Business Climate Survey

Firm Demographics

The Maryland Business Climate Survey focuses on firms in the “export base” of the state’s economy that sell or compete for the sale of their products/services regionally, nationally, or internationally. These firms are concentrated in the manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, finance, and business/professional services sectors of the economy, in contrast to construction, utilities, retail, health-care, and personal services companies that primarily serve the local population. Because they serve regional, national, or international markets, these export base companies are the most impacted by Maryland’s business climate.

Ownership, Industry, and Firm Size

The firms participating in the 2018 are primarily locally owned, with more than 80 percent of firms surveyed being headquartered in Maryland. Of the 179 out-of-state firms participating in the survey, 151 identified the location of their headquarters, with 13 firms being international and 138 having headquarters in other states, primarily neighboring Virginia (21), Pennsylvania (10) and Delaware (7), but also New York (12), Texas (11), California (9), and New Jersey (9).

Table 28a: Is your company owned in Maryland or are you part of an out-of-state or international organization?  (Q2)

In terms of industry of operation, 40 percent of firms surveyed are in the professional services sector followed by the wholesale sector 16 percent and manufacturing at 15 percent. More than 70 percent of firms are single location operations, with most firms with multiple locations operating less than five additional locations in Maryland.

Markets Served

In terms of the markets served by the companies participating in the Maryland Business Climate Survey, 58 percent of businesses surveyed rely on Maryland for more than half of sales and about a quarter of firms sell more than three-quarters of their goods and services outside of the state.  Firms in the Washington suburbs and Baltimore City report the highest share of firms deriving more than half of their revenues from out of state. 

In terms of federal and export markets served:

  • 35% of participating firms sell goods or services to the federal government, with the Washington suburbs having the highest share of federal contractors.

  • 18% of participating firms export goods or services, with Baltimore City having the highest share of exporters.


Table 29: Industry of Responding Firm?  (NAICS)

Table 30: Is the place where you work the only business location your company has in Maryland?  (Q4)

Table 31: What percentage of your revenues would you estimate comes from inside of Maryland? (Q6)

Table 32: Do you directly sell goods or services to the federal government
(i.e., are you a federal contractor)?  (Q7)

Table 33: Does your company export goods or services out of the United States? (Q9)

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