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HUBZone Companies

The Dorchester County Economic Development Office (DCED) worked with the flowing companies and is pleased to announce their Historically Underuti­lized Business Zones (HUBZone) certification; Garvey Environmental, Quevera, Cambridge Federal LLC and Group Z Inc. Last February local businesses interested in becoming HUBZone certified attended a free HUBZone workshop offered through the DCED. The HUBZone program helps small businesses by providing federal con­tracting opportunities for qualified businesses located in the designated areas. The purpose of the program is to promote economic development and employment growth by providing federal contracting opportunities. Dorchester County is a federally designated HUBZone. For more information on the HUBZone certification please contact the DCED at 410-225-0155.

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Incubator Manager Hired

The Dorchester County Economic Development Office is pleased to welcome Steve Dolbow, the new manager of the Eastern Shore Innovation Center. As manager, Dolbow is responsible for developing programs and managing the business incubator located within the Dorchester Regional Technology Park. In addition, he is responsible for managing the “innovation network” for Dorchester County and providing community leadership regarding entrepreneurship and economic development innovations in our region. Keasha Haythe, director of the Dorchester County Economic Development office said, “Steve brings several years of experience and we are happy to have him as part of the team. Filling this position with someone familiar with entrepreneurship and innovation helps the Eastern Shore Innovation Center achieve its mission.” Innovation has been the hallmark of Dolbow’s career. During his 22 years with IBM, he helped companies identify computer applications that would streamline their businesses and increase their profit.  Steve created Dolbow & Company, a firm praised for developing high profile, client serving websites which were recognized by PWC, Forbes, the Smithsonian and others as “Best of the Web” examples of the use of web technology. Throughout his career he has worked with clients in the manufacturing, financial services, business services, distribution, publishing, non-profit and …

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Rural Economic Development Session

The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) hosted the first Lower Eastern Shore Rural Economic Development Session on Nov. 19 and 20 at Salisbury University. The sessions included presentations by public and private sector economic leaders who stressed the importance of investing in economic development in Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore counties and communities. “No matter where we are in Maryland, there are opportunities for economic development to transform lives and enrich communities,” said Pam Ruff, executive director of MEDA. “This session focused on the impact that it makes on the lower Eastern Shore in particular.” The event was sponsored by PNC Bank and Salisbury University. Secretary R. Michael Gill of the Maryland Department of Commerce and Secretary Kenneth Holt of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development served as keynote speakers. Dorchester County Economic Development Director Keasha Haythe served on a panel with Allsion Mayer, managing director of the Maryland Department of Commerce and Mindie Burgoyne, senior business development representative for the for the Lower Shore Region for the Maryland Department of Commerce. Jayson Knott, senior director of the Maryland Department of Commerce moderated the panel on business attraction, retention and marketing. Other topics discussed during the session include infrastructure …

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Dorchester Welcomes New Business

After 5 years at their headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, Premier Fire Protection Services (PremFPS) opened a second location on Chesapeake Drive in Cambridge. PremFPS offers a variety of services including sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and suppression as well as fire alarms. President, Joseph Boyle and Vice President, Robert Henneberry, Jr. opened PremFPS after noticing a lack of good customer service in the fire protection industry. Together Boyle and Henneberry have grown the business with one goal in mind, superior customer service. Boyle said, “We guarantee you will not find a higher level of service anywhere in our industry.” The Dorchester County Economic Development Office assisted PremFPS with their site selection process, a service that is available to all businesses seeking a location. PremFPS found a strategic central location that fits their needs of reaching the residents and businesses on the Eastern Shore. Boyle added, “We will provide the highest quality fire protection services to the Delmarva Peninsula from our Cambridge location. Thank you for the continued support of the Premier family!” To contact Premier Fire Protection Services please call 240.366.8163 or email info@premfps.com. Visit their website at www.premfps.com.

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Ready, Set, GROW

The Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs (GOMA) is offering a small business outreach event for the Eastern Shore. The event is tailored to assist small, minority and women owned businesses compete for State contracting opportunities. The Ready, Set, GROW outreach event will have procurement officers and local buyers on hand to discuss specific opportunities available at their agencies. A network session will provide attendees the opportunity to meet with local and state procurement representatives. Ready, Set, GROW will be held at Salisbury University on October 21, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Businesses interested in attending should visit www.goma.maryland.gov.

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Contracting Support for Small Businesses

Have you ever wondered how to make the government your next customer? If so, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is a wonderful resource for your business. The SBA has a full website page dedicated to contract support for small businesses and federal government contracting opportunities. The requirements and qualifications vary depending on the program but many revolve around employment numbers. The SBA provides basic information through webinars, videos, articles and webpages. The 8A Business Development Program, Women-Owned Small Business Program, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business and the HUBZone Program are just a few of the SBA programs that are available. Dorchester County is a county-wide designated HUBZone. The designation permits qualifying businesses in the county better federal contracting opportunities. The Dorchester County Economic Development Office assists local companies going through HUBZone certification by providing resources, workshops, and individual consultation to assist businesses completing the certification process. To learn more about federal contracting opportunities please visit www.sba.gov or www.choosedorchester.org.

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Fundraiser to Support Seafood Industry

The Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association (CBSIA) is holding their annual Crab Feast Fundraiser at J.M. Claytons Crab Co on September 20, 2015 from 2-5 P.M. The tickets cost $35 per person. Tickets include all you can eat crabs, hot dogs, hamburgers, steamed corn, water melon as well as tea and soda. The event will feature a Gun Raffle with a chance to win either a Berretta A400 Extreme or a Beretta A400 Excel Shot gun. All proceeds collected will benefit CBSIA, an association that works with local seafood processors in an effort to maintain a historic industry and a way of life.  Limited Space is available. For further information please contact Aubrey Vicent at 410.382.7807 or Bill Sieling at 410.507.3249.

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Economic Developers Join for Conference

The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) recently held its 2015 Summer Conference:  Marketing and Business Attraction at the World Trade Center in Baltimore. Economic Developers from across the state joined to learn about product differentiation, best ways to position your product, and how to identify the value of your product in a competitive market. Dorchester County Economic Development Director and MEDA President Keasha Haythe presided over the conference. Sponsored by the Maryland Port Administration, the morning opened with a presentation on business attraction given by Joseph Greco, Sr., director of Intermodal Trade Development for the Port of Baltimore. Next, Sandy Sponaugle, owner of Platinum PR, moderated a panel on Product Differentiation. Ammanuel Moore, economic development manager for Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), moderated a panel on Techniques and Strategies.  Haythe sat on the panel and gave examples of leading marketing strategies used in Dorchester County. “Commonly mistaken for other similarly named areas like Dorchester County in South Carolina, we needed to differentiate ourselves and distinguish the differences through our physical attributes. Our branding “water moves us” identifies the county’s greatest asset while using real business faces to add authenticity,” said Haythe. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake welcomed the attendees and thanked …

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Calling All Start-ups & Entrepreneurs

Do you have a good idea for a business but need resources to help with capital and coaching? Pitch your idea during the Maryland Startup bus tour. The annual Pitch Across Maryland tour focuses on innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs. The three-week excursion includes several celebratory stops throughout the state including Cambridge on September 15, 2015. Entrepreneurs can pitch their story and feature their new venture in a studio located in the bus. Startup Maryland provides a connection to an audience, peers and investors through promotion. Entrepreneurs should bring their “A” game, have fun and be prepared to celebrate this unique opportunity. Videos will be posted online for two voting competitions: Fan Favorites and Strongest Potential for High Growth. The top pitches will be reviewed by a set of esteemed institutional venture capitalists and angel investors. Over 150 videos were filmed during the 2014 tour. Entrepreneurs who pitch will receive a professionally filmed video of their pitch. To learn more about Startup Maryland, please visit their website at startupmd.org. Entrepreneurs that are interested in pitching should contact the Dorchester County Economic Development Office at 410.228.0155.

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MACo’s Annual Conference

The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Summer Conference “Energize. Mobilize. Capitalize.” will be held in Ocean City from August 12–15, 2015.  MACo is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to representing the needs of the local governments to the Maryland General Assembly.  The conference brings in an estimated 2,000 local government officials, 250 venders, and offers 25 educational sessions. This year’s annual conference will focus on the economy from the local government perspective, how to foster economic growth, and improve the business climate.  The four-day conference will feature Keynote Speaker Beth Ziesenis, who is an author, speaker, and technology consultant.  Many other informative sessions and panels are also planned. Dorchester County Economic Development Director and MEDA President Keasha Haythe will sit on the general session panel “Maryland’s Next Frontier in Economic Development” along with Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Mike Gill, Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer, and Joshua C. Greene, executive director and co-founder of the Cleantech Open Southeast and partner at Squire Patton Boggs LLP. The panel is tasked with exploring ways to improve the business climate in Maryland.  This session will showcase what is in store for the future of business and economic development …

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