Counseling in Anne Arundel County

By Carlene Cassidy

Anne Arundel County Minority Business Enterprise Program

Anne Arundel County’s Office of Central Services is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the County’s Minority Business Enterprise Program. It is the policy of Anne Arundel County to assure all persons seeking to do business with the county equal opportunity and access to participate in the procurement of all commodities and services.

The Minority/Small Business Enterprise coordinator is an advocate for “equal business opportunity” in procurement and functions on many levels, including but not limited to:

• Monitoring the effectiveness of the county’s procurement efforts
• Providing technical assistance to women and minority businesses
• Recording statistics on W/MBE utilization
• Updating the county’s Directory of Minority and Women-Owned Businesses
• Providing leadership and direction to the county’s Minority Business Enterprise committee

Visit the county’s Directory of Minority and Women-Owned Businesses at www.aacounty.org. You may look up a business or, if you meet the criteria, submit your business to be listed in the directory.

Contact Joanne Jackson at 410-222-7620 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

The Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The SBDC is dedicated to helping you establish and expand your business. They accomplish this by providing a variety of management and technical assistance programs designed to help you, the aspiring and existing small-business owner. Their confidential business consulting service will help you to develop and refine business plans, solve problems, find sources of capital and develop strategies to support growth and profitability. This service is offered at no cost!

The SBDC can conduct research on all aspects of your business, industry and market through their exclusive access to SBDCNET, a national business information clearinghouse. In addition, information on print, video and electronic media is available through their resource libraries.

SBDC wants to help you start and succeed in your business.

The SBDC Anne Arundel County office is conveniently located at the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporations’ Small Business Resource Center at 2660 Riva Road, Suite 200, Annapolis, MD 21401. Visit SBDC on the Web at www.aaedc.org or call 410-222-4476 to schedule an appointment.

SCORE® (Service Corps of Retired Executives)

SCORE® is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small businesses nationwide. It is a group of both working and retired executives and business owners who donate their time and expertise as business counselors. SCORE® was formed in 1964, and there are now about 11,200 volunteers in some 400 chapters throughout the country. SCORE® operates under the sponsorship of the U.S. Small Business Administration and in cooperation with a variety of local institutions. This year SCORE®, “Counselors to America’s Small Business,” celebrates 40 years of service to the small business community.

SCORE® Chapter #390 in southern Maryland has about 40 talented members with entrepreneurial experience. They offer free counseling and conduct general and specialized workshops for which there are nominal charges. They provide such services to clients in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince Georges and St. Mary’s counties.

The southern Maryland chapter is located in Annapolis and was recently recognized for two years in a row by the National SCORE® Organization as runner-up to the best SCORE® chapter in the nation. The chapter has used a number of innovative approaches to better serve small businesses or those wishing to start such businesses.

Visit SCORE on the Web at www.score390.org or call them at 410-266-9553 to schedule an appointment.

© 2010, Carlene Cassidy

Carlene Cassidy, Professor
School of Business, Computing & Technical Studies
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies Institute, Anne Arundel Community College, cmcassidy@aacc.edu
410-777-2161

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Photo credit: www.VisitAnnapolis.org.