ale=1"> GBCC Newsletter - December 2020
December 2020 Newsletter

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

We at the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce thank you for your continued support over the years, and we hope you have a merry, safe holiday season!

Here are Some Ways You Can Support Small Businesses During the Holidays


Small businesses are a huge part of the American economy. They make up 99% of all businesses in the nation, according to the Small Business Administration. But even in good times, small businesses have around a 50% long-term survival rate, making economic uncertainty and a global pandemic extremely worrisome for many small-business owners. Find out how you can support small businesses in your community this holiday season to help make your local economy a bit merrier and brighter.

How are small businesses struggling in 2020 and beyond?

COVID-19 has hit the bottom line hard for businesses and consumers alike. Businesses of all sizes were overwhelmed by the increased consumer demands for shipping, delivery, and curbside service, and many were forced to close for weeks or even months in 2020. Many are looking to the holidays to make up for lost revenue earlier in the year.
Bluehost conducted a State of Small Business Marketing in August 2020 to find out small-business owners’ outlook for the future. While more than 70% of business owners said they were optimistic about the future, they do have concerns:

  • 44% are worried about finding new customers through 2021
  • 30% are worried about long-term economic impacts from the pandemic
  • 21% are worried about lower-than-normal sales or consumer demand

At the same time, many consumers have experienced negative impacts to their personal budgets during COVID due to lost jobs and reduced salaries. As a result, some might be planning to scale back on total holiday spending, and others might be turning to different shopping habits to help keep themselves and their families safe.

How can I help a small business?

Whether you want to shop online to stay safe during potential outbreaks or you’re reducing how much you spend in 2020 to make up for financial shortfalls, you can still support small businesses. Here are a few tips on how to do that.

  • If you’re going to spend, choose to shop local instead of buying with big-box retailers or huge e-commerce platforms. Not sure if there’s a small business offering what you need? In the next section, you can get tips for finding local companies. 

  • Check local small business websites to see if there are options for shopping online. Many offer free shipping opportunities or curbside pickup, so you can get what you need without entering stores.

  • Call ahead to ask about the best times to shop. Going out during slow times can limit your contact with people and can help you get the best possible service from local businesses.

  • Spread your shopping out. Starting as early as possible and buying a little at a time can take the sting out of holiday costs while letting you enjoy the festivities and support small businesses. According to the National Retail Foundation, around 74% of businesses expect shoppers to spread out their spending in 2020.

Other ways to support local small businesses include dining out, using local bakeries and caterers if you need help with holiday feasts, and buying tickets for nearby festivities and events if it is safe to do so. While many are still worried about COVID-19 risks, businesses have had time to prepare new ways of serving customers and holding events in a safe manner.

How do I find local businesses?

Word of mouth—simply asking your friends and family—can be a great way to find small businesses to support. But if you have a limited social circle, you just moved to an area, or you’re trying to expand your options, here are other ways you can find stores and businesses to support during the holidays.


  • Search Yelp. You can search Yelp YELP, -0.12% for specific types of businesses in your area and easily see whether people are having good experiences with each company.

  • Check social media. Many small businesses have pages on Facebook FB, 2.20% or Instagram. You may be able to browse some products right on social or connect with a business to understand what services it offers. Social is also often a good way to find out the most current details on COVID-19 hours, restrictions, or safety protocols each business is observing.

  • Begin with the search engines. Google GOOGL, -0.92% especially can be helpful because it offers map results and access to consumer reviews a click or tap away from the immediate results page.

  • Visit your local chamber of commerce, digitally or in person. Your chamber of commerce may provide a list of reputable local businesses, and you can also call or speak to someone in person about businesses specific to your needs.

  • Search Etsy, Redbubble, and Society6. Many small businesses and independent artists sell their goods on sites like Etsy ETSY, 1.33% and Redbubble.

  • Support small businesses via Amazon. The company’s Support Small initiative highlights small companies you can shop with and provides local directories. You can also buy hundreds of products from small businesses on Amazon AMZN, -0.14% and take advantage of Prime and free shipping offers.

If you want to support small businesses with your holiday shopping while also benefiting yourself or your family, consider getting a rewards credit card. You can earn points or cash back on spending and use those benefits to fund more holiday fun or future travel or spending.

Find full article here.

COUNCIL EMERGENCY OPERATIONS STATUS

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 September 1, 2020, 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-125-2020 on November 17, 2020. 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.


PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY COUNCIL CONVENES VIRTUAL GAVEL EXCHANGE CEREMONY; ELECTS NEW LEADERSHIP TEAM
COUNCIL CHAIR CALVIN S. HAWKINS, II AND
VICE-CHAIR DENI TAVERAS


The Prince George’s County Council, in its first virtual Gavel Exchange Ceremony on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, unanimously elected At-Large Council Member Calvin S. Hawkins, II, to serve as Chair for Legislative Year 2021. Council Member Deni Taveras (D) – District 2, the first Latina to serve as Council Vice-Chair, was unanimously elected to the leadership position. Chair Hawkins and Vice-Chair Taveras will serve in leadership through December 7, 2021. 
Chair Hawkins noted the challenges and opportunities ahead, promising to lead with integrity, prudence and clear purpose. “Our country is facing extremely difficult times, and Prince George’s County is no exception. Even into the new year, COVID-19 remains the greatest challenge across our country and in Prince George’s County. Prince Georgians have lost loved ones.  Additionally, COVID has claimed jobs, businesses, and our local economy must travel a long road back to return to where it once was. Yet, with each challenge comes the opportunity to be innovative and industrious as we work to meet the needs of the citizenry, and effectively address our post-pandemic reality. “
Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks attended the virtual Gavel Exchange Ceremony, congratulated the new Council Leadership Team and thanked the Council for its work on behalf of County residents. “I want to congratulate the incoming Chair and Vice-Chair. As you take over, you are inheriting a strong legacy. I know that even though we will face many difficulties together, if we stand together, we will continue to be successful. As we prepare for the 2021 new Legislative Session, we will continue to make those who sent us here, proud.”  WATCH Tuesday’s Gavel Exchange.  VISIT the Council online for Gavel Exchange photos, speeches, and press releases. 


COUNCIL VICE CHAIR DENI TAVERAS WELCOMES PENNYROYAL STATION TO HISTORIC SINGER BUILDING IN MOUNT RAINIER

Prince George’s County Council Vice-Chair Deni Taveras welcomes Pennyroyal Station, an American-style comfort food restaurant, to District 2, which she represents. The restaurant opened in the area on December 1st. Located in the heart of Mount Rainier, Pennyroyal Station is in the historic Singer Building, and joins the thriving commercial Gateway Arts District along Route 1. Vice-Chair Taveras says Pennyroyal Station is an exciting new addition to the District 2 community. “The opening of Pennyroyal Station signifies confidence in our future, and District 2 is excited to welcome this business to the community. COVID-19 has changed the way we live, but it has not stopped our work to achieve a thriving community, with great amenities and vibrant spaces, exactly what Pennyroyal offers.”  READ the press release.

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY'S RESPONSIBLE LEGACY AND FOOD SECURITY TASK FORCES CONVENE VIRTUALLY

The Prince George’s County Council’s Responsible Legacy Task Force and Food Security Task Force both convened virtually on Friday, December 4th.   

The Prince George’s County Responsible Legacy Task Force, established by CR-009-2020, is charged with reviewing all County monuments, parks, street names, County buildings and other places of honor, and creating a process to determine the future of names linked to a prejudiced past. The nine-member task force is working to ensure that the County’s legacy is one of equality, diversity and inclusion. Friday’s agenda included a presentation by Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, President and CEO, Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network; Howard University Professor; and Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Negro Education.  

Established by CR-062-2020, the Prince George's County Food Security Task Force, is addressing issues related to the demand and supply of healthy food and areas with limited access to healthy food, food health connections, school meals, and food insecurity in Prince George's County. During Friday’s meeting, task force members received a briefing on Prince George’s County Food Security Programs presented by
Deputy Chief of Staff, John Erzen; Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Sonja Welborne; Office of Community Relations, Daphne Benbow; Director, Department of Family Services Elana Belon- Butler; and Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Joan Shorter.


GOVERNOR HOGAN MOBILIZES MEDICAL STAFFING SURGE TO FIGHT COVID-19, SUPPORT PUBLIC HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE

Governor Larry Hogan held a press conference on Tuesday, December 1, announcing a series of actions to address the COVID-19 surge. The governor announced the launch of MarylandMedNow to recruit Maryland job seekers with clinical backgrounds to work at state hospitals, nursing homes, testing sites, and vaccination clinics. The state has requested that Maryland colleges and universities immediately develop emergency policies and procedures to award academic credit to students for hands-on work experience in healthcare during the pandemic, so healthcare students can quickly enter the workforce. The governor also shared that hospitals will submit a patient surge plan by Tuesday, December 8th WATCH the Governor’s press conference.  Additionally, on December 3rd, Governor Hogan provided an update on Maryland’s Coronavirus Response, Vaccine Distribution Plan on  “Good Morning America.

COVID-19 HOLIDAY SEASON SAFETY TIPS 

The holiday season is upon us. Plan ahead to protect yourself, your family and your community from COVID-19 when you celebrate the holidays. The Prince George’s County Health Department strongly recommends NOT holding large family gatherings. Any type of celebration must include everyone wearing masks, distancing at least six feet from one another, regular hand sanitizing and disinfection of high-touch surfaces. For more information, CLICK HERE.

MASK UP PRINCE GEORGE’S

Remember, Prince Georgians, simple actions have big results against COVID-19. Wash your hands frequently and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Visit health.mypgc.us/coronavirus for the latest information.

TESTING REMINDER

Remember, COVID-19 testing is free through the Prince George’s County Health Department. No appointment necessary! CLICK HERE  for the latest information about where and when to get tested in Prince George’s County.

Administrative Non-Profit Internship
Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce (GBCC)
Bowie, MD 20715
Temporarily/Part Time
Internship

Apply Now
Interested applicants please send resume/cover letter to info@BowieChamber.org

Internships at Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce
GBCC is a non-profit membership based business in Bowie, MD. Our organization focuses on educating, advocating and connecting local businesses. We are currently seeking two (2) part time interns for the 2020/2021 year. Our internships provide a great experience for students with opportunity for pay and school credit. All internships vary in time frame, depending upon experience and availability, and last between 3-9 months. All of our interns will work one-on-one with board members, directors, volunteers and other interns during the internship.

All college interns are trained as senior level interns and have the chance to work in administrative positions that include planning and coordinating programs, workshops, events, and fundraisers.

All high school interns are trained as junior level interns and are provided with more training on management areas. A Midterm and Final review will be provided by Board of Directors for all internships.

Internship Responsibilities:
  • Commit to personalized timeline/schedule
  • Commit to follow through on projects
  • Commit to GBCC trainings
  • Follow the Daily Schedule
  • Educate the public on memberships/opportunities
  • Assist Board Members/Volunteers/Directors/Interns
  • Submit a Weekly Review 

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
Kudos!

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

Committees

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.

Legislative
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

Nissan of Bowie

NAI Michael Companies, Inc.

W.F. Chesley Real Estate, LLC

Belair Engineering & Service Co., Inc.

Cardigan Tile and Plumbing, Inc.

Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School

Tribune Publishing

Stewart Financial Services Inc.

Planet Fitness

DHC Medical Supply
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.