Businesses owned by ethnic and minority entrepreneurs are growing fast in Charles County. You can get a glimpse into their culture and support their businesses by patronizing their retail shops, grocery stores, and restaurants, especially during the holidays.
Find a piece of African American artwork to make your home beautiful or give as a gift at the local and African-American owned retail art gallery in Waldorf, Kulture Gallery. Kulture has been in business since 1998 and specializes in selling original artwork and limited editions. The company also can custom frame a photograph or painting to enhance its beauty and artistic design.
If you are looking to add a unique flavor to your holiday meal, consider shopping at one of Charles County’s ethnically owned grocery stores. The Golden Grocery Asian Market and the Los Compadres Latino Market are located in Waldorf. La Tiendona, also in Waldorf, just recently had its grand opening. (Read this recent article about how the Small Business Development Center at CSM helped La Tiendona become a reality. They all offer produce that, on average, is cheaper than your average chain grocery store, with a larger variety of vegetables and beans.
Not into cooking, but rather, a night out? There are many ethnic-owned restaurants in Charles County. Find them on Charles County Tourism’s web page, Around the World in Charles County.
CHARLES COUNTY GOVERNMENT SHOPS LOCAL
Charles County Government also wants to shop local as much as possible. We want to keep money in the county and are also committed to diversity, inclusion, and equality.
Charles County supports the vitality of small businesses by encouraging them to participate in County contracts and other procurement opportunities. It is important for local small businesses to get on the Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) program list.
In order to qualify for our SLBE program, businesses must first be certified in the State of Maryland's Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program, and then be certified by the Purchasing Office as a "local" business. Once fully registered, SLBE firms are eligible for preferences in County procurement subject to the SLBE Program. Learn more about our SLBE program here.
In 2020, the Charles County Economic Development Department hired a consultant to conduct a disparity study to identify any barriers that our ethnic and minority businesses face concerning County procurement. The findings will help the county improve its purchasing policies and increase the number of diverse and ethnic minority bidders that participate on County contracts.
This effort can help to create a more inclusive purchasing environment and reinvest an equitable portion of local tax dollars back into the ethnic and minority business community.
To learn more about our disparity study, visit our Disparity Study page. Download the final report or an executive summary, as well as related links, there.
For questions about the SLBE program or Disparity Study, please contact Lucinia Mundy, Business Development Specialist, at MundyL@MeetCharlesCounty.com.