March 2019 Newsletter
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Educate, Advocate, Connect!

"The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary." - Vidal Sassoon

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.

Sommerset Construction Company

Visiting Angels Homecare Agency

Widmann Financial Services

Maryland Secretarial
Services, Inc.
New & Renewing Members!

Bowie Fit Body Boot Camp


The Pediatric Dental Specialists

Total Access Insurance, LLC


Money One Federal Credit Union

Children Can Come Closer, Inc. (4 C's)

Walker Insurance Agency- Nationwide

SladeChild Foundation

Nissan of Bowie

DJ Angie D Entertainment, LLC

Old Line Bank

Bowie Baysox Base Ball Club

Bowie Regional Arts Vision Association
Save the Date

State of the County Breakfast with Prince George's County Executive 
Thursday, April 11, 2019
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Location: TBD

Annual Golf Tournament
Friday, April 26, 2019
Registration: 7:00 a.m. 
Shotgun Start: 8:00 a.m.
Lunch 2:00 p.m.
Lake Presidential Golf Club
Upper Marlboro, MD

Town Hall 
Legislative Wrap Up
Thursday, May 16, 2019
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Bowie City Hall
Excalibur Rd
Bowie, MD 

BowieFest 2019 
Home & Health Expo
Reserve your space today!
Reach potential customers from the Greater Bowie Area
Saturday, June 1
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Allen Pond Ice Arena
3330 Northview Drive, Bowie, MD

Annual Meeting & Election of the Officers & Board of Directors Dinner
Thursday, June 20, 2019
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Comfort Inn & Conference Center
Bowie, MD


Check out the rest of our events on our website by clicking here!

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Contact the Chamber office at to secure your sponsorship today!
Unless otherwise noted above, register online

For additional information call 
301-262-0920 or email
72-Hour notice is required on cancellations

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.
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.)


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

***Youth Leadership Bowie Coat Drive***

Thank you for the contributions you made to the Youth Leadership Bowie Coat Drive! The response from the whole community was overwhelming.

If your business has reached a milestone or received an award, please email the Chamber at 

We look forward to giving kudos in Tradeline!
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.

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.


Introducing the Maryland Chamber Federation! 


(January 23, 2019 - ANNAPOLIS, Md.) Declaring that small businesses are the driving force of job creation in Maryland, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce today introduced a new membership model designed to organize thousands of businesses as a unified force, while also forging close collaboration with the dozens of local chambers of commerce throughout the state.

Under the terms of the Maryland Chamber Federation, any business with 10 or fewer full-time employees that is a current paid member of a participating local chamber will receive free Federation membership with the Maryland Chamber.

Federation partners will gain increased influence in the state legislature through direct input and participation in the Maryland Chamber's legislative activities. They will also receive proactive General Assembly representation aggregating chamber "clout" to oppose initiatives harmful to business and supportive of job growth. In addition, members will gain access to all Maryland Chamber communication on state issues through legislative briefings, grassroots business action updates, e-newsletters, calls to action during the legislative session and more.

In making the announcement at the kickoff of the Maryland Chamber's annual "Meet the State" event in Annapolis, Christine Ross, president & CEO, Maryland Chamber, said: "Not only are small businesses a key constituency of our grassroots advocacy efforts, Maryland's overall success in the national and global marketplace is directly tied to the state's ability to foster a climate that is competitive and favorable to small business."

Intended to both serve and empower small businesses (a sector that makes up almost 92 percent of Maryland's registered companies), the Maryland Chamber Federation is based on a partnership with local chamber members, one intended to ensure the voice of small business is amplified with minimal investment and maximum impact.  Already, 14 local chambers of commerce have signed partnership agreements enabling them - and their small business members - to participate.

The following local chambers of commerce have joined the Maryland Chamber Federation:

Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce
Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce
Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce
Calvert County Chamber of Commerce
Carroll County Chamber of Commerce
Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce
Dorchester Chamber of Commerce
Frederick County Chamber of Commerce
Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce
Harford County Chamber of Commerce
Howard County Chamber of Commerce
Rockville Chamber of Commerce
Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce
St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce

"The Howard County Chamber is constantly seeking ways in which we can add value for our members, especially those with 10 employees or less, as they are often the ones operating on shoestring budgets," said Leonardo McClarty, president & CEO, Howard County Chamber of Commerce, one of the first to embrace the new model.  "The Maryland Chamber Federation agreement allows us to continue to add value for them by enhancing our small business voice at no additional cost."
Learn more about the Maryland Chamber Federation.

Find the full press release article online here: 

Maryland Chamber Federation
Small business is the driving force of job creation in Maryland and is an important part of the core constituency of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce's grassroots advocacy efforts. Our activities affect no other group of businesses more dramatically than small businesses. Our overall success in the global marketplace is directly tied to the state's ability to foster a climate that is competitive and favorable to small business, a sector that makes up almost 92 percent of Maryland's registered companies.

The Maryland Chamber has introduced the Maryland Chamber Federation, a partnership with our local chamber member partners, to ensure the voice of small business is heard with minimal investment and maximum impact.

Through the Maryland Chamber Federation, any business with 10 or fewer full time employees, who is a member of a participating local chamber, will receive FREE Federation membership into the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. This membership is available to small businesses as long as they have 10 or fewer employees and are a current paid member of your local chamber.

Participation in the Federation gives local chambers a valuable sales and retention tool, increased influence in the state legislature, and access to timely information, opportunities and resources.

This partnership is designed to empower small businesses and grow the voice of business at the local, state and federal levels.


A valuable sales and retention tool for the largest market of potential member in Maryland, companies with 10 or fewer employees, your members (with 10 or fewer full-time employees) benefit from:
  • Free Federation membership in the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, adding an additional $750 value annually to your existing membership benefits.
  • A team of government affairs professionals aggressively and proactively representing their businesses throughout the year at the state capitol and in Washington, D.C.
  • Opportunity to participate in statewide initiatives, surveys and coalitions and to provide feedback that has a direct impact on public policy development.
  • Up-to-date information on state issues through legislative e-news, The Leading Voice, grassroots business action updates and calls to action updates during the legislative session.
  • Chamber Legislative Briefings, including the legislative update, From the Halls, e-newsletter
  • Maryland Grassroots Advocacy Training - The Chamber's issue advocacy education program training businesses on the nuts and bolts of how to effectively lobby elected officials.
  • Reduced member pricing for Maryland Chamber signature events
  • Participation in the Chamber's D.C. Roundup at the U.S. Capitol
  • Aggressive, proactive General Assembly representation aggregating Chamber "Clout" to oppose initiatives harmful to business and supportive of job growth
  • Access to the members-only side of the Maryland Chamber website and member directory
Increased Influence in the state legislature through direct input and participation in the Maryland Chamber's legislative activities.
  • Invitations to the annual Grassroots Advocacy Workshop for chamber executives, an opportunity to hear from key legislative leaders, provide input on issues affecting your community, review the Maryland Chamber's legislative priorities for the upcoming session and discuss the important role local chambers play in the process.
  • Invitation to a post-session legislative briefing call designed to help your chamber share the results of the session and the impact on business with your members.
  • First consideration when identifying local chamber partners for regional opportunities, studies and projects.
Access to relevant and timely information, resources and opportunities.
  • Access to local chamber staff information center containing key legislative updates and calls to action, sharable content related to Maryland Chamber policy issues and marketing tools and templates to promote the Federation benefits to your members.
  • Eligible to receive a Maryland Chamber sponsored scholarship to Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE) or Institute of Organization Management (IOM) training, event or conference.
  • Special event invitations, promotional opportunities and information on important statewide policy and competitiveness issues and events.
Increased brand awareness among potential members statewide through promotion of your chamber in Maryland Chamber initiatives and communications.
  • Eligible for a rotating annual appointment on the Maryland Chamber's Legislative Committee (4)
  • First consideration when identifying locations and partners for Maryland Chamber events, such as local chamber hosts for regional wrap up events.
Find the full article here:



Maryland's current minimum wage, at $10.10 per hour, is well above the federal minimum wage standard of $7.25 per hour. There has been legislation introduced before the General Assembly that would raise Maryland's minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The business community agrees that this raise would drastically alter the price of doing business, especially for smaller organizations. In response to these changes, businesses would create solutions to cut their costs by cutting positions. Our legislators need to focus alternatively, on creating quality workforce development and education opportunities to fill the skills gap in industries where workers are most needed.
Cost to small business - real examples from Maryland Chamber of Commerce members (2018)
  • A Garrett County business employs a staff of 30, with eight full-time employees and 22 part-time employees. The average hourly wage for non-tipped/salaried employees is $12.61. If the minimum wage goes up to $15 it will cost the business owner $75,543 per year in additional payroll.
  • Another Garrett County business employs 43 people full- or part-time. The average hourly wage is $10.25. If the minimum wage goes up to $15, it will cost $278,537 per year - a 47-percent increase in payroll.
Cost to employees and programs
  • A University of Washington study found that Seattle's move toward a $13 minimum wage cost low-skilled workers (those earning under $19 per hour). The number of available working hours dropped by 9.4 percent in three fiscal quarters after the minimum wage reached $13. That adds up to a loss of 3.5 million hours per calendar quarter. (Source: Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle, Jardim et al, 2017)
  • In prior hearings, representatives from the Maryland Association of Counties testified: "Many part-time and seasonal employees work in community services, such as after-school activities, summer camps, and community services for vulnerable populations. Accommodating this legislation could result in significant cuts to those programs."
  • An increase in minimum wage would lead employers to cut jobs, most likely for low-skill workers. Combined with a cut in programs to help the vulnerable, those who need help the most will be the majority of those negatively impacted.
Cost to consumers
  • Increasing the minimum wage artificially alters the price of labor and therefore the price of goods and services.
  • Consumers will see the price of staple goods rise, and those who do not receive a wage boost will lose purchasing power as prices increase.
  • Minimum wage does not increase the value of wages, but rather increases the prices of goods and services.
Rise in difficulty to find entry-level work
  • The most current data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2017) shows that a majority of minimum wage earners are between the ages of 16 and 24 and work primarily in the hospitality, leisure and food services. These are generally not career positions. They are primarily part-time, summer or entry-level jobs.
  • Business would not be able to afford these lower level positions if required to pay $15 minimum wage.
Too fast too soon
With a rapid increase in minimum wage, businesses need to continuously adjust their pay structure. Minimum wage doesn't only call for an increase in wages to those making the least. In order to retain talent, businesses need to increase the wages for all levels of expertise. Doing so year after year calls for even more job cuts in order to continue operation.
Competitiveness is key
Maryland's surrounding states all have lower minimum wages.
  • VA - $7.25 per hour
  • PA - $7.25 per hour
  • DE - $8.75 per hour
  • NJ - $8.85 per hour
  • WV - $8.75 per hour
In order to remain competitive and attract businesses to Maryland, the cost of doing business in the state needs to be achievable. With the recent loss of Amazon HQ2 to VA and NY, Maryland legislators need to be aware of how costly it is for businesses to operate in the state. Increasing the minimum wage even further above the surrounding states will continue to lower our level of competitiveness and put Maryland at a regional disadvantage.
We feel Maryland must support legislation that encourages job creation, fosters innovation, expands workforce development and talent pipeline initiatives and strengthens the overall business climate in the state. Increasing Maryland's status as a great state for business is of utmost importance and attracting new businesses to operate or expand in Maryland will position the state for economic success. The negative impacts of raising the minimum wage to $15 will cut jobs and create significant barriers to employment, especially for low-skill workers. This will inevitably make it more difficult for long-term success and earning potential.

Find full article here.



Hiring the right employees and keeping them is one of the biggest challenges business owners face. Gary Ditto, founder and president of Who...A Staffing Company, has made this challenge his mission.

Gary Ditto Reply All

Find full article here


Annapolis, MD, (February 4, 2019) -
In 2018, average & median sale prices in Maryland climbed, according to the Maryland REALTORS®. 
Twenty-one of the states 24 jurisdictions posted gains in average sale prices ranging from 0.6 to 12 percent in 2018, as compared to 2017. The average sale price in 2018 was $336,866 compared to $325,559 in 2017. While median prices statewide rose by 4.0 percent to $293,930 for a second straight year.
Within the state, only Somerset County, reported an increase in units sold for 2018. All other jurisdictions registered a decline in units sold when compared to 2017.
"Overall, the 2018 residential average and median sale prices remained stable for a second year", said Maryland REALTORS® President Merry Tobin. "The average and median sales price increases were driven by th
e brisk buyer competition in the ongoing low inventory marketplace. The decline in units sold indicate the market is continuing to slow due to lack of inventory", added Tobin.

Maryland monthly housing statistics are compiled by data as reported by MRIS/Bright MLS. For the purposes of this report, "units" are defined as the closed sales and "pending units" are properties under contract. Months of inventory are based on the current active inventory and monthly sales for the corresponding month.


*Months of inventory based on current active inventory and monthly sales for the corresponding month; Data are revised on a regular basis. Readers of these reports should note that older reports have not been adjusted to reflect these revised data. This report, however, contains the latest reliable data to date.
**Maryland REALTORS® publishes the Maryland Housing Statistics monthly; it is available through the Association's website,



The County Council, sitting as the District Council, is granted authority to act on zoning matters by the State of Maryland Regional District Act, now known as Article 28 of the Maryland Annotated Code.  Visit our District Council web page  to learn more about the District Council.  The District Council convened on Monday, January 28th to consider land use and zoning matters.

Find video here!


Youth Leadership Bowie

The Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) and the City of Bowie are pleased to announce the 2018-2019, selections for the Youth Leadership Bowie (YLB) program year: Ethan Kelly, Eleanor Roosevelt High School; Donovan Padilla, Bowie High School; Kaden Proctor, Bowie High School; Elijah Arcusa, Bowie High School; Onaje Lewis, Bowie High School; Jaden Smith, Bowie High School; Jalen Mack, Bowie High School, Nicholas Mack, Bowie High School and Kemauri Batson, Bowie High School.
Youth Leadership Bowie began in 1998 as a co-venture with the GBCC and the City of Bowie.  YLB provides a glimpse into the complex world of business and government.
This unique program exposes high school sophomores and juniors to the myriad of potential career opportunities available to them.  Leadership opportunities both experiential and observational are of paramount importance.  Problem solving skills are developed and refined as participants plan and produce a program that addresses a community need.
The program is open to high school students who reside in the City or Bowie or attend Bowie High School.  Applications are available in January each year by calling the GBCC at 301.262.0920 or emailing

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!

Staff Contacts
Ashleigh Armentrout
Tiffany Wright
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: $12,500
Annual Investment: $5000

Annual Investment: $2500

Annual Investment $1000

Annual Investment $500

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 

New members can join by clicking here
Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce, 2614 Kenhill Drive, Suite 117, Bowie, MD 20715
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