Economic Development Week 2021: Taking the Road Less Traveled

As we road trip from Greater Baltimore, through the Capital Region into Western Maryland, we’re reminded that travel is about dreaming, and Economic Development Week is, too. Last week’s blog took us through Southern Maryland and along the Eastern Shore. This week’s adventures remind us that the journey—to develop programs, revitalize communities, and expand opportunities—is just as important as the destination. If this week’s activities are any indication, our members are moving full speed ahead.

Great Ideas in Greater Baltimore

In Howard County, the Great Pumpkin Pitch on October 26 brings seasonal fun to the business of pitching. This “Pitch and Mingle” event, hosted by the Maryland Innovation Center, takes the fear factor out of pitching. Entrepreneurs provide four-minute pitches, judged by a panel of innovation leaders. Cash prizes are awarded to winners and good company is promised. Registration is required, and all are welcome.

Anne Arundel County emphasizes economic development’s imprint throughout the week, with virtual celebrations, ribbon cuttings, and seminars. The Inclusive Ventures Program Graduation on October 27 honors promising entrepreneurs, with festivities led by Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz, County Executive Steuart Pittman, and Mayor Gavin Buckley. It’s fitting that the program, which supports minority, women, and veteran entrepreneurs with resources and mentorship, jumpstarts futures during Economic Development Week. The six-week program is rigorous, and the rewards are tangible, equipping graduates with HR, legal, and accounting support and $5,000 of working capital. This and all Economic Development Week events will be broadcast on AAEDC social media channels.

On October 28, the BWI Business Partnership holds its Women’s Leadership Series: Resiliency Amid and After Covid. Leadership challenges and opportunities are put in focus by healthcare, government, higher education, and business executives. Pre-registration is required, and all are welcome.

Renewal in the Capital Region

Frederick County also takes a weeklong approach to Economic Development Week, which is Business Appreciation Week in their communities. Kicking off on October 25 and continuing throughout the week, the Office of Economic Development will hold virtual meetings with businesses that have started, located, or expanded between 2020 and 2021. Rewarding resiliency, over 100 participating businesses will receive resources to support continued success. Benefits include free marketing consultations, free pitch video services, media distribution, and more.

On October 26, the City of Hyattsville puts a dynamic enterprise in the Business Spotlight. Maryland Meadworks, a craft bar and restaurant, commissioned a mural for its Rhode Island Avenue building. Funded by a grant from the City of Hyattsville’s Commercial Façade Improvement Program and created by local artists, the public art initiative brings color and energy to the neighborhood. During the event, Mayor Ward will recognize Maryland Meadworks’ contributions to community life. This is one of many Economic Development Week celebrations planned in the City of Hyattsville; visit their website to learn more.

Taking a virtual approach to “the big ask,” the PitchMasters Workshop on October 26 invites Montgomery County business hopefuls to make their pitch perfect. Participants have six minutes to pitch and receive 10 minutes of feedback. Pre-registration is required, and participation is free.

All week, Prince George’s County business development directors are meeting with and celebrating companies invigorating their industries. All companies will receive Certificates of Appreciation from County Executive Angela Alsobrooks in recognition of their accomplishments. On October 27, County Executive Alsobrooks and Prince George’s County Economic Development President and CEO David Iannucci will visit NextCure, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering next-gen treatments.

Momentum in Western Maryland

Positioning rural economies for success requires opportunities at every age and stage. The Garrett County Job Fair on October 27, in person for the first time since 2019, links full- and part-time job seekers and seasonal hires with employers. From manufacturing to healthcare, tourism to education, employers represent a range of industries seeking talent at any career phase. All are welcome; pre-registration is not required.

Maryland’s Western Region Small Business Development Center hosts Survival Tips for Business Owners in a virtual format. With advice ranging from online reputation management to disaster planning, topics provide businesses with timely solutions. Businesses from all Maryland regions are welcome to attend; pre-registration is required.

Roadblocks are part of the journey, but the change agents of economic development find ways around them. Recalculating the route and innovating new ways forward are what our members do best. Please join us as we salute their success.

Leave a Reply