Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

March 08, 2006

Howard Bank gets SBA lender OK

Howard Bank has received authorization from the Small Business Administration to process guaranteed loans under the SBA's Preferred Lenders Program, according to the bank's president, Mary Ann Scully.

Preferred lenders receive a one-day loan processing turnaround time on their loan applications from the SBA. Howard Bank, established in August 2004, was one of the top 10 banks in Central Maryland in approval of small-business loans last year.

The bank plans to open a Maple Lawn branch in North Laurel this year, and it plans to open its first branch on U.S. 40, near Centennial Lane, in 2007.

4 sales seminars scheduled in Laurel

The Baltimore/Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce will offer a series of four seminars, "Increase Sales: Learn to Network Like a Pro," from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday, today and April 12, May 10 and May 31, in chamber offices, 312 Marshall Ave., Suite 104, Laurel.

Marcia Hall will present an in-depth look at making networking a strategic business tool.

Those who attend may register for the series or for single seminars. Chamber members pay $20 a session, in advance; $30 at the door, and $65 for the series. Nonmembers and members paying at the door pay $30 a session. Information or registration: 301-725-4000 or www.baltwashchamber.org.

Networking forum slated March 15

The Laurel Board of Trade will sponsor a Networking Business Forum at 9:30 a.m. March 15 at the Pool Meeting Room, at Ninth and Main streets, Laurel.

The forum will offer a members an opportunity to showcase their services and develop new contacts in the Laurel community.

Registration is requested.

Information: 301-483-0838.

Calendar

Smart start -- Howard County Economic Development Authority's Business Resource Center will offer "Smart Start to Business Success," presented by an attorney, accountant, banker and insurance adviser, for new entrepreneurs selecting a business entity and concerned about taxes, liability and financing. The seminar will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon today at the Center for Business & Technology Development, 9250 Bendix Road North, Columbia. The cost is $39.

"Export Howard County: Focus on Small Business," a workshop to help small-business owners take first steps into the global marketplace, will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 21 at the same location. The cost is $99.

"Government Contracting Resources," a seminar for business owners considering competing in the federal market or those in the early phases of entering the market, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 22. The cost is $149.

"Franchising: The Safe Business," which covers the fundamentals of buying a new or existing franchise, will be offered from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. March 28. The cost is $59.

"Developing Your First Business Plan," a workshop for the first-time entrepreneur, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 29. The cost is $75.

The Center for Business and Technology Development provides assistance with business management, from start-up, business planning and financing to marketing and networking. 410-313-6550, or www.hceda.org.

Applications sought -- The Howard County Economic Development Authority's Committee for Business and Economic Diversity is accepting applications for the Howard County General Hospital Rising Business Star scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a graduating Howard County public high school senior intending to pursue post-secondary studies at an accredited institution. The scholarship is intended for a member of an ethnic minority, a woman or an individual with a disability who has shown initiative in business. Applications, which must be received by Saturday, are available at www.hceda. org/thecenter/cbed.html, or 410- 313-6177, or from school guidance counselors. The recipient will be announced at the 12th CBED Awards Breakfast on April 25.

Business women -- The Business Women's Network of Howard County Inc, a networking organization, will hold a breakfast meeting from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. March 15 at the Columbia Hilton Hotel. Michele Keleman will present "Reflections of an NPR Moscow Correspondent." The cost for members is $20 in advance; $30 at the door. Nonmembers pay $40. 410-740- 0126.

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