KENT COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — The Maryland Department of Commerce approved the designation of a new Enterprise Zone in Kent County on Monday.

The program is a joint effort between state and local governments, offering residents state income tax concessions in hopes that businesses will secure investments and residents will find jobs.

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The zone will span across more than 1,500 acres of Kent County, including Town of Rock Hall.

“We are so excited to approve this designation for Kent County and the Town of Rock Hall, which are working hard to bring new opportunities to the area,” Kelly M. Schulz, Maryland Commerce Secretary said. “The designation will help attract new businesses, retain or expand current businesses, and encourage much needed investment in the area.”

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The designation is part of the county’s larger efforts to revitalize local businesses and establish economic growth alongside Rock Hall’s Main Street.

Other efforts include partnering with Kent Fiber Optic Systems to build a fiber-optic broadband network throughout Kent County and 501(c)3 designations and grants received by Main Street Rock Hall.

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“The tax credits offered by the Enterprise Zone designation are a vital instrument in Kent County’s toolbox to expand and attract businesses. When Chestertown received its Enterprise Zone designation in 2016, it helped to attract approximately $40 million in capital investment and added jobs in the community,” Tom Mason, president, Kent County Commissioners said. “We look forward to working with the Town of Rock Hall and Maryland Commerce to continue the revitalization efforts within the business community.”

CBS Baltimore Staff