Business Digest


November 04, 2005

Pump It Up franchise opens in Elkridge

Tilmon and Denise Smith of Upper Marlboro have recently opened an Elkridge franchise of Pump It Up, the Inflatable Party Zone - a giant, indoor, inflatable playground available for birthday parties and other events.

The facility, at 7184 Troy Hill Drive, offers interactive inflatable structures, including an inflatable bounce house, slide and obstacle course, inflatable boxing and jousting arenas and an inflatable birthday throne.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week during a networking breakfast held for the Howard County Chamber of Commerce at Pump It Up, and a grand-opening celebration is planned from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 13. Car-seat safety checks, photo identification cards for children, fitness and interactive technology demonstrations, balloon animals, prizes and food will be available.

"I really want people to think of us as a community-based business," said Smith, the operations manager.

The franchise is establishing relationships with PTAs, churches and sports teams, and plans to host charitable fundraisers, events for children with special needs and school groups.

The Pump It Up parent company, founded in 2000 and headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., has 100 locations in 31 states, Smith said.

Legislative breakfast to be held Nov. 15

The Howard County Chamber of Commerce will hold its legislative breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Nov. 15 at Turf Valley Resort & Conference Center in Ellicott City.

County and state elected officials will discuss issues of concern to the Howard County business community and their response to the chamber's most recent white paper on governmental affairs, Issues for Legislative Action 2006.

The cost is $35 for chamber members; $55 for nonmembers.

Information or registration: 410-730-4111, Ext. 104, or

Restaurant park under construction

Columbia-based Manekin LLC has begun construction on McGaw Plaza, a 5.5-acre restaurant park it is developing at McGaw Road and Stanford Boulevard in Columbia.

The company demolished a former GM dealership at 8870 McGaw Road to make room for two restaurant buildings offering 23,000 square feet of space.

Plans call for one building to hold four to five casual restaurants; the other is to hold two or three full-service restaurants. A 1.5-acre site will be available for a bank. The project is to be completed early next year.

KLNB Retail, which handles leasing and property management for the project, has obtained commitments from four tenants. Stationhouse Restaurant Development Corp. signed a 10-year lease to open a 7,100- square-foot location for the Greene Turtle Restaurant Sports Bar Grille. Also signed are leases for the Atlanta Bread Co., which will occupy 4,500 square feet of space; Cheeburger Cheeburger will occupy 3,025 square feet, and Salsarita Fresh Cantina will occupy 2,577 square feet.

Job fair -- Howard Community College, in cooperation with the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, will present its Job/Career Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in the college's Burrill Galleria. Representatives of employers will be available to discuss job opportunities, accept applications and schedule interviews. Participants can have their resumes reviewed by the college's career counselors and consult the HCC Job On-Line database for more local job postings. Admission is free and open to the public. The college is at 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. 410-772-4840, or howardcc. edu/career/jobfair.htm.

Business seminars -- Howard County Economic Development Authority's Business Resource Center will present a series of seminars at its Center for Business & Technology Development, 9250 Bendix Road North, Columbia.

"Smart Start to Business Success," a workshop on factors to consider when selecting a business entity - taxes, liability and financing - will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday. The cost is $39.

"Export Howard County: Focus on Small Business," a workshop on starting a business in the global marketplace, will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15. The cost is $99.

"Marketing Basics for Business Growth" will be offered from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 15. The cost is $59. Registration is required: 410-313-6550.

Sustainable living -- Green Building Institute, in partnership with Colorado-based Solar Energy International, will offer a five-day Natural Building & Renewable Energy Workshop from Nov. 14-18 at the EnviroCenter, an office complex scheduled to open shortly in Jessup. The workshop, intended for home and business owners, will present an overview of solar, wind and water power, as well as an introduction to natural building materials. There is a fee. The EnviroCenter, at 7761 Waterloo Road, will offer shared conference rooms and administrative services, networking events, access to environmentally sound office supplies, shared marketing opportunities, an on-site bio-diesel fuel source and other amenities. 410-768-4041, 970-963-8855, or

Women in agriculture -- Howard County Economic Development Authority and the Howard County office of the Maryland Cooperative Extension are organizing a Women In Agriculture Forum, a daylong series of seminars to be held Nov. 15 at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship. Registration is to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. The forum is designed to offer educational and networking opportunities to women and to empower them to thrive in the agriculture industry. The cost is $20. Ginger Myers, 410-313-6500, or Caragh Fitzgerald, 410-313-2707.

Business counseling -- The central library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, will offer free one-on-one business counseling with representatives from the Small Business Administration between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Nov. 15. The event is part of the Howard County Library's "Libraries Mean Business" program, focusing on ways the library serves Howard County businesses. Registration is required to reserve a time slot. 410-313-7860.

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