Charles County Economic Development Department Celebrates Business Appreciation Week

Published Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Charles County Economic Development Department celebrated locally owned businesses and the important contributions they make to the community during its inaugural Business Appreciation Week, May 9-13, 2022.  This will be an annual initiative as part of the department’s business retention and expansion program.

“Business Appreciation Week is a best practice observed by economic development organizations throughout the county,” said Kelly Robertson-Slagle, EDD Director.  “We had a very successful and popular program in Calvert County, where I was previously, and I knew it would be an excellent enhancement to Charles County’s business retention and expansion program.  We’ve had so much positive feedback from everyone who participated.”

The week began with a Business Resource Webinar, hosted by EDD Director, Kelly Robertson-Slagle.  Business resource partners such as the Charles County Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center, and Workforce Development joined Robertson-Slagle for a presentation on free and low-cost programs that assist businesses with operations, growth, staffing, and more. 

The Board of County Commissioners issued a proclamation during their weekly meeting that officially acknowledged Business Appreciation Week.  The EDD also ran advertising on local cable, online, and billboard encouraging residents to support local businesses.

On Wednesday and Thursday, EDD teams fanned out into the community to visit local businesses, tour their operations, and talk with business owners.  Teams were led by EDD staff and included community partners such as members of the EDD Advisory Board and subcommittees, staff from partner organizations, and elected officials. Twenty-six businesses received visits; they were selected by the EDD to represent a mix of industries and county locations.   

“We met with some of the most amazing entrepreneurs and small business owners during Business Appreciation Week,” said Commissioner Thomasina Coates.  “As a business owner myself, I thoroughly enjoyed talking to other small business owners and entrepreneurs, learning about their operations, infrastructure, future growth plans, and most importantly helping them tap into the network of support we have here in Charles County.”

The purpose of the business visits was to open communications between businesses and the EDD, inform businesses about resources, learn more about the business needs and challenges, and demonstrate to the community in general the importance of locally owned businesses to the well-being of the community and the local economy.

On Friday, May 13, 2022, Business Appreciation Week culminated with the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new US Bomb Tech Association offices and training center in the Town of Indian Head.  Attended by over 140 people including federal, state, and local officials, the USBTA opening marks a milestone in the redevelopment of Indian Head and a collaborative effort to revitalize business activity outside the Naval Support Facility Indian Head.  USBTA has relocated to Charles County from Colorado, and with it, brings member businesses and organizations that are making the Town a center of excellence for bomb disposal technology.

Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Mike Gill was among those who attended and spoke at the USBTA event.  Afterwards, he joined EDD Director Kelly Robertson-Slagle and Town of La Plata Mayor Jeannine James for a walking tour of the Town and stopped to visit with five La Plata businesses.

For more information about Charles County’s Business Appreciation Week, visit https://www.meetcharlescounty.com/business-appreciation-week/

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