Black Enterprise Names Nine Maryland Companies to “Top 100” list for 2011, Maryland State Agency Announces

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Maryland Among Top States for Black-Owned Businesses, according to Black Enterprise

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development today announced that nine Maryland firms made Black Enterprise Magazine’s annual list of Top 100 Largest Black Businesses for 2011, ranking the State third for the most companies on the list. The companies report a combined revenue of $1.5 billion and more than 2,000 employees. Among the Maryland companies topping the list is RLJ Development, an investment firm in Bethesda, which moved up to 6th from 8th in 2010 and reported revenues of $578 million and 47 employees. Media company Radio One, headquartered in Lanham, came in at 13th with $279 million in revenues and 865 employees and 1Source Consulting, an IT company in Germantown, ranked 17th with $232 million in revenues and 110 employees.

“One of the greatest opportunities that Maryland has is its vibrant small and minority business community, the backbone of our economy and one of the key reasons our State is coming out of the economic downturn stronger and better positioned for growth,” said Secretary Christian S. Johansson of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. “Over the past several years, we have put in place a number of key programs, like the Small Business Credit Recovery Program, Contract Connections and most recently, Invest Maryland, that will support innovation and entrepreneurship and create the kinds of companies that will sustain our economy for decades to come.”

Black Enterprise’s top 100 companies, which are 51 percent black-owned, were ranked according to gross revenue and assets; business acumen and assessment and potential for long term growth. Black Enterprise analysis includes research from professional organizations, industry associations, business information services, government agencies, entrepreneurs and corporations.

“Maryland has a strong and diverse community of thriving minority-owned businesses and Governor Martin O’Malley is committed to maintaining and expanding their success,” said Special Secretary, Luwanda W. Jenkins, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs. “Our minority firms are a great source of pride for the State of Maryland, and it is a tremendous honor to have their talents and efforts recognized by one of the most prestigious publications in the country.”

Maryland is home to more than 102,000 black-owned businesses with revenues of $6.8 billion. According to 2007 U.S. Census data, there were 5,247 black-owned firms in the State with a total payroll of $1.6 billion, employing 46,103 workers and revenues of $4.6 billion and 96,884 black owned firms with no employees with revenues of $2.1 billion. In Maryland, 19.3 percent of all businesses are black owned – the second highest percentage among the nation’s 50 states, excluding the District of Columbia and Georgia where black owned firms are 20.4 percent of all firms. This compares to a national average of 7.1 percent.

A number of initiatives to help small and minority business succeed and create jobs have been put in place in the past year, including InvestMaryland, a $70 million investment in Maryland’s seed and early stage companies, and Contract Connections programs, which connects and matches small and minority-owned businesses to federal government contract opportunities. The State has also launched the Small Business Credit Recovery Program, which provides a vital lifeline to small businesses by providing loan guarantees. To date, the program has helped businesses secure nearly $9 million in loans through our state-backed guarantees and create or retain nearly 500 jobs. Though the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative, part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, Maryland has been awarded a total of $23 million to provide financing and other assistance to small and minority companies.

About DBED: The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s mission is to attract new businesses, stimulate private investment and create jobs, encourage the expansion and retention of existing companies and provide businesses in Maryland with workforce training and financial assistance. The department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development, international trade and tourism. As a major economic generator, the department also supports the arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit


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Karen Glenn Hood
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