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Howard Bank created Marylandbankingblog.com with the small business in mind. It is another way Howard Bank offers the Hands On approach to banking. If there is a specific topic you would like us to write about, email us at HBOnline@howardbank.com with your topic idea.

Author Archives: admin

Multi and Single and Condo’s Oh My!!

June 2nd, 2015 | Posted by admin in Mortgage - (Comments Off)

“Can’t see the forest for the trees” The entire home ownership and mortgage experience can appear to be a forest. A forest of confusing terms, unfamiliar problems, and fear-inducing potential pitfalls. The saying that someone “can’t see the forest for the trees” means that they are so involved with the details of a situation that they lose sight of the larger issue. This expression can also be reversed, indicating that a person loses sight of details and becomes engrossed in the whole. To protect yourself from getting lost in that mysterious first time home buyer forest you are going to need KNOWLEDGE. And to receive the best first mortgage knowledge, you must start with answering the question of (more…)


Howard Bank is thrilled to once again sponsor the 28th annual Columbia Festival of the Arts this year, which runs June 12-27, spanning three weekends. Last year, we gave you a rundown of facts about the festival you may have never known. This year, we dove even deeper and talked to the festival’s Executive Director, Todd Olson. Read more below for an inside look at this year’s festival.

HB: How did you get involved with the Festival of the Arts? This will be your first Festival as Executive Director, right?


Todd Olson, Columbia Festival of the Arts Executive Director

TO: I came to The Columbia Festival of the Arts last August after spending the last 11 years as Artistic Director at the American Stage Theatre Company in St. Petersburg, FL. Soon thereafter, the [Festival] staff tested out the notion of moving from one annual festival to quarterly festivals, and loved the idea. So this year’s event will be our last annual festival before we start presenting weekend-long festivals four times a year.

HB: What exactly goes into planning and putting on the show? How far in advance do you start planning?

TO: We’re constantly planning, booking, curating, and selling. We reached out to The Blind Boys of Alabama [a gospel/blues band that’s been together for 70 years since they were children; you may have seen them on The Colbert Report] my first month on the job and they’ll be one of the highlights of our Summer Festival. We already have some themes set for the next four festivals: “British Invasion” in October, “Beyond the Blues” in February, “Viva la Vida” in April, and “Silk Road Stories” next summer.

HB: Where did the Cross Currents theme for this year come from?

TO: Before we even had a theme, we had already booked two incredibly diverse performers: Pilobolus, a modern dance company, and The Blind Boys of Alabama. With the basis of the Festival set in groups with audiences young and old, hybrids became important – artists that were a little of multiple things. The way Hot Club of San Francisco is jazz but electrified by the element of film. Or the way PigPen Theatre is made up of musicians, actors, and authors. Or the way Second City is part standup, part improv, and part sketch comedy. All acts are energized with currents of multiple skills crossing through them.

HB: What value do you see business and brands getting out of participating in the festival, through sponsorships, etc.?

TO: For myriad reasons, businesses want to set up shop in communities where the arts are strong. It has to do with quality of life for their employees and families, and the kind of cultural affluence they want in their customer base. Exceptional companies support not-for-profits in their community, because without any community involvement they might as well set up shop in rural Iowa (I can say that, I was born and raised in Iowa). Businesses want to be in Howard County because there is a cultural richness here.

At Columbia Festival of the Arts we like to showcase the many corporate partners we have, in any way we can. We’re lucky Howard Bank is involved in the Festival again this year. More banks should take Howard Bank’s lead in community efforts.


The Blind Boys of Alabama, all suited-up.

HB: Which event in this year’s festival are you most looking forward to?

TO: I have to say The Blind Boys of Alabama have been on my “bucket list” ever since I heard them on the Original Broadway recording of The Gospel at Colonus. They have won five Grammys, recorded with just about everyone, and are true living legends. Everyone should take advantage of having them in our community for one night to witness a little bit of musical history– they’ll be glad they did.

Are you a HoCo resident/native?

TO: I am. My wife Charlotte and I live in River Hill. Our daughters Corinna and May attend Lime Kiln Middle School, and our son Jonas is finishing up his first year at Atholton High School.


Thanks to Todd for giving us some inside information on this year’s festival. Hope to see everyone there in June!


Spring Cleaning Your Budget

May 20th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Financial Planning - (Comments Off)

The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and spring is in the air – at least in some parts of the country. It’s a great time of year to stop and smell the finances. During spring, many of you will declutter and deep clean, but it doesn’t have to stop at the (more…)

Infographic: Howard County, From Farmland to Forbes

April 29th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Community - (Comments Off)

To celebrate the opening of our Harford County bank branches, we gave you the Harford County infographic. Now it’s time we celebrate a little hometown pride, with an infographic on Howard County, Howard Bank’s founding county. Scroll down to experience the growth of Howard County from establishment through development, from 1851 to today, from farmland to Forbes.

Howard County Infographic


Check out these fun history facts and share with your children.

• The first erasers were actually pieces of bread. In 1735, the French scientist Charles de la Condamine discovered a milky fluid that was produced under the bark of the (Hevea brasilienesis) Rubber Tree.
That milky fluid is latex, and latex is the most important raw material in the Rubber Eraser. In 1862, Faber Pencil Co.in New York made a pencil with the Rubber Eraser attached.
• The first dollar bill was created in 1862, containing a picture of Salmon P. Chase on the front. Mr. Chase was the Secretary of the Treasury during (more…)

Ellicott City and Dundalk, Maryland, March 3, 2015 — Howard Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: HBMD, “Howard”), the parent company of Howard Bank, and Patapsco Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: PATD, “Patapsco”), the parent company of Patapsco Bank, jointly announced today that they have entered into an agreement to merge. (more…)

Insurer Anthem Suffers Massive Data Breach…

February 12th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Howard Bank - (Comments Off)

One of the county’s largest Health Insurance companies suffered what may be the largest data breach ever, potentially exposing up to 80 million customer’s personal information.  Anthem says that names, birthdays, social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data was exposed.  Based on this information, no bank information or actual medical information has been breached.  For more information on this breach visit; www.anthemfacts.com.

While this breach does not affect Howard Bank, we take real interest and responsibility in protecting our customers against fraud and Identity Theft.  While we have many checks in place to detect deceitful activity, we both can only benefit from consumers who are educated on the risks.  To find out how to protect yourself against Identity Theft, please visit us at; http://www.howardbank.com/identitytheft.html (more…)

Maximizing Your Tax Deductions And Tax Breaks As A U.S. Homeowner…

January 22nd, 2015 | Posted by admin in Mortgage - (Comments Off)

By: Dan Green

This article is current for the 2014 tax year and should not be considered tax advice. For tax-related questions or mortgage strategy related to your individual tax liability, speak with a licensed accountant.

It’s January 2015 and, for Americans, the 2014 tax year has concluded.

Within weeks, U.S. consumers will begin receiving such tax-related forms as the W-2, the 1099, and, for homeowners, the 1098, which is also known as the Mortgage Interest Statement.

The U.S. tax code offers incentives to homeowners, and by taking advantage of these breaks, 1040-filing citizens can maximize their financial investment in homeownership.

Whether a home is financed via a mortgage, or paid-in-full with cash, there are a multitude of tax-savings opportunities associated with owning a home — even at current mortgage rates which are the lowest since May 2013.

Of course, every homeowner’s financial situation is different, so please consult with a tax professional regarding your individual tax liability. (more…)

Growing Fast, But Smart: 6 Tips for Hiring at Your Small Business…

January 13th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Small Business - (Comments Off)

By: Heike Young

If you’re the owner or manager of a small business, the prospect of bringing new employees into the fold can be both exciting and anxiety-inducing. On the one hand, it’s extremely exciting to have the budget and resources to bring new team members into the fold. On the other, your small business is your baby and your livelihood—so you can’t afford hiring mistakes that affect your success and productivity.

Consider these six hiring tips as you write job descriptions, conduct interviews, and train your new employees. (more…)

Six Mobile Marketing Tips For Small Businesses…

January 7th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Marketing | Small Business - (Comments Off)

By: Karen E. Klein

Mobile phones are essential to shopping these days, and a majority of cell phone owners say they’re willing to share personal data with merchants in exchange for such things as coupons and discounts.

But navigating mobile marketing can be confusing for small business owners, who must avoid bombarding people with unwanted texts while they’re slogging through crowds of holiday shoppers. So how can local merchants use mobile marketing effectively? Here are six tips. (more…)