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UPDATE: Eastern Shore Innovation Center

UPDATE: The Eastern Shore Innovation Center (ESIC) opened four months ago and is now at 80 percent capacity. The following businesses have signed license agreements and are part of the growing innovative community at the Dorchester Regional Technology Park: Cambridge Federal, Mapping Technologies, Dalcom Engineering, Garvey Environmental, Quevera, F.L Holdings, Purdy Group, and Patrick’s Northeast Kitchens. There are current negotiations with another new business. The Co-working space is now open with the first new member, SunXAnalytical, and a reciprocity agreement with other co-working spaces on the Eastern and Western shore. A Business Advisory Program was launched and held three workshops/seminars with more to come. For more information on the Eastern Shore Innovation Center please call 410-228-0155.

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SCORE Mentoring Workshop

The Eastern Shore Innovation Center hosted a start-up mentoring workshop for its tenants through SCORE. SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Bud Cass, SCORE Chapter Leader and Ed French, SCORE Mentor, gave a presentation on the value the mentorship program can add to start-ups and existing businesses. Supported by the Small Business Administration with a network of over 11,000 volunteers and 320 Chapters nationwide, SCORE can provide free, confidential business counseling, volunteer mentors, and business tools. Business templates and inexpensive business workshops are also available. To learn more about SCORE please visit www.score.org.

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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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Exciting New Services Offered to the Public

Dorchester County’s Department of Planning & Zoning has exciting new services to offer the public. The county has various mapping applications accessible for the first time to the citizens of Dorchester County. These new online mapping applications include Critical Area Maps, Floodplain Maps, Protected Land Maps, Zoning Maps, and a comprehensive application containing all of the above. The new mapping applications allow for greater civic engagement and provide a service accessible to the public 24/7. By having access to this information the citizens of the county can explore various different geographical layers and find out information about their property. The outreach efforts will allow citizens to become more engaged in the planning & zoning process while becoming better informed about what types of critical area, floodplain, or zoning is on their property . The department is excited to offer these new services to the public and look forward to continuing efforts to make information more accessible to the public. The mapping applications can be found on the County’s website (www.docogonet.com) on the left hand side under the tab titled “Maps and GIS Data”. Alternatively, citizens can also find a link to these mapping applications under the Planning & Zoning Departments home …

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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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Urgent Care and Wellness Center

Operating six days a week, Cambridge Urgent Care and Wellness Center is a convenient walk-in medical facility on Bramble Street. The Center opened their doors in the spring of 2013. Offering care for minor injuries and illness as well as pre-employment physicals, workman’s compensation and DOT physicals. Urgent care facilities provide care to those who require immediate attention but not serious enough to visit the emergency room. Director of Cambridge Urgent Care and Wellness Center Lisa Marshall, CRNP said, “There are future plans to expand hours and hire additional staff”. Currently, there are six full time employees. The growing business provides care to over 5,000 patients in the surrounding area each year. Marshall participated in the class offered through the Dorchester County Economic Development office and the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce “Business Information I Wish I Knew 21 Years Ago”. Marshall said, “Attending Joe’s classes opened my eyes and gave me the tools that I need to more effectively run my business on multiple levels.” The weekly class taught by local business owner Joe Benischeck featured several modules to help run businesses. Marshall added, “Implementing the pearls that I have learned from Joe will allow me to grow my business and better …

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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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DCED Celebrates EDAC Members

The Dorchester County Economic Development (DCED) Office acknowledged the Dorchester County Economic Development Advisory Council (EDAC) with a breakfast and appreciation certificates after serving three years together.  Representing various industry sectors, EDAC is composed of community business owners and CEOs. “We are much further than we were in 2012. The knowledge and expertise of CEOs in Dorchester County is truly valuable,” said Dorchester County Economic Development Director Keasha Haythe.  The advisory council was created for the purpose of sharing ideas, solutions, and creative approaches to economic development concerns and issues facing the county’s businesses.  EDAC members are approved by the Dorchester County Council and serve a two-year term with a one-year extension. Meeting quarterly, the EDAC group garners support for DCED.  The meetings are open to the public and held at the DCED office on Bucktown Road.  To find out more about EDAC or to attend a quarterly meeting, please contact the Dorchester County Economic Development Office at 410.228.0155.

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Groundbreaking Event at Technology Park

The Dorchester County Economic Development Office recently hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the Eastern Shore Innovation Center, the Eastern Shore’s first purpose-built incubator.  The purpose of the Eastern Shore Innovation Center is to spur sustainable economic vitality in the region through high-growth entrepreneurship and innovative practices in the business community.  Start-up businesses entering the incubator will have the opportunity to grow and take advantage of business resources until they graduate out after two years.  Elected officials, business owners, and community members joined together to celebrate the event. The ceremony began with Dorchester County Economic Development Director Keasha Haythe welcoming attendees.  “I want to thank each of you for the commitment to come together to create a stronger and more prosperous community,” said Haythe.  The morning was a much-anticipated gathering for financial partners who have worked together for years to make the day a reality. The invocation was provided by Pastor Pam Bockart of Antioch, Beckwith, and Spedden United Methodist Churches in Cambridge, Maryland.  Dorchester County Council President Ricky Travers welcomed guests and shared his excitement by noting that we will grow our own businesses in the incubator.  Senator Addie Eckardt recognized the elected officials and stated she had been a …

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Flower Shop in Business 35+ Years

Serving Cambridge for over 35 years, Flowers N Things, a family-run business, has built their business on customer service, quality, and value.  Specializing in fresh bouquets for birthdays and anniversaries, weddings, funeral arrangements, and special events, their shipments come in multiple times a week to ensure the freshest products are available. Owner Kelley Dean said, “The business was founded on the principles of outstanding service, offering the highest-quality flowers, and creating great relationships with our customers.  I strive to maintain those core principles today.  Offering the best possible floral service to our customers is of the utmost importance to us.” In addition to floral arrangements, Flowers N Things will deliver live flowering and non-flowering plants and remarkable container gardens as well as gift baskets. Featuring same-day delivery anywhere in the Dorchester County area and Easton. To learn more, visit their website www.cambridgemdflorist.com or call 410.228.6331.  Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Wednesdays 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.

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