ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION: VOLT Fund Fills Prescription for Expansion for Severna Pharmaceuticals


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Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation issued the following announcement on April 3.

“Grit. It’s the ability to focus on a goal and persevere through raw endurance and passion to overcome any obstacle. It’s understanding and accepting it will not happen overnight. Grit is the stamina that drives you day in and day out.” It’s a trait that Scott Morton of Severna Pharmaceuticals says is key to taking a venture from startup to growth mode. The company’s CEO and partner Matthew Swift launched the business in 2014 after many years in the pharmaceutical industry.

Annapolis-based Severna Pharmaceuticals works with small to mid-size pharmaceutical and medical device companies by providing contract sales, consulting, business development and marketing support.

Morton said at any given time there are about 225 pharmaceuticals that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists as being critically short either because of a quality related issue with the manufacturer or simply because of demand outweighing supply. “We found there was exceptional opportunity to create our own opportunities… to really help bridge that supply chain gap.”

The two business partners say they have known each other for more than two decades, making the decision to go into business together an easy one. “We knew where we could be successful utilizing our combined strengths and network within hospital systems around the country to get enough traction to create a business,” says Morton.

In 2014, as a new business with one client on its roster, Morton and Swift looked to take the next step in expanding the company’s customer base and staff. “The difficulty was creating an environment that would attract investment and additional revenue to help us develop into a sustainable company.” Around this time, the pair was introduced to the VOLT Fund, a new financing program targeting small, minority and women owned businesses in Maryland.

The VOLT Fund, managed by Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) on behalf of Maryland Department of Commerce, is supported by a percentage of revenue collected from casinos around Maryland. Businesses may qualify for loans of between $25,000 to $500,000 for expenses such as business and commercial real estate acquisition and expansion, lease-hold improvements, equipment, and working capital.

“Being approved for the VOLT Fund allowed us to create more jobs and bring on some qualified candidates,” says Swift. Morton added, “It enabled us to secure additional contract sales clients and build the necessary momentum to sustain profitability as a young business.”

Over the last five years, Severna Pharmaceuticals has created at least ten jobs and has maintained profitability. Says Morton, “We have a healthy cash flow position and are now able to hire additional sales managers to proactively pursue new market opportunities.”

In the short term, the company is looking to bring in some investment to fuel more jobs and growth. “With this raise… [the business is] going to exponentially grow because we’re going to have to build a sales team,” says Swift. “Our forecast has us growing eight to ten new jobs in the next 18 months.”

With expansion on the horizon, does that mean Severna Pharmaceuticals will be moving to bigger space outside of Anne Arundel County? Probably not says Morton. “Anne Arundel County… has helped foster the work environment we are looking for, and we have. been able to attract talent from the greater Baltimore/ Washington area, and as far north as northern New Jersey.”

The attraction of downtown Annapolis remains a driving factor for Severna. “Employees can take the water taxi to lunch,” says Swift. “and it’s a great show-stopper for clients. Being able to take a walk downtown from the office and see the Capital. It’s just a nice segue to doing business.”

Original source can be found here.

Source: Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation

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