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About Commerce

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​How can we help?

Are you a new or existing business looking for help to retain workers or expand, or branch out internationally? Are you a company considering Maryland as a location? The Maryland Department of Commerce is here to help. 

As the state's primary economic development agency, we stimulate private investment and create jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department also promotes the state's many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism.


​​​Since 2010, Maryland Commerce has assisted nearly 4,000 small businesses and organizations; helped create or retain 40,000 jobs, and leveraged nearly $3 billion in private investment. Companies such as Amazon, Discovery Communications, Johns Hopkins Medical, Legg Mason, Millennial Media, Under Armour and Volvo Powertrain have recently located or expanded in Maryland.​ 

View our Activity Report to learn how Commerce assisted businesses in 2015.

​Key Services

  • Building and site location assistance
  • Finance programs, tax credits and training grants
  • Business advocacy and consulting
  • Technology transfer
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Export consulting and marketing
  • Tradeshow and conference partnership

Our Customer Service Promise

The State of Maryland pledges to provide constituents, businesses, customers, and stakeholders with services in the following manner:
  • Friendly and Courteous:​​ We will be helpful and supportive and have a positive attitude and passion for what we do.
  • Timely and Responsive: We will be proactive, take initiative, and will try to anticipate your needs.
  • Accurate and Consistent: We will always aim for 100% accuracy, and be consistent in how we interpret and implement state policies and procedures.
  • Accessible and Convenient: We will continue to simplify and improve access to information and resources.
  • Truthful and Transparent: We will advance a culture of honesty, clarity, and trust.

For more information on the State of Maryland's customer service program​, or to submit a suggestion, ​please visit​.​

How we're organized

Ben Wu Mike Gill Commerce Secretary Mike Gill (left) leads the department with 40 years of business experience as an entrepreneur, veteran of large technology firms and public servant. He was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan in January 2015.​​ Read his bio​ to learn more. 

Benjamin H. Wu (right), an internationally recognized technology policy expert with more than 25 years of experience and management leadership, serves as Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer. 

One of 20 agencies within Maryland's Executive Branch, the agency is ​structured into six divisions:

  • Administration and Technology
  • Business and Industry Sector Development
  • International Investment and Trade
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Military and Federal Affairs
  • Tourism, Film and the Arts

The Agency also has 13 public boards and commissions that provide recommendations and direction to Commerce. These boards focus on targeted groups and industry sectors such as small business, life sciences, federal facilities and manufacturing. They serve as a critical link to let the governor and our agency know the issues Maryland businesses are facing — and the best way to solve them.​

Check out this high-level organization chart​ to see how we're structured.​​

Administration and Technology

Greg Derwart

Managing Director Greg Derwart​ (right) ​oversees the agency's Division of Administration and Technology, which keeps the Agency running smoothly. Commerce support teams include Information and Technology Management, Budget and Finance, Human Resources, General Services and Contracts and Procurement.​

Quick Contact

  • Greg Derw​art - Managing Director, Division of Administration & Technology | 410-767-6309

Business and Industry Sector Development

Steve PenningtonThe Division of Business and Industry Sector Development, led by Managing Director ​Steve Pennington​ (right), focuses on job development and deals primarily with business assistance, retention and attraction.

Business and Industry Sector Development team membe​​​​rs foster strong relationships with the state's economic development and industry organizations and leaders, making it easier for staff to assist you. Business development, site location, regional, small business and finance teams work collaboratively with partners at all levels to provide financial, counseling and technical assistance to businesses.​ See the quick industry contacts below for a list of industries we specialize in.

Quick Business Development Contacts

  • Steve Pennington​ - Managing Director, Business & Industry Sector Development | 410-767-6662
  • Business Development - Jayson Knott​, Program Director | 410-767-6978
  • Finance Programs - Gregory Cole, Program Director | 410-767-6353
  • Small Business - Sean McEvoy, Director | 410-767-5675
  • Site Location - Gary Ventry​, Sr. Business Development Rep. | 410-767-6657

Quick Industry Contacts

Regional Specialists

The Regional Growth and Retention team is based geographically to assist businesses in every corner of the state. This team of experienced and knowledgeable professionals provides easy access to Commerce programs and services wherever your business is located. Our regional business development reps assist companies of all sizes seeking to expand their markets, their workforce or physical expansions within the state. They can also assist with a broad range of business needs, from identifying sources of funding, customer/supplier connections and networking, to accessing Commerce programs and resources, workforce and technical resources.

Contact a Maryland Commerce Business Development Representative in your area:

International Investmen​t & Trade

​​​The Division of International Investment & Trade, led by Managing Director Signe Pringle (right), provides support to Maryland companies planning to enter new foreign markets or advance export sales. Commerce's International Team also assists foreign companies seeking to establish a U.S. or North American presence in Maryland.​

Quick Contact

  • International Investment and Trade - Signe Pringle, Managing Director | 410-​767-3542

​Military and Federal Affairs

The Division of Military and Federal Affairs, led by Managing Director Michael Hayes (right), develops business relationships between U.S. military bases, federal laboratories and private companies in Maryland to help create and retain jobs. The team also helps businesses diversify to reduce their dependence on the federal government.​

Quick Contact

​Marketing & Communications

Allison SkipperThe Division of Marketing & Communications (DMC), led by Managing Director​ Allison ​Skipper Mayer​ (right), serves as the voice of the Maryland Open for Business campaign, communicating the state's competitive business advantages, assets and quality of life.

Maryland businesses have a lot of great stories to tell, so we take those successful stories and share them through our many channels, using digital marketing, media relations, publications, advertising and research to market Maryland's business community. The team also plans events and tradeshows and works closely with our business development team to promote Maryland's key strengths.

​​The division is committed to giving you the insight, resources, publications and online tools that you need to grow your business in Maryland. Stay on top of state business news and information by subscribing to the MDBizNews blog and the Bu​siness Pulse​ monthly email newsletter.

Quick Contacts

Tourism, Film and the Arts  

The Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, led by Managing Director Liz Fitzsimmons, promotes Maryland's quality of life and all the fun stuff that Maryland offers in order to attract, create and retain jobs in the tourism and creative industries.

If you're an artist or arts organization looking for technical and financial assistance and incentives, a potential tourism partner or a film production company looking for assistance, check out the numbers and websites below.  

Quick Contacts