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Johansson: ‘The economy is getting better’

If you’re still living in financial fear, you may have appreciated the pep talk given by the secretary of the state’s Department of Business and Economic Development on Tuesday morning.

“Take a deep breath,” Christian S. Johansson said. “The economy is getting better.”

Speaking at a breakfast for The BWI Business Partnership Inc., Johansson lauded the state’s recovery since the recession began in 2008, reminding the audience that Maryland had regained more than 100,000 jobs — about 70 percent of jobs lost in the worst of the recession.

He said a commitment to education and the state’s innovation economy have kept Maryland from sinking to the depths experienced some other states.

“Throughout the recession, Maryland has been one of the best performers in the United States,” Johansson said.

Continued growth will be dependent on the state investing further in innovation and finding ways to foster entrepreneurship and commercialize the research done at institutions like Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland and the National Institutes of Health.

Johansson wants Maryland to be responsible for “the next Microsoft, the next Google [or] the next Under Armour” by making it easier for business to do business, through the streamlining or elimination of regulations. Gov. Martin O’Malley has suggested repealing or modifying more than 130 regulatory polices that affect business.

“Maryland’s days, our best days, are still ahead of us,” Johansson said.