By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun
8:37 PM EDT, May 7, 2012
Baltimore made the newest Fortune 500 list by the skin of its teeth — with a company that was based here last year but is now part of an out-of-state concern.
Constellation Energy Group, which merged with Chicago-based Exelon Corp. in March, is No. 199 on Fortune magazine's 2012 list of the country's largest companies. The list is calculated using 2011 information.
Five other companies from Maryland made the list, all from Montgomery County: defense contractor Lockheed Martin (No. 58), hotel operator Marriott International (No. 217), Coventry Health Care (No. 219), Catalyst Health Solutions (No. 455) and Host Hotels & Resorts (No. 479).
The Baltimore region's long loss of big corporate headquarters — from banks to manufacturers — has had ripple effects beyond the area's collective psyche.
Small and medium-sized businesses rely on large companies for business, said Anirban Basu, chief executive of Sage Policy Group, a Baltimore-based economic and policy consulting firm. When those companies are no longer in town — or based in town — then work for architects, consultants and other service providers is more likely to go elsewhere, too.
"One of the other aspects of the loss is that large corporations are often able to supply the business community with a voice," Basu said. "And the voice of business in Baltimore and in Maryland remains extraordinarily weak, in large measure due to a lack of large-company corporate leadership."
Many of the region's remaining big employers can't make the Fortune 500 because they're not for-profit companies. Among the institutions with the most jobs locally: the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland Medical System and Fort Meade.
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