2021 | Business

Business Notes: Rockville biotechnology expansion will add up to 245 jobs in four years

Plus: Bethesda Urban Partnership holding contest this month

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Rockville biotechnology expansion will add up to 245 jobs in four years

Vigene Biosciences, a Rockville biotechnology company that specializes in gene therapy development, announced Thursday that it is expanding to a new facility in Montgomery County at 14200 Shady Grove Road.

The new 52,000-square-foot space will “accommodate industry demand for its gene and cellular therapy products,” according to a press release from the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation.

There are 125 employees at Vigene Biosciences. The expansion will add up to 245 jobs by the end of 2025, the press release stated.

The Maryland Department of Commerce has approved a $1.225 million loan that is conditioned on job creation and capital investment, according to the press release.

The state has also approved a $100,000 workforce training grant. The county has approved a $125,000 economic development grant that depends on job creation and capital investment.

Last year, Vigene Biosciences opened a new research center in Rockville.

Bethesda Urban Partnership offering promotional contest this month

The Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) is holding a promotion this month in which people who spend at least $20 per receipt at local establishments in Bethesda will be entered for a chance to win a $150 Bethesda Bucks gift card.

The card can be used at more than 50 businesses in downtown Bethesda. The participating businesses are listed on BUP’s website.

BUP will choose up to three winners per week through Feb. 28, according to a press release. To participate, people can submit their receipts to Contest@Bethesda.org or tag Bethesda Urban Partnership in a photo of the receipt on Facebook or Instagram.

Eyelash studio opens in Gaithersburg’s Rio shopping area

Amazing Lash Studio, a studio that offers women’s eyelash services, opened last month in Gaithersburg’s Rio shopping area.

Amazing Lash, which has locations throughout the greater Washington area, offers lash extensions and lifts, as well as brow waxing, lash tinting and brow lamination. Another new location will soon open in Rockville, its website states.

A press release from the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce stated that Amazing Lash’s grand opening in Gaithersburg was on Jan. 22.

The studio is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, the website states. Customers can book appointments online.

County unemployment rate fell to 5.7% in December

Montgomery County’s unemployment rate fell to 5.7% in December — a drop of 3.3 percentage points from the May level.

The unemployment rate was just a shade under 3% at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, but tripled to around 9% by May. In the months since, the rate has gradually fallen, dropping to 6.5% in November and 5.7% in December.

Montgomery County’s rate for December, which was made available this week, was slightly below the state unemployment rate of 6%, and well below neighboring Prince George’s County’s 8% unemployment rate.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com