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Md. job growth 'stable, if not growing,' state official says

Entrepreneurship conference gets under way in Hagerstown

Entrepreneurship conference gets under way in Hagerstown

September 26, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- Despite the current state of the economy, Maryland's Secretary of Business and Economic Development said Thursday it is still a good time to start a business.

David W. Edgerley admits that potential entrepreneurs might have difficulty securing a loan to make their dreams a reality, but he said it is "always a good time to start a business."

Edgerley was one of about 40 people who attended the first day of a two-day entrepreneurship conference Thursday at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown. It was the third time The Trident Initiative - a grant-based program that enhances Frostburg State University's business studies - has hosted the annual conference.

The conference continues today with faculty presentations and leadership training.

Thursday's keynote speaker was Mike Deming, president of Demcore Development LLC, who spoke about the transformation of downtown Hagerstown.

Edgerley said that while people across the country are watching nervously as Congress discusses how best to help the country's ailing economy, Maryland's economy is strong and has not been significantly impacted.

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"Job growth is stable, if not growing," he said.

Edgerley, a Frostburg State University graduate, said he does not like the term "bailout," but said he believes federal assistance will help stabilize America's economy.

Deming said Thursday the stalled housing market has affected some aspects of his business. Higher gas prices and a limited number of buyers has affected Deming's residential business, he said, but commercial sales are still strong.

Deming also spoke about the transformation of downtown Hagerstown, especially the portion of Potomac Street known as the city's entertainment district.

Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II attended Thursday's conference, and called Deming "part of the backbone of downtown Hagerstown." He said the entrepreneurs, like Deming, bring initiative and ideas that help small towns like Hagerstown move in the right direction.

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