Guidebook advises women, minorities in business Pamphlet answers common questions ANNE ARUNDEL BUSINESS

July 22, 1993|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Staff Writer

Minority- and female-owned businesses with questions on how to build healthy enterprises can now turn to a free business-resource guide from the Anne Arundel Trade Council.

The guide, being released today, discusses resources and programs available for women and minorities at the local, state and federal level.

Trade council officials say the Anne Arundel Guide To Business Resources for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses is the first comprehensive guide of its kind available in the county.

In the guide, business owners will find answers to questions ranging from "How do you find out about contracting opportunities with the state of Maryland through its certification program for minority businesses?" to "Where do you learn about various types of loans and the credit application process?"

While Anne Arundel County is home to more than 10,000 businesses, no real mechanism exists to determine how many are owned by minorities and women, said Rosemary Duggins, marketing director for the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation.

The guide is "really a good stepping stone to getting your certification and finding out what the rules are," said Mary Morris, marketing director for Environmental Systems Analysis, a female-owned environmental consulting business in Annapolis.

"It's a means of finding who the people are you need to talk to," Ms. Morris said.

The 58-page guide is divided into sections listing some of the businesses in the county owned by minorities and women and the resources available to them.

"The information was out there," said Jan Ferguson, chairwoman of the trade council's minority and women-owned business committee, which put the guide together. "It was just a matter of putting together all the resources available."

In working on the guide, said Ms. Ferguson, owner of an interior plantscape business in Annapolis, committee members generally found that minority- and female-owned businesses weren't sure of where to go for information.

So far, 5,000 copies have been printed. The guide will be distributed at trade council events, major companies with minority-business set-aside programs and government offices.

If interest is high and the first copies go quickly, Ms. Ferguson said, another guide might be published later.

The committee sold about 35 ads for $45 each to minority- and female-owned businesses to pay for this run.

Other companies, like the Anne Arundel Medical Center, also took out ad space to help the guide get published.

The publication -- which the committee began working on about a year ago -- was produced in cooperation with Bay Media, a Severna Park-based, female-owned publishing company specializing in community publications.

To receive a free copy of the guide, call the Anne Arundel Trade Council at 410-757-6709 or 974-4402.

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