Grow & Fortify Announces Closure, Celebrates Success
[ANNAPOLIS, MD – November 16, 2023] – Grow & Fortify, LLC., a firm specializing in consultation and business development in the value-added agriculture industry, will close its doors at the end of the year. This decision was not made lightly, and it comes with a mix of emotions as we reflect on our incredible journey since 2015.
Grow & Fortify has been privileged to serve our clients and those in the value-added agriculture community, and we are grateful for the trust and support we’ve been shown throughout the years.
We express our deepest gratitude to all of our loyal clients, dedicated employees, and all our partners who have been an integral part of our success. It has been a pleasure to serve you and to contribute to the craft alcohol and value-added agriculture industry over the years. Our team has worked tirelessly to provide high quality services and events, and we take pride in the relationships we’ve made over the years. As we close this chapter, we hope to leave a positive legacy and many fond memories with those who have been a part of the Grow & Fortify family — and there are many.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been a part of Grow & Fortify’s journey. Your support has been invaluable, and we appreciate the trust you placed in us.
Founded in 2015 by Kevin Atticks, who now serves as Maryland’s Secretary of Agriculture, Grow & Fortify has played a pivotal role in nurturing and empowering value-added agriculture businesses while fortifying the state’s craft alcohol industry.
Grow & Fortify quickly became the foremost authority on value-added agriculture operations and regulatory guidance in the state of Maryland. The team at Grow & Fortify worked closely with industry stakeholders, legislators, regulators, and community leaders throughout the state to affect meaningful change to regulations and laws in counties throughout the state.
The Grow Maryland Summit was launched in 2016 as a biennial gathering to focus on value-added agriculture businesses and opportunities. This policy and entrepreneurship summit was rebranded in 2018 as the Grow & Fortify Summit. Its most recent iteration in December of 2022 garnered over 200 attendees from around the state and region.
The firm’s Regulatory Resource Hub debuted in 2018, providing a one-stop venue for startups to learn about the licenses and regulations pertaining to their prospective value-added agricultural business.
In 2020, the firm published the first-ever economic analysis of the state’s value-added agriculture industry, noting its $20.6 billion impact across dozens of sectors, including craft alcohol, dairy, equine, agritourism, and featured case studies on the regulatory challenges these businesses faced. This report led to major policy initiatives expanding the viability of the value-added ag industry.
Furthermore, Grow & Fortify’s pivotal role in managing Maryland’s three craft beverage trade associations, representing nearly 300 small, local manufacturers, remains unchanged. Maryland’s craft beverage alcohol industry provides $6.2 billion of economic impact to the state and directly contributes to more than 55,000 jobs in the state. These associations play a crucial role in supporting the industry amid the pandemic and under current economic and industry challenges faced by small businesses.
The future of this industry sector is full of opportunity.