During August, we celebrate Black-owned businesses and examine the unique challenges they face, including systemic and institutional barriers, financial roadblocks, racial wealth gaps, and implicit biases. Charles County Economic Development Department acknowledges these challenges and strives to provide the resources that can help Black business owners succeed. Our Business Growth Advantage Program (BGAP) provides business owners with the tools and strategies to achieve their business goals.
This no-cost, 8-week program prepares entrepreneurs for business growth and includes virtual weekly training sessions, access to a network of entrepreneurial peers and professional resources, and complimentary consultations. Upon completion of the program, participants receive $10,000 in grants to be used for working capital.
Many Black-owned businesses in Charles County have benefited from the support of BGAP. Read more about our successful Black-owned BGAP graduates below.
Supporting Families with Quality Child Care Services
High-quality child care is essential for working families. Dyson’s Daycare has provided part-time or full-time daycare, summer programs, and before-or after-school programs in Waldorf, MD, for over ten years. Dyson’s mission is to provide their clients’ children with “a safe and positive learning environment so that they may receive the physical activity and emotional stability they need to maintain a healthy mind and body.” Dyson's Daycare offers fun, learning, and care at an affordable price, regardless of race, color, gender, or national origin.
Serving Up Soul Food Caribbean-Style
Karibbean Fire is in the business of “#SupportingYourBelly,” a mission they take very seriously. This Black-owned, family-owned restaurant in La Plata, MD, serves the ultimate Caribbean soul food experience, whipping up mouth-watering Southern, barbecue, and Caribbean-infused entrees including Cajun fish and seafood, jerk ribs, smoked chicken, fried wings, and pasta. Their full-service bar provides a festive accompaniment and social atmosphere.
Catering to Make Events a Culinary Experience
Selby’s Food Services provides catering services with custom menus for weddings, private events, and corporate events for parties of 30 to 500 guests. They cater casual or formal events at their Waldorf, MD, banquet hall or deliver and serve to the White Plains, Waldorf, St. Charles, Bensville, and Accokeek areas. Chef Kendall Selby is an internationally trained chef with over 20 years of experience and creates high-end presentation all-American dishes with hints of international specialties. Selby’s Food Services employs a team of 40, provides off-site event planning and decoration services, and co-founded the organization End Hunger in Charles County, which feeds 3,000 community members every Thanksgiving.
Fitness Options for Health and Wellness
Tammy and John Wright brought their passion for fitness, health, and wellness to Waldorf, MD, when they founded ABC Fitness Connection, LLC in 2004. This vibrant fitness center serves the community with an array of exercise options, including boot camps, group exercise classes, Senior Conditioning Camps, and more. Master trainers are available to work with clients one-on-one to achieve personal fitness and wellness goals in a private setting. ABC Fitness Connection strives to show the community that a “healthy lifestyle, including good nutrition and daily exercise, creates a sense of well-being that enhances performance in one's job, as well as every aspect of life.”
Fun and Fashion-Forward in Waldorf
Women and men who enjoy “pushing the boundaries” with fashion have options in Waldorf, MD, thanks to Shopwize Boutique. Since 2004, Shopwize Boutique has provided chic and unique clothing and accessories for men and women. Their business has transformed from initially participating in events, then growing to two storefronts, and now also serves their fashionable and trendy customers through online sales. The team at Shopwize Boutique prides itself on offering an eclectic selection of the latest and hottest in fashion finds at unbeatable prices.
Interested in participating in BGAP? We are now accepting applications for the next cohort. Learn more about the program here.