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St. Mary's BOCC Sees to Small Business, Community

The St. Mary’s Board of County Commissioners turned attention toward the community, making multiple proclamations at their meeting Tuesday, May 4. The board heard from Chamber of Commerce president Frank Taylor and Dept. of Economic and Community Director Bob Schaller about the upcoming events showcasing the numerous, unique small businesses in St. Mary’s to celebrate May as Small Business Month.

Taylor said 80 percent of the Chamber’s nearly 700 members are small businesses. The Chamber’s event, May 12 and the DECD hosted Small Business Spotlight May 27 will offer free seminars, networking opportunities, and a wealth of information on doing business in the County, with the Navy and with each other.

To get a first hand glimpse at the small businesses shaping the County, the commissioners visited three sites. At the Dr. James A. Forrest Tech Center, the board sampled Bruster's ice cream treats from the store's new, eye-catching refrigerated truck. The graphic wrap on the bus is the work of another small business, Hilltop Graphics in Hollywood, who worked with the tech center's graphic arts students during the project, providing hands-on learning for what owner Carol Davis called "our potential empoyees." DECD Business Development Manager Hans Welch said Ray and Debbie Bednarcik's is the number one Bruster's franchise location in the U.S.

The board then visited Super Salvage, a new recycling and processing facility that buys ferrous and non-ferrous metal scrap, keeping re-usable materials out of our landfill and paying citizens to clean up junk. Welch helped get the business opened in what he calls "the perfect location," just off St. Andrews Church Rd. (Rt. 4). In small trips or by the heaping truckloads, citizens are cashing in farm equipment, appliances, aluminum cans, and countless other materials. General Manager Cian Smithers guided the tour and answered the commissioners' questions about how Super Salvage operates. For more details about cashing in your junk, contact (301) 863-1221.

Attentive to the defense and technology sector thriving in the county, the commissioners visited Defense Technologies, Inc. to get a glimpse at a small business developing unmmanned aerial and ground vehicles, software and command systems. DTI showed off the company's various projects, many of which are developed and manufactured in-house. Vice President of Business Development John A Torbett explained the appeal of the DTI's products, saying, "It's very usable gear." He said while most is designed with military intent, the unmanned and distance command capabilities also appeal to S.W.A.T. teams and other law enforcement agencies. The small business, located on Shangri-La Drive in Lexington Park, employs about 40 people and actively supports robotics projects in the schools.

The board also acknowledged Nursing Home and Nurse’s Week, with Commissioner President Russell praising the programs as “good folks taking care of other good folks.” The board heard from local health professionals about stokes, the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and proclaimed May Stroke Awareness Month.

The board received an invitation to attend the SMAWL Animal Fair M

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