Starting & Growing Your Business
Business Expansion and Retention
Whether you are looking to start or grow a business, learning to tackle a government procurement contract for the first time, or wanting certification as a minority, veteran, or women-owned business, there are many local, regional, and national resources available.
The following organizations offer a mix of informational, financial, training, and networking services to help businesses start and/or grow. For financing resources check here.
New Business Checklist: The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation provides a convenient check list with the basic requirements for starting a new business in Maryland.
Business Licenses: The Clerk of the Circuit Court issues licenses required for doing business in Charles County. To determine whether or not a license is needed, contact 301-932-3223.
Charles County Small/Local Business Enterprise (SLBE): The Department of Economic Development runs the SLBE program to make it easier for small, Charles County companies to do business with county government. For more information, contact Lucinia Mundy.
Charles County Minority Business Enterprise (MBE): Administered by the Department of Economic Development, was established by the Charles County Commissioners to encourage minority business participation in the County's procurement process. The Program has an aspirational MBE participation goal of 25%. The County conducts its own MBE registration, and recognizes MBE certification by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), and Federal 8-A certification. For more information, contact Lucinia Mundy.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC): Assists small businesses to start, grow, and be profitable. Services are free and confidential with additional low cost training options available. The SBDC Charles County office is located at the (CSM) College of Southern Maryland's La Plata Campus.
TechFire: As Southern Maryland’s Technology Incubator, the Energetics Technology Center’s TechFire program provides expert support and resources to grow technology oriented entrepreneurs and businesses. The TechFire network helps entrepreneurs build successful and sustainable companies that fuel the Southern Maryland economy. They have a special focus on women, minority and veteran entrepreneurs. For more information, call 301-645-6637.
Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP): Provides counseling services at no or low cost to Maryland small business owners who want to do business with government and respond to RFPs. Free counseling and mentoring programs and low cost workshops help businesses acquire the skills and understanding of the requirements of government contracting and the marketing know-how to pursue, win, and perform federal, state, and local government contracts.
Veterans Corner: A collection of veterans services on the Charles County Government website.
REGIONAL & STATE SERVICES
Maryland Department of Transportation's (MDOT) Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE): The official certification agency for the State. Contracting opportunities are available through the State (most counties, cities, and municipalities) and certain Federal projects funded through US Department of Transportation (DOT). Application assistance workshops are available free of charge.
Maryland Department of Commerce: The Office of Small Business is committed to helping business owners locate the tools they need to sustain, grow, and prosper. Services include:
- Navigating local, state, and federal government regulations and processes
- Identifying and connecting to state and federal resources
- Expanding and developing through specially tailored business seminars and forums
- Understanding permit and license requirements
- Accessing state and federal financing programs and a host of other services
Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs: Assists veterans, active duty service members, and their families and dependents, in securing benefits earned through military service.
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE): This nonprofit association is dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth, and success of small business nationwide. The SCORE of Southern Maryland Chapter offers free, confidential mentoring and conducts general and specialized workshops for which there are small charges. SCORE is a resource partner of the US Small Business Administration.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Provides assistance to entrepreneurs thinking about starting or those having already started a small business, with essential information, online tools, finance programs, and other services.
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA): The GSA'S Small Business Utilization Center (SBUC) serves as the regional advocate for small businesses and provides information about various government contracts and procurement opportunities. The SBUC provides support and assistance through networking sessions, roundtables, hosting bimonthly training workshops, mentor/protege program, and providing one-on-one counseling.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): The IRS website provides a wealth of information for the small business including basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business as well as information to assist in making basic business decisions.
BusinessUSA: An official website of the U.S. Government with a wealth of information on government assistance and resources for businesses.
Views from Charles
For those who work in economic development, pointing out a community’s assets is part of the job. But sometimes, it’s what its citizens say that makes a difference. This is a true story told by a local businessman who’s now in Southern Maryland but moved here from another state.
“Charles County is a great central location for us to have access to all of our customers. We do business with NSWC Carderock, Naval Research Laboratory, NAWCAD Patuxent River, NSWC Dahlgren, and Indian Head Naval Support Facility, to name a few.”
Director of Operations
“We are proud to be a key part of Charles County’s future and we heartily encourage other, cutting-edge companies to join us.”
Chief Executive Officer
Competitive Power Ventures
“Charles County is where we started our company and where we grew and expanded. We now operate our managed print and managed IT solutions in five states and provide custom apps all around the globe. Our headquarters is still in Charles County, an excellent place to conduct business and recruit highly skilled individuals for our ever growing team!"
Executive Director of Provider Engagement and Community Relations
Righttime Medical Care
“Charles County is a great place for businesses to start, grow, and thrive! We've worked with over 100 businesses since we opened our doors in Charles County, and I've witnessed the majority of these businesses achieve all three.”
Darlene M. Breck
Southern Maryland Business Center
“Charles County is a great place to do business because of the passion of the business community and the residents who strive to make it the best that it can be."
Andrew W. Welburn
The Welburn Organization