The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) has announced the recipients of the 2017 MEDA Awards, which celebrate the people, projects and programs that are transforming lives by creating opportunities, inspiring innovation and enriching communities across the state – and the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) is among the winners.

MEDA will present its new Transformative Excellence Award to the HCEDA in recognition of its response to last summer’s Ellicott City flood. This award showcases economic development’s role and best practices during a crisis. During a period of approximately four months, the HCEDA provided an estimated 5,000 hours of work toward the recovery of the business district. The office was involved in the efforts to revitalize 75 businesses and get more than 450 people back to their place of work and livelihood.

In addition, the Small, Minority and Women-Owned Businesses Account-Video Lottery Terminal Fund (VLT), a program created by the Maryland Department of Commerce, has been selected to receive the Economic Development Program Award for its support of small business for minority and women business owners. The program uses gaming revenue as a lending source to the targeted demographic, which makes it the only loan program of its kind in the state. Another unique element is the ability to deviate from traditional credit underwriting and repayment structures. This program allows fund managers to underwrite and structure loans to match local conditions.

The Awards Banquet will be held May 1 during the 2017 MEDA Annual Conference in Cambridge, Md., at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay. The conference is slated for April 30 through May 2. Visit to learn more.