Originally published in the Baltimore Business Journal

Demian Costa thinks Maryland should boost local business by providing tax credits to corporations that contract with small businesses in the state.

Typically, the state’s tax credit programs target specific investment classes and sectors, like biomedical, health care technology or cybersecurity, said Costa, the managing partner of Sagamore Ventures LLC, the private investment arm of Under Armour Inc. CEO Kevin Plank. Sagamore oversaw the construction of City Garage, a makerspace and startup hub in South Baltimore.

If the state were to offer incentives to companies like Under Armour Inc. to invest in local companies, than it would create more value, he said.

Costa was among the local business leaders who met Monday at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School in Harbor East to discuss strategies for strengthening Baltimore’s financing system for small companies.

A recent report by the Carey Business School’s 21st Century Cities Initiative found that Baltimore needs to grow its finance system in order for its small businesses and economy to flourish. The report also found that there is a disconnect between small business owners and investors.

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