April 2021 Newsletter

“Play by the rules, but be ferocious.” – Phil Knight

Welcome to Bowie, Maryland!
Welcome to the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce Newsletter and to our community, one of the best places in Maryland to live, work and raise a family.

The Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce understands that in order to have a strong economic environment you must have a strong community. We are truly blessed in our community to have leaders, business owners, educators and citizens who realize that we all share in the responsibility of creating economic success and happiness within our community.

The Chamber’s goal is to work toward improving the quality of life for all through the support and commitment of its members, volunteers and committees. The Chamber is proud to sponsor events throughout the year to help support the community.

As the Executive Director, I am honored to work alongside our dedicated Board who all share the same vision, business growth and healthy community environment.

If you are not a member of the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce, please join us today. Your membership will benefit your business and the community. I look forward to working with everyone.

Be well,
Pauline K. Markward
Executive Director

Past President, Art Widmann, CFP®, AIF®, MSFS of Widmann Financial Services Honored in Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors for 2021
Bowie, MD (February, 2021) Widmann Financial Services, a provider of financial services in Bowie, MD, announced that Art Widmann CFP®, AIF®, MSFS has been named to Forbes’ list of Best-in-State Wealth Advisors for 2021. The list is published on www.Forbes.com.
According to Forbes, a leading financial publication, the recipients of the Best-in-State Wealth Advisors1 award were determined and ranked based on a number of factors including client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations, and quantitative criteria.
Widmann noted, “I am thankful and humbled to have been nominated by Commonwealth Financial Network and chosen by Forbes as one of the best wealth advisors in Maryland. This honor speaks to the world class level of effort our team puts forth every day to provide the service, support and results our clients expect and deserve. The relationships and friendships we’ve forged with our clients over the last 30+ years makes our work exceptionally rewarding and has continued to bolster our growth year after year. For this, we are extremely grateful.” 
About Widmann Financial Services 
Widmann Financial Services has been providing individuals and organizations with financial guidance since 1988. Located at 4321 Northview Drive, Bowie MD, Widmann Financial Services’ advisors pride themselves on crafting unique strategies for each client. For more information, please visit www.widmannfinancial.com

The pandemic and everything related to it caught many business owners by surprise and, even worse, caused some businesses to fold. Yelp reported that permanent business closures have reached 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won’t be reopening. Imagine investing so much into an entity, and because of some virus, things start to slow down, till they eventually go under.

It’s the new year, and nobody knows what it holds. But as a business owner, you have to plan and fortify your business against such problems.

Every day, innovations are created which simplify the buying process for your customers. If your business isn’t doing anything new and making life easier for your customers, you may risk losing your customers to people who will. Steve Jobs said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Meaning, if you want to become a leader in your industry or niche, you have to innovate. This cuts across marketing, product delivery, customer retention, etc.

2021 is a different year and would most likely have new challenges, so here are five survival tips for your business.

1. Stay on your customers’ minds

Marketing is very crucial for any business. Businesses that survived through 2020 were the ones that remained in their customers’ minds. If there are still lockdowns in 2021, that may cause your business not to operate normally, resulting in lower revenues. However, you shouldn't stop marketing but instead, reduce your marketing budget.

Marketing is how you understand your customers’ needs, educate them, attract new ones, and get them to keep doing business with you. All marketing strategies may not lead to outright sales, but sales will happen eventually if you’re consistent enough. 

Your social media platforms should be your best friends in the coming years. Studies show that “nearly 50% of the world's population uses social media. That's over 3 billion users worldwide.” 
Part of staying on your customers’ minds is being around where they can see you, and social media marketing is a marketing strategy that gives you that leverage. Whether you choose to use influencers or paid social, you have to put in the effort to remain in your customers’ minds. 

2. Get the best hands for the job

Great employees mean great business. If you want to give your business that competitive advantage, then you need to get the best hands for the job. You won’t give your customers the best if you don’t have the best staff.
It goes beyond hiring the right people but also training and keeping your employees happy. This cuts across being understanding, ensuring that you create a healthy work environment, and giving them a purpose that contributes to their job fulfillment. 

How do you create that positive work environment? Everyone likes to feel heard. So, it’s your job as the business owner to create an environment that allows everyone to share their opinions and ideas about certain things. This can happen at weekly meetings. Implementing this can significantly increase their productivity, which in turn helps your business.

3. Asset protection

As a business owner, many things can harm your assets, which can cause you to lose money. It won’t be nice losing your business assets in a legal case. Many entrepreneurs overlook this part, but it is crucial to secure your assets even if things don’t go your way after a legal case.

Nobody starts a business and considers the possibilities of entering a court case; this is why many people get into trouble. Seventy-eight percent of lawsuit defendants in the US never thought it would happen to them. Sony lost 200 million in assets, which could have been avoided if they protected their assets. Interestingly, you can still get your assets protected online and offline no matter your enterprise’s size.

4. Financing and budgeting

Your planning should also touch on finances because every business needs money to facilitate certain areas of business. Budgeting is like a roadmap for your business; you put your business at risk when you don’t have a budget.

Riley Panko, in a report on budgeting, said, “Businesses of all sizes should create a budget if they don’t want to risk the financial health of their organization.” She said, “Businesses may create more challenges for themselves by skipping a budget. This is because budgeting helps small businesses focus.”

Budgeting decides whether your marketing, asset acquisition, employee remuneration, and other parts of your business can go smoothly. You should anticipate all your long and short term financial needs. This may require hiring an accountant who will keep records of all the money going in and out of business. 

5. Be ready to adapt to anything

How adaptable are you? Patrick J. Rottinghaus defines adaptability as “The capacity to cope with and capitalize on change, and the ability to recover when unforeseen events alter life plans.”

No one saw 2020 coming, but it came, and it was like everyone had to “adapt or die.” The usual nature of work we were all used to halted for apparent reasons. Everyone had to adapt to zoom meetings, online education, and social distancing. This alone affected many brick and mortar businesses whose primary service delivery was in-person.

2021 is uncertain, but what is absolute should be your ability to adapt to anything. Whether it’s in your service/product delivery, marketing, or engaging with your customers, you have to be ready to dance to the tune of whatever the market throws at you and attack it creatively. 
The Prince George’s County Council continues to operate under the Governor’s “Proclamation and Declaration of State of Emergency and Existence of Catastrophic Health Emergency – COVID-19”, effective March 5, 2020, and amended January 21, 2021, and the Prince George’s County State of Emergency Declaration, effective March 16, 2020, and extended by the Governing Body of Prince George’s County with the adoption of CR-2-2021 on January 12, 2021. The Council’s Emergency Operations Procedures became effective pursuant to CR-10-2020, adopted on March 17, 2020, and amended pursuant to CR-35-2020, adopted on May 18, 2020. Rules of Procedure for the County Council and District Council have been amended, pursuant to CR-57-2020 and CR-58-2020, respectively, adopted on July 21, 2020, for virtual and remote public participation before each body.


Council Chair Calvin S. Hawkins, II, participated in County Executive Angela Alsobrooks’ press conference on Friday, March 26th, announcing her selection for the next Prince George’s County Chief of Police – Dallas Deputy Police Chief Malik Aziz.  The County Executive announced that the new police chief will begin his work in the County on May 9th.


The Prince George’s County Council, sitting as the District Council on zoning matters, met virtually on Monday, March 22nd. The scheduled session included Oral Arguments; Items Referred for Document; and Items Pending Finality. The District Council is granted authority to act on zoning matters by the State of Maryland Regional District Act, now in the Land Use Article of the Maryland Annotated Code. 

The Committee of the Whole convened two virtual meetings this week, on Tuesday, March 23rd and Thursday, March 25th. Tuesday’s COW, which discussed matters in the 2021 Maryland General Assembly Session impacting Prince George’s County, included status updates on the Operating and Capital Budgets; Statewide and Local bills; and Joint Priorities. During Thursday’s COW, Council Members received an overview of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) FY 22 Operating Budget and CIP budgets from General Manager and CEO, Carla Reid; Chief Financial Officer, Patti Colihan; Deputy General Manager for Administration, Joe Beach; Budget Division Manager, Letitia Carolina-Powell; and CIP Section Manager, Mark Brackett. The COW also reviewed several proposed Council Bills and Resolutions. 


The Prince George’s County Council convened virtually on Tuesday, March 23rd. Tuesday’s legislative agenda included a public hearing and unanimous approval for the Executive appointment of the County’s new Director of Housing and Community Development, Aspasia Xypolia. Council Members also adopted CR-14-2021, and CR-15-2021, concerning the adequate public facilities surcharge and the school facilities surcharge, respectively.

Also adopted was CR-32-2021, regarding the Prince George’s County Charter Review Commission.   Prince George’s Forward Task Force Co-Chairs, Dr. Charlene Dukes, former Prince George’s Community College President, and Pepco Holdings President and CEO, David Velazquez, briefed the Council on the long-term recommendations presented by the Task Force – A Redefined Future- to address the impacts of COVID-19 as the County charts its path forward from the global pandemic. At-Large Council Member Mel Franklin and District 9 Council Member Sydney Harrison were acknowledged for their work with the Prince George’s Forward Task Force. 


The Prince George’s County Redistricting Commission held its virtual first meeting on Tuesday, March 23rd. Commissioners include Chair, Pastor James Robinson, Dr. Charlene M. Dukes, and David C. Harrington. Dr. Nathaniel Persily, James B. McClatchy Professor of Law, Stanford Law School, who serves as consultant to the Redistricting Commission, shared a presentation on Redistricting Principles and Procedures, and discussed how the Census will impact the work of the Commission. Council Administrator Robert J. Williams, Jr. facilitated Tuesday’s organizational meeting, which discussed timelines and schedules. Commissioners agreed to meet virtually on the first and third Mondays of the month beginning April 5th. All meetings will be livestreamed at pgccouncil.us/Live The County Council adopted CR-6-2021, appointing the members of the 2021 Redistricting Commission and charging this public body with the mission to "prepare, publish, and make available a plan of Council districts and shall present that plan, together with a report explaining it, to the Council by September 1, 2021..." and further prescribed in accordance with law that "the plan shall provide for Council districts that are compact, contiguous, and equal in population." Learn more about Redistricting in Prince George’s County as you WATCH Tuesday’s meeting.


The County Council, during session on Tuesday, March 16th, enacted CB-001-2021, legislation defining a new use, Qualified Data Centers, in the Prince George’s Zoning Ordinance and permitting the use in specified zones. Qualified Data Centers are used to house computer systems, computer storage equipment, and associated infrastructure that businesses or other organizations use to organize, process, store, and disseminate large amounts of data. District 6 Council Member Derrick L. Davis, sponsor of the legislation, says the measure bolsters economic growth and job creation in Prince George’s County. “Council Bill - 001 supports the County’s broader economic development strategy by attracting Qualified Data Centers, which provide additional jobs and expand the County’s commercial tax base. Technological innovations are rapidly changing our national economy, and Prince George’s County must adapt and keep pace.  This legislation levels the playing field and enables Prince George’s County to fully benefit from the opportunities Qualified Data Centers present.”  State and County legislation passed last year provided important tax incentives and streamlined the entitlement process, positioning Prince George’s County to compete for data centers that could exceed $1billion in private investment. Currently, Northern Virginia is the largest market for data center space in the nation, with an estimated 70-percent of the world’s Internet traffic flowing through data centers within the state.


Funeral Services for Eugene Jones, who served as Constituent Services Specialist in the District One Council Office of Council Member Tom Dernoga, were held this week at the Silver Hill Volunteer Fire Department in Suitland.  Eugene Jones, of Beltsville, previously served as Fire Chief for the Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. He passed away suddenly on Friday, March 12, 2021. Eugene Jones is survived by his mother, wife and three children. Our prayers remain with the Jones family at this most difficult time.  READ condolences expressed by Council Member Dernoga and the District One Team.


The Prince George’s County Housing Opportunities for All Work Group (HOFA), established by CR-16-2019, and co-chaired by Council Member Dannielle Glaros and Department of Housing and Community Development Director Aspasia Xypolia, met Friday, March 26th. The HOFA Work Group is charged with developing policies and strategies to address the County’s housing affordability, quality and housing types. During Friday’s meeting, the work group achieved a shared understanding of the regional housing targets for our region; progress on university design policy framework; definition of success for the group’s 2021 activities; and a potential list of topics and activities for the group to address in 2021. 

Save the Date!
Your health matters to the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce. Over the next few weeks we will be practicing social distancing by limiting or reducing unessential meetings.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Contact the Chamber office at info@BowieChamber.org to secure your sponsorship today!
Unless otherwise noted above, register online www.BowieChamber.org

For additional information call 
301-262-0920 or email info@BowieChamber.org
72-Hour notice is required on cancellations

If your business has reached a milestone or received an award, please email the Chamber at info@bowiechamber.org. We look forward to giving kudos in Tradeline!
Chick-fil-A Marketplace Bowie presented 586 free sandwich offer cards to the Bowie Interfaith Food Pantry Emergency Fund! CFA donated one offer card for every mobile delivery they made in a two week period!
Get Your Flu Shot!
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Health officials tell us flu shots will be especially important as we move into flu season while still in the midst of the global pandemic. Flu shots are now available for County residents through the County Health Department’s upcoming free flu shot clinics. Adults with insurance are encouraged to get vaccinated by their primary care provider or at a local pharmacy. For more information and to make an appointment for the County’s free flu shot clinics, visit http://health.mypgc.us/flu


Business & Economic Development 
Promotes business development for chamber members through seminars and best practices. Works on attracting businesses to Greater Bowie.

Membership Development
Works on expanding the Chamber membership base as well as retaining existing members.

Corporate & Community Relations 
Provides opportunities to give back to the community, both in volunteer time and financial and in-kind contributions.

Advocates on behalf of the Chamber before the City Council, County Council and General Assembly. Informs the Board and membership of pending issues before those bodies of interest to Greater Bowie businesses.

Women In Business 
To offer useful information and networking opportunities focused on helping women to successfully meet the challenges they face in today's business world and learn how to find and maintain balance within. Sponsor events to raise funds for the Women in Business scholarship fund.

Healthcare Committee
Promotes Chamber Healthcare related businesses to the community, healthcare related networking events, bringing healthcare providers together and holds community Health Fair.
Social Action

Peanut Butter Shelf

GBCC has adopted the Peanut Butter Shelf in the Bowie Interfaith Pantry. Each month the Bowie Food Pantry goes through approximately 350 jars of peanut butter. 

You can drop off your donation at the Chamber office or directly to the Bowie Food Pantry, located at 2614 Kenhill Drive, Suite 134. (GBCC Office is Suite 117.)

Bowie Business Journal
In conjunction with the GBCC, Bowie Business Journal (BBJ) is a cable television program designed to help Bowie business owners start and grow their business. The 30-minute show features GBCC members. If you would like to be a guest and showcase your business please email info@BowieChamber.org

New & Renewing Members

Angie D Entertainment LLC

Bowie BAYSOX Baseball Club

Beall Funeral Home

Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Clinic

Children Can Come Closer, Inc.

Collington Episcopal Life Care Community

Hampton Inn Bowie

Jones, Maresca & McQuade, P.A.

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.

Macy's Bowie Town Center

Sebenza LLC

St. John Properties, LLC


Walker Insurance Agency - Nationwide

2020 - 2021 Board of Directors
Terry Rogers ~ NAI Michael
Vice President
Cheryl Pyle ~ Money One Federal Credit  

Christopher Rizzi ~ Bohler
Michael Oleru ~ BGE
Past President
Stephanie P. Anderson ~ O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A.
General Counsel

Craig Muckle ~ Archdiocese of Washington
Tom Zizos ~ Beall Funeral Home
R. Anthony Pasciuto ~ Byrd & Byrd, LLC
Pam Scott ~ M&T Bank
Catherine Newman ~ Recorded Books, Inc.
Andrew M. Roud ~ St. John
Diane M. Polangin ~ Total Tax
Vikki Kalitsi ~ Visiting Angels

Board Adviser:
Dr. Ron Watson ~ Watson Management Corporation
Cathy Martin ~ Bowie Comfort Inn & Conference Center

Executive Director:
Pauline K. Markward

Corporate Partnership Program

The Chamber Corporate Partnership Program is an affordable and effective way to plan your marketing strategy during your annual budget preparation. Each year the Chamber offers its membership an opportunity to participate in the Chamber Corporate Partnership Program which allows our members to receive maximum recognition and to maximize the return on their investment by choosing from one of five Chamber Corporate Partnership Program sponsor levels. Three great events which are very popular with our Corporate Partners are the Annual Dinner, the Annual Golf Tournament and BowieFest. We also have many other major events from which to choose, including the State of the City and the State of Prince George's County.

Annual Investment: $10,000
Annual Investment: $5000

Annual Investment: $2,500

Annual Investment $1,000

Annual Investment $500

Corporate Partners

BGE an Exelon Company
Bowie Baysox

St. John Properties
Todd Turner, 
Chair, Councilman- District 4

O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A.
Somerset Construction Company
Thrive Senior Living
Visiting Angels Homecare Agency
Widmann Financial Services

Thank you!
Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce can't thank our members enough for all you do ... and of course, we would love to see even more NEW members, so everyone, please try to make it part of your mission to bring in at least one new member!

For more information, contact our Membership Committee leaders Ron Watson and Terry Rogers at membership@BowieChamber.org.  

Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce | 2614 Kenhill Drive, Suite 117, Bowie, MD 20715
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