. This tax credit program is administered by the Maryland Historical Trust, and provides a 20% income tax credit for interior and exterior rehabilitation of a “certified heritage structure.” To qualify for the Maryland tax credit, properties must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and/or locally-designated, such as Master Plan historic sites and districts. More information can be found on their website — click here for their website.
- Community Legacy Grant
The Community Legacy Grant is a facade grant program organized by Brunswick Main Street, Inc. This program offers funds (and in certain cases design assistance) to businesses in the Brunswick Main Street area in order to improve the appearance of individual building facades and/or signs and awnings. With respect to façade improvements, said improvements must be to external areas visible from the public way. It may also potentially be used for interior improvements, coverage for service fees and streetscape improvements. The goal of this program is to leverage private improvements while making revitalization efforts affordable, creative and community based.
- The Brunswick Citizen ~ Julie Maynard | 301.834.7722 | email@example.com | Website
- Frederick News Post ~ 301.662.1177 | firstname.lastname@example.org |Website
- Frederick County Press Releases ~ email@example.com | Website
- Greater Brunswick Area Chamber of Commerce (GBACC) Cooperative Advertising ~ Terry Lewis | firstname.lastname@example.org | Website
- Business Pitch Services at ROOT | Website
- GBACC and Brunswick Main Street Seminars | Website
- Customized Training and Recruitment through the Maryland Chamber of Commerce | email@example.com
- Office of Economic Development Classes, Seminars and Opportunities | Website
- Frederick Community College | Website
- Support Organizations