Small Businesses: 'It's a Local Thing'

Small, independent business owners met up Monday morning at Lenny’s Restaurant to find out how keeping it local can keep St. Mary’s County businesses growing. The March 15 Roundtable, hosted by the Dept. of Economic and Community Development, offered pertinent updates and an excited revealing of Buy Local Programs.

Hans Welch invited those in construction related businesses to join him Thursday, March 18 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. at the Southern Md. Higher Education for a beneficial discussion on moving ahead despite the slump in the industry.

SMECO Energy and Program Director Kevin Clark shared information about the electric co-op’s EmPOWER Maryland incentives for businesses and proprietors were invited to attend St. Mary’s Chapter of Business Network International’s (BNI) weekly meetings in Lexington Park.

Attendees heard from Christine L. Bergmark, Ph.D., the Executive Director of Southern Md. Agricultural Development Commission, who created the successful ‘So Maryland, So Good’ and ‘Buy Local Challenge’ programs. Bergmark said the easy and fun grassroots creation of these campaigns came about intended to be something everyone could do and educate the public about why it’s good to buy local.

Dan Rebarchick, owner of Lenny’s, Sleep Inn and D.B. McMillan’s Pub, announced the formation of St. Mary’s Independent Business Association, with goals of getting involved in the schools and the Chamber of Commerce. For membership information click here and keep your eyes open for ‘I Buy St. Mary’s’ on local marquees and bumpers.

Savor St. Mary’s” meshes great eateries and local farms in the county to offer the ultimate local dining experience. Two savory weeks will occur in summer, July 15-Aug. 8, and in winter, Feb. 15-28. To get involved or get more information click here.

DECD Director Bob Schaller introduced the ‘I Buy St. Mary’s’ panel and told the crowd, “Local is in.” Schaller commented on the multiple-generations running small businesses in the county and “[citizens’] emotional investment in the community.”

Panel member Joe Orlando, who owns Fenwick Street Used Books and Music and is active in the Leonardtown Business Association, stated, “It’s important to join together and promote our community.  By building up other folks’ business, we build up our own.”

Other panel members like Wynne Briscoe of locally produced, organic skin products Forever Eden, D.B. McMillan’s restaraunteur Dana Spicuzza and Jim Moore, owner of Moore or Less Farms, discussed how working cooperatively stands to benefit the wide variety of unique businesses in SMC.

Panelist and owner of three local stores Kim Bowes said, “This isn’t about saving businesses, it&

Around the Web


0 Comments Write your comment

    1. Loading...