Caroline County Economic Development

July Director’s Note: A Recap of the Caroline Economic Symposium

Debbie Bowden, Director

The Caroline Economic Development team facilitated an economic symposium on June 2, 2022, featuring economist Anirban Basu. Approximately 130 business representatives and partners filled the warehouse-turned-conference room to learn from Dr. Basu the latest economic news and forecasting.

His presentation is online at There are charts and graphs of data showing past performance, information in he and other economists use to inform economic forecasts. Not surprising, the forecast is not one of growth and economic prosperity – inflation, the Russian/Ukraine war, and labor market will impact the economy through 2023.

In addition to Dr. Basu’s presentation, it was an honor to have four executives provide insights into issues that are facing businesses today. Mike Malandro, President and CEO of Choptank Electric and Choptank Fiber, announced that grant funding had been allocated for broadband in Caroline County. He anticipates that all Caroline customers will have the availability of signing up for Choptank Fiber by the 2023-2024 school year. Melissa Quirk, President and CEO of Provident State Bank, spoke to current state of liquidity and capital markets, and noted how PSB has been and will continue to be flexible and responsive to its customers’ needs.

We were also fortunate to have Houston Mason, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in the Master’s of Supply Chain Management Program speak to tightening of labor in the supply chain. Merry Mears, a commercial real estate advisor and economic development consultant, shared her thoughts on the current commercial real estate market in Caroline County and surrounding areas.

The symposium was part of a project through the Mid Shore Regional Council, made possible by a grant from the US Economic Development Administration. The project was the development of an online set of dashboards that provide economic data that support economic resiliency following a disaster. The project began in 2020 and was a partnership of multiple counties’ economic development offices and other agencies. I’m proud that a few members of the project team presented information on the project; their presentation can also be found here.

Plans are underway already for 2023 symposium. For updates on any future event, please visit, sign up for our newsletter, and follow Caroline County Economic Development on Facebook.

Caroline County Economic Development is an office within Caroline County government. Its mission is to help businesses thrive in the community. Debbie can be reached at 410-479-4188 or

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