Washington Redskins Legend Larry Brown Coaches More Than 100 Local Businesses to Build a Strong Team at Connections to Success Forum
Prince Georges County Economic Development Corporation and the Prince Georges Chamber of Commerce Series Brings Financing Experts to Local Companies

By Lori Valentine
PGCounty EDC

Largo, MD—On January 11, more than 100 local small business owners in Prince Georges County were treated to winning advice on growing a successful business from legendary Washington Redskins running back Larry Brown at the Prince Georges County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Prince Georges Chamber of Commerces (PGCC) Connections to Success breakfast, presented by Old Line Bank. The morning breakfast was the second of a three-part series the EDC and PGCC are hosting to provide small businesses with tools and resources to grow their companies and create jobs. Attendees packed the conference room at EDC headquarters to learn, first-hand how a winning attitude and access to capital can be an unbeatable combination to make their small businesses, big businesses.

My goal is to replicate what I experienced in my life through my ancestors purchase of a family farm more than 100 years ago, said EDC and CEO President Jim Coleman. These forums are designed to equip small businesses with the resources they need to create the same type of generational wealth that sent me and my siblings to college. Prince Georges County is brimming with prosperity. Our job is to ensure that our businesses and residents are partaking of this prosperity. There is no reason anyone should walk out of here today without a renewed sense of purpose.

Larry Brown, who spent his entire NFL career with the Washington Redskins, was drafted into the NFL in the eighth round in 1969. Through persistent hard work and overcoming numerous injuries, Mr. Brown went to four consecutive Pro Bowls during his first four seasons, was named the NFLs Most Valuable Player in 1972, and led the Redskins to their 1973 Super Bowl appearance against the Miami Dolphins.

Football and life have a lot of similarities. A wise business owner can learn from my life experiences, said Mr. Brown. You must learn the playbook quickly, and work hard both on and off the field to achieve to your goals. You cant do it by yourself. Use every resource available to motivate, modify and develop your business into the winning team you want it to be.

Todays Access to Capital workshop is in line with the EDCs Activate Prosperity initiative, a three-year plan focused on optimizing Prince Georges Countys prime assets for the betterment of its residents, businesses and workforce.

The Prince Georges Chamber of Commerce is pleased, once again to partner with the Prince Georges Economic Development Corporation to co-host this Connections to Success Breakfast, said Chamber President & CEO David Harrington. Takeaways from this Access to Capital portion of the series will be key in helping the Countys Small Businesses continue to grow, thrive & create wealth!

Experts provided attendees with specific programs and advice on how to take advantage of non-traditional funding sources and expand their businesses. Panelists included Les Hall, Small Business Manager from the Maryland Department of Commerce, Cheivelle Hill, Senior Loan Underwriter, Business Lending Programs from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Shelley Gross Wade, President and CEO of the Financial Services Corporation (FSC First), Ebony Stocks, EDI Fund Manager from the Prince Georges County Economic Development Corporation, Anthony Williams, Vice President of the Meridian Management Group, and Sharon Jackson, Acting Executive Director from the Prince Georges County Supplier Development Diversity Division.

We are all about small business; thats what we do and how we grew this bank, said James Cornelsen, President and CEO of Old Line Bank. Nine years ago, we moved our headquarters to Bowie. We believed there was great opportunity in the County and that it had been underserved by the banking community. We have grown tremendously since then.

In addition to Old Line Bank in Mitchellville, MD, the Financial Services Corporation (FSC First) in Largo, MD, Berman Enterprises in Rockville, MD and Eight OClock Coffee in Landover, MD graciously sponsored todays breakfast and forum as part of their commitment to small businesses in Prince Georges County.

Todays event was a great opportunity to get access to capital through savvy means, outside of a bank, said small business owner Brenden Waters, CEO of Centers for Quality Care. For those who have problems qualifying with a bank and are looking at other options, [todays] panel was very diverse. They provided great opportunity to learn and grow more.

The next Connections for Success forum will be on March 14, 2016 and will address Enhancing Relationships With Customers for Long Term Growth. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 1801 McCormick Drive, Suite 140, Largo, MD 20772.

Admission and parking are free. Breakfast will be provided. Attendees must RSVP to Crystal Ballard (cballard@co.pg.md.us) at 301-583-4650. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Sangrea Watkins (Swatkins@co.pg.md.us) or 301-583-4619.



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