Guide to Howard County 2021: Business and jobs

Businesses line Main Street, Ellicott City.
Businesses line Main Street, Ellicott City. (Jeffrey F. Bill / Baltimore Sun Media Group file)

Location, quality of life and a pro-business environment are three of the reasons about 10,000 companies call Howard County home, creating upwards of 170,000 jobs. The county has more than 70 million square feet of commercial space, according to the Howard County Economic Development Authority.

Howard County is among the wealthiest jurisdictions in the nation, with a median household income of $117,730.


Many county residents commute to the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metro areas. .

Industries in the county include professional business and scientific services, technology, advanced manufacturing and health care services, according to the economic development authority.


The Port of Baltimore is about 20 minutes from the county seat, and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is even closer.

Business resources

Howard County Economic Development Authority: 410-313-6500, hceda.org

Howard County Chamber of Commerce: 410-730-4111, howardchamber.com

BWI Business Partnership: 410-859-1000, bwipartner.org


Baltimore Metropolitan Council: 410-732-0500, baltometro.org

Maryland Governor’s Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Affairs: 410-697-9600, goma.maryland.gov

Maryland Small Business Development Center: 301-403-8300, marylandsbdc.org

Howard County business at a glance

Population: 325,690

Employment: 176,880

Private businesses: 9,554

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2019 data

Major employers (1,000+ employees)

  • Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Byk Gardner Inc.
  • East Coast Fresh Cuts Inc.
  • Giant Food
  • Howard Community College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Lorien Health Systems

Source: Maryland Department of Labor

Howard County job resources

The Maryland Workforce Exchange

A jobs posting site with a variety of employment tools from the Maryland Department of Labor.

The Columbia Workforce Center

A partnership between local workforce development groups that assists employers and job seekers, providing consultations on career options, resume preparation and job workshops, among other services.

Howard County employment assistance portal

A list of a variety of employment assistance resources, including unemployment insurance, can be found here: https://services.howardcountymd.gov/hcportal?id=sc_category_311&sys_id=d8bde109db851050bcfffce9af9619b8

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