City of Hagerstown is taking minority businesses to lunch

January 19, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN - The city of Hagerstown is hosting a luncheon on Monday for minority owners of businesses in the city.

By the state of Maryland's definition, minority-owned businesses are at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more people who are minorities.

The classification of "minorities" includes female, African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, Native American and disabled, according to the city.

More than four months ago, the city started compiling a directory of minority-owned businesses to give them information about government grants, loans or partnerships.

Deborah Everhart, the city's economic development director, said 99 businesses, covering each minority group listed, responded. The majority are female-owned businesses, she said.


Everhart said Wednesday that about 40 to 50 of those businesses have reserved a spot at the luncheon. Some business owners cannot be there, but are interested in the directory and possible benefits, she said.

The luncheon will be Monday at noon at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center Antietam Creek on Dual Highway.

The deadline for business owners to sign up to attend is Friday.

Everhart said she will be there, along with Mayor Richard F. Trump, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman and some Hagerstown City Council members.

The luncheon also will "get the minority businesses networking with each other," Everhart said.

The city will hold a follow-up seminar, probably about a month later.

Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Maryland Office of Minority Business Enterprise, the Maryland Procurement and Technical Assistance Program and the local Small Business Development Center will be invited to speak at the seminar, Everhart said.

If you go

What: Luncheon for minority business owners

When: Monday, noon

Where: Clarion Hotel & Conference Center Antietam Creek, Dual Highway, Hagerstown

For information, call 301-739-8577, ext. 112. Business owners have until Friday to reserve a spot.

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