Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

December 06, 2004

Nominees sought for awards honoring diversity in business

The Howard County Economic Development Authority's Committee for Business and Economic Diversity (CBED) will hold its 11th annual awards program to recognize community leaders and honor achievements in equal business opportunity April 19.

Nominations are being accepted for the categories of "Business Achievement Star," "Individual Achievement Star," Business Commitment Star," Individual Commitment Star," and for a "Rising Business Star" scholarship of $1,000, to be awarded to a Howard County high school senior pursuing post-secondary studies.

The scholarship winner will be selected based on business achievement - starting a small business, for example, or assisting an existing business, or developing a creation or invention for business.

To request an award nomination form or a "Rising Business Star" application form: 410-313- 6550 or www.hceda.org/thecen ter/cbed.html. Applications must be submitted by March 4.

Winners in the program will be announced at the CBED Breakfast Awards Gala, to be held from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. April 19 at the Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville.

The Howard County Economic Development Authority is a public-private partnership working to promote economic growth and stability in the county.

Optivor Technologies pays off Rouse fund loan

Optivor Technologies, security consultants in the field of voice communications and data networking, has paid off its $100,000 loan from the Jim Rouse Entrepreneurial Fund and graduated to traditional financing with Howard Bank.

The Jessup-based company sells phone systems to large organizations and develops data networks. Optivor also provides wireless area networks and IT security services. The company is shortly to move to a 1,760- square-foot customer service center in Ellicott City.

Clients include USA Today, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Energy.

Calendar

Farm business:

Weekly classes in NxLevel Training in Business Planning for Entrepreneurial Farmers will be offered from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 24 to Feb. 14, at Carroll Community College. Dinner will be provided. The four-week course, "Tilling the Soil of Opportunity," is designed to help farmers examine their goals, explore marketing strategies, understand financial statements and develop a comprehensive business plan. Networking opportunities and one-on-one consultation time are included. The training, co-sponsored by the Howard County Economic Development Authority, the Maryland Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Program, is adapted to the region in which it is taught, based on crops grown and available marketing outlets. Ginger Myers, agricultural marketing specialist, Howard County Economic Development Authority, 410- 313-6500; or www. hceda.org.

Sponsors sought:

Howard County's 2005 Relay for Life, an overnight community fund-raising event for the American Cancer Society, is seeking sponsors. The all-night walk/run will be held June 10 and 11. Corporate sponsorships are available on several levels. Sponsors will be recognized on the relay's Web site, in its program and, depending on the level of sponsorship, on T-shirts, banners and publicity materials. Businesses can form teams of eight to 15 people to raise money before the relay and participate in the event. 410-781-4316.

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