Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

August 30, 2006

Colosseum Gym wins business honor

Colosseum Gym & Personal Training in Columbia has recently been named Small Business of the Year by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce.

The company has been named Maryland Small Business of the Year by the Small Business Administration and was recently presented with the Access Award by the Howard County Commission on Disabilities Issues.

Colosseum, owned and operated by personal trainers Tim Gallagher and David Sturman, has held silent auctions benefiting the Howard County school system and events to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research and the Special Olympics. The facility serves about 900 members and has been expanded to about 10,000 square feet.

Development group to meet Sept. 21

The Howard County Economic Development Authority will meet from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Howard Community College's Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center. The meeting will include a report to investors and achievement awards. The cost is $60.

The development authority is a public-private partnership that supports economic growth by supporting existing businesses, targeting new businesses and attracting corporate or regional headquarters to the area.

In addition to serving as liaison between public and private development and recommending policies to county government, the authority maintains programs to address the needs of the small, minority-owned and agricultural business communities.

Resources

Energy -- The Columbia-based Restaurant Association of Maryland is holding open enrollment for the Mid-Atlantic Aggregation Group Independent Consortium (MAAGIC), an energy group of retailers and others. The consortium's goal is to offer power to commercial participants at a fixed rate that is lower than that of the local utility. The program offers long-term fixed pricing for up to five years, a price-reduction clause should energy rates decrease, the right to assign the contract should a business be sold, no historical-bandwidth usage requirement (the price is fixed) and elimination of additional charges in high-demand summer months. Paula Kreuzburg or Joe Gabriel, 800-874-1313.

Agriculture -- The Agricultural Marketing Program of the Howard County Economic Development Authority has released its 2006 edition of the Howard County Farms & Services Guide, a resource for consumers interested in buying directly from farmers or farmers' markets. Listings include icons for each farm that provide a quick view of the products offered, including produce, farm products, agri-tourism, educational experiences, horse stabling and other activities. Agricultural support agencies, farmers' markets, a harvest calendar and other features are included. The agricultural marketing program has distributed the guide to the Howard County tourism office, libraries, welcome center, the county extension office, the county agricultural preservation office and participating farms. To request a copy: 410-313-6500, or write to Ginger S. Myers, agriculture economic development specialist, Howard County Economic Development Authority, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 500, Columbia 21046.

Web -- The Howard County Economic Development Authority is offering a Web-based resource for assessing, developing and marketing new agricultural enterprises and specialty food-processing businesses: its Electronic Agriculture Resource Center. In addition to information on business planning and management, The site, at www.hceda.org, also offers information on local, state and federal regulations. and one-click access to county zoning and health-code regulation. Ginger S. Myers, 410-313- 6500.

Business Digest items can be sent to Fay Lande at fay.lande@baltsun.com or faxed to her attention at 410-715-2816.

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