Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

November 13, 2005

Assistive-technology vendors' display

More than 60 vendors of assistive technologies for people with special needs will display their products today at the third holiday "Special Needs" gift shop of AT:LAST Inc., which does business as the Maryland Assistive Technology Cooperative.

The cooperative, which negotiates prices with manufacturers and vendors, is open to everyone. Twenty-three out of 24 Maryland school districts and other agencies and organizations, as well as individuals, have purchased special-needs equipment through the cooperative. AT:LAST stands for Assistive Technology: Loans, Acquisitions, Services and Training.

The event will be held 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. today at the MD AT Co-op Training Center, Suite 160, 7050 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia.

Consumers will have an opportunity to shop for family members or friends with special needs and to learn about and try a variety of available technologies. Five themed rooms will offer devices for communication, learning, physical and or multiple and sensory disabilities; a new category of aids for daily living for seniors and their caregivers has been introduced this year.

Energy contractor to assist schools

The Howard County school system has selected Pepco Energy Systems to provide an energy-efficiency and guaranteed-savings program for its schools.

The program calls for Pepco Energy Services to implement energy-conservation measures at Phelps Luck Elementary, Patuxent Valley Middle and Hammond High schools, and to conduct energy feasibility studies at 10 other Howard County schools.

As part of the performance contract, Pepco will install a new cooling tower and pumps at Hammond High School, expand the existing energy-management control system and provide high-efficiency lighting in the three schools. Construction is expected to be completed by early next year.

The company is not the same as Potomac Electric Power Co.; its prices and services are not set by the Public Service Commission.

Business center plans 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:

"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. Tuesday. The cost is $99.

"Marketing Basics for Business Growth" will be offered from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday. The cost is $59.

"Market and Sell to Federal, State, Local Government" will be offered from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. The cost is $75.

"The Federal Government Technical Proposal: Making It Complete and Compliant," a workshop on preparing a technical proposal, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 22. The cost is $99.

"Franchising: the Safe Business" covers fundamentals of buying a new or existing franchise from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 29. 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 Monday through Friday at the EnviroCenter, an office complex 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 biodiesel fuel source and other amenities. 410-768-4041, 970-963-8855, or solarenergy.org.

Legislative breakfast -- The Howard County Chamber of Commerce will hold its legislative breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday 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 its 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. 410-730-4111, Ext. 104, or www.howardchamber.com.

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 Tuesday 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. Tuesday. The event is part of the "Libraries Mean Business" program. 410-313-7860.

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