Our Annual Fall Meeting on November 2, “Opening Doors,” showcased how Charles County positions businesses to thrive and identified the county as a competitive, diverse, and sustainable location for businesses. Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, opened the meeting with a county update. The EDD update followed, tying in initiatives with themes to be explored throughout the program.
A panel of diverse, local business leaders highlighted available resources and offered tips for other existing and future business owners. The panelists, ranging from entrepreneurs to business development advocates, identified the opportunities for change in fast-paced, five-minute presentations delivered in an IGNITE format. Presenters included: Wanda Brisco of 9Round; Sue Davis of SE Davis Construction; Michael Steele of Clarity Coffee; and Wynne Briscoe of the Maryland Small Business Development Center.
"How do you fight disparities and continue opening doors?” Sue Davis asked attendees.
“Get your foot in the door, continue bidding on projects, and get your name out there."
Wanda Brisco credited state and county resources as essential to her company’s survival during the pandemic. “We applied to Maryland for a grant, they ran out of money, and they sent our information to the county. The county became our saving grace. They gave us money first. I was able to keep my employee, was able to open my doors, and the day we opened, July 6, the money started to come in.”
IEDC AWARD PRESENTATION
During the meeting, the EDD was recognized for two recent awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC): a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for the College of Southern Maryland Velocity Center and the revitalization of Indian Head and a Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award for its 2020 Annual Report. Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins II, Esq. issued two proclamations in honor of the awards. The EDD also gave copies of the awards to partners who contributed to these efforts.
“THE FUTURE OF COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE” PANEL
Opening doors to reimagined commercial spaces was the focus of the “The Future of Commercial Real Estate” panel. Over the last 20 months, the spaces where people work and do business have evolved significantly. Local and regional commercial real estate experts explored this changing landscape. Panelists included: Anne Hooper of Hooper and Associates; Randall Williams of Meinhardt Properties; Andrew Roud of St. John’s Properties; and Lorena Gonzalez of Kaiser Permanente.
Economist Anirban Basu, Chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., delivered the keynote address. Basu presented an outlook of the national, state, and local economy pre-pandemic and during COVID-19 and offered a forecast for the future. Kaiser Permanente sponsored the keynote speaker.
Kelly Robertson-Slagle, incoming EDD Director, underscored the day’s message during her closing remarks, stating, "working together, no doubt, we'll be able to open many doors, and that has definitely been our theme today."
Download resources from the 2021 Fall Meeting here: