June 2018 Newsletter
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"The Pessimist Sees Difficulty In Every Opportunity. 
The Optimist Sees Opportunity In Every Difficulty." - Winston Churchill

Our Mission 
To protect, enhance and promote local business by providing a voice for business at local, county and state levels.
Corporate Partners

-BGE an Exelon Company
-Bowie Baysox

-St. John Properties
-Todd Turner, Councilman- District 4
-NAI Michael
-W.F. Chesley Real Estate, LLC

-Berman Enterprises
-O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A.
-Sherman Ragland, Realinvestors, LLC
-Sommerset Construction Company
- Visiting Angels Homecare Agency
-Widmann Financial Services

New & Renewing Members!

- FAME Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education 

- Sweet Victory LLC

Upcoming Events

Primary Elections Candidate Forum
Thursday, June 7, 2018
6:30 pm
Multipurpose Room, Kenhill Center
2614 Kenhill Drive, Bowie, MD 20175
-Meet Primary Elections Candidates from State Senate (district 23), State Delegate (district 23A), State Delegate (district 23B), and County Council (district 4)

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35th Annual Dinner & Election of Officers
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Comfort Inn Conference Center
4500 Crain Highway, Bowie, MD 20716
Call office to confirm prices or check our Facebook page.
-Election of new Board Members
-Youth Leadership Bowie participants award ceremony
-Delicious dinner

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Unless otherwise noted above, register online 
call 301-262-0920
or email info@bowiechamber.org

48-Hour notice 
is required on cancellations. 


Business 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.
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.)

Pick up a "reminder bag" at the Chamber office!

The Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce Business & Community Guide 2018 available for pick up at the Chamber office.

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!
Latest Event Photos

Weichert Realtors Mixer


Bowie Business Journal & Angela Alsobrooks

Member Spotlight

Distinctive Hair & Grooming for Men is a full service upscale grooming salon for Men. They provide personal grooming for men who wish to join their membership (walk-ins welcome upon availability). The grooming salon offers a unique variety of grooming services for men; haircuts, shampoo/condition, body waxing, beard and ear trim, hair removal, nail trim/buff, spa/pedicures, massages, shoe shine, straight shave and networking.

Clients enjoy amenities that include; full body scan massage chairs medical breakthrough, pool play,  card games TV's in seating areas and barber stations, two seat arcade game, dominoes, books, card play, board games, and puzzles. VIP members and clients can enjoy a relaxing glass of wine or beer, use amenities and private accommodations of members who wish a quieter environment.

Distinctive Hair and Grooming
4501-B Mitchellville Rd
Bowie, Md 20716


Bowie council approves $57.7 million fiscal year 2019 budget

May 22, 2018

The Bowie City Council unanimously approved a slightly scaled-down $57.7 million fiscal year 2019 budget on Monday night.

The budget will keep the city's property tax rate flat at 40 cents per $100 of assessed value. This marks the ninth straight year that the city's property tax rate has remained flat.

"This is what residents have been asking us to do," said Councilman Michael Esteve, District 1.

The vote on approval was 6-0, with Councilman Henri Gardner absent.
The budget that passed was slightly less ambitious that the one proposed by members of the city staff, which called for $59.8 million in spending.

That original FY19 budget called for a 3-cent increase in the property tax rate, which would have cost the owner of a $350,000 home an extra $105 next year.

However, during a budget work session May 7, it became clear that there wasn't enough support for the 3-cent increase to pass.

"The practical reality is, there was not the potential in my mind of a majority of the council voting to support a tax increase," said Bowie Mayor G. Frederick Robinson. "But all the core services are covered and I'm comfortable with the budget."
With members of the council unwilling to support a tax increase, City Manager Al Lott reviewed the spending figures following that budget work session and eliminated $2.27 million in costs - the amount that a 3-cent increase in the property tax rate would have netted the city.
Among the cuts, which are slated to last for one year, were:
  • $1.44 million for the Bowie Heritage Trail
  • $210,000 for interior improvements to the Kenhill Center
  • $550,000 set aside each year for future reserves in the city's facilities maintenance fees
  • $52,000 for the installation of outfield fences at Black Sox Park
  • $13,700 for repair and maintenance fees for the city's Parks and Grounds Division
Those cuts enabled the city to keep the tax rate at 40 cents, with about $6.7 million appropriated from the city's reserves. Entering the budget process, the city had $37.6 million in its fund balance. Years ago, the city adopted the goal of maintaining a fund balance that was 25 percent of annual expenditures - or about $15 million.

Yet, city officials see that fund balance shrinking in the years ahead as money is appropriated from its reserves to balance the budget. According to the city budget document, the city's expenditures are expected to surpass revenues in the budgets for 2020 through 2023.

"In the future, I think we'll see the council make some (budgetary) changes," said H. Byron Matthews, the city's budget director. "I think there will probably be some more cuts in expenditures - those things that may be obsolete, the low-hanging fruit, so to speak."

"What (the) council is going to have to consider next year, or certainly the year after, is to incrementally put more revenue in the city," Robinson said.
Lott said he doesn't plan to propose a tax increase in the FY20 budget next spring because there are city elections coming up in fall 2019.

"The principles of public administration indicate that you should not propose a tax rate increase in an election year because they have an unfair effect on the elections," Lott said. "So we'll be looking to produce a balanced budget with the same tax rate net year. It's going to be a really good exercise in spending control and the management of revenues and balancing them out."

Lott also must negotiate next year with the unions that protect police department personnel and the city's civilian employees. Nearly two-thirds of the expenses in the city's budget are devoted to personnel-related costs.

"Those are going to raise expenditures by themselves, so we're going to have to manage that and look at (trimming) other operating expenses, assuming we're going to bring in a budget with the same tax rate," he said.


Maryland's statewide crime statistics are a mixed bag: the state average - likely due to the exceptionally high violent crime rate of its largest city, Baltimore-is among the nation's worst. 

Yet, outside of its largest cities, Maryland is home to some very safe and family friendly communities. The overall safest is Ocean Pines, a small town of 12,207 near the coast with low rates of 1.56 violent crimes and 8.68 property crimes per 1,000 inhabitants.

Average violent crime per 1,000

Average property crime per 1,000

Maryland's second safest community is Bowie
, a much larger municipality of 58, 631 located in Prince George's County. Bowie's very low 0.94 violent crimes and 12.89 property crimes per 1,000 is enough to convince people of its safety. 

The following three communities in the countdown, New Carrollton (#3), Aberdeen (#4) and Havre de Grace (#5), are all small towns of under 16,000. 

Their crime rates cannot match the low numbers put forward by the top two, yet they are rather safe, nonetheless.


 Green Bowie Biz 

There are now 8 certified Green Bowie Businesses in the City. The most recent to complete the program is the Bowie Community Center (Rt. 450)! We currently have one business with an application pending!
Are you a business looking for ways to go green? Know a business that is green and should be certified?  Need assistance with furthering your goals of sustainability?
You've come to the right place! You can read about all Green Bowie Businesses and the program itself at www.cityofbowie.org/greenbowiebiz.

Create partnerships with the City, promote your business, promote Green events, have your company featured in their next newsletter, receive a Green Bowie window decal, be the subject of our tweets for a day, and more!

Staff Contacts
Ashleigh Armentrout
Tiffany Wright 


Bowie Estimated Demographics 2017


Households: 20,616

Median Household Income: $110,636 
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 and is hosted by me, Pauline K. Markward, Executive Director of GBCC. If you would like to be a guest and showcase your business please email me.

June's show features George Cifizzari, Office Manager from CoreLife!
BBJ  airs at 11:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. every day except Sunday and Wednesday on Comcast channel 77 and Verizon channel 11.

Corporate Partner Program
The Chamber offers opportunities throughout the year for companies to participate and receive recognition. Sometimes companies are very generous with their support throughout the year and discover at the end of the year that their total participation could have afforded them much more recognition had they identified the events in their marketing strategy during their annual budget preparation.
Annual Investment: $5000

Annual Investment: $2500

Annual Investment $1000

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!

New members can join by clicking here

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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