May 2019 Newsletter
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Educate, Advocate, Connect!

"Our industry does not respect tradition - it only respects innovation." - Satya Nadella

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

Platinum:
BGE an Exelon Company

Bowie Baysox

Gold:
St. John Properties

Todd Turner, 
Councilman- District 4

NAI Michael

W.F. Chesley Real Estate, LLC

Silver:
Berman Enterprises

O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A.

Somerset Construction Company

Visiting Angels Homecare Agency

Widmann Financial Services

Incubator:
Maryland Secretarial
Services, Inc.
 
New & Renewing Members!

The Country Club at Woodmore

Pride Dental

Bowie Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad, Inc.

Bowie Interfaith Recreation Council

City of Bowie

Greenwill Consulting Group

Total Tax Service

Rip's Country Inn

Distinctive Hair & Grooming for Men, LLC

InterimHealth of Prince George's County

Planet Fitness

Pin Oak Village

HBL Business Services, LLC

Zancan Press, Inc.

Helen's Accounting Services, LLC

HOGAN

Bowie Blade
Capital-Gazette Communications

 
Save the Date

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

Pho D'Lite Ribbon Cutting
Saturday, May 18, 2019 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Pho D'Lite
Hill Top Plaza

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
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 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
 
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.
 
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.)

 
Business
Community
 Guide

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

***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 info@bowiechamber.org. 

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. If you would like to be a guest and showcase your business please email info@BowieChamber.org

  

 
Reserve your booth space in the 
BOWIEFEST 2019 HOME & HEALTH EXPO today!
 
Social Media Tips 101




Social media is always evolving, and users' behavior changes with it. One fact that doesn't change is that all social platforms move fast, with a constant stream of content vying for attention. You want to get the most eyes possible on your content and maximize engagement by knowing the best times to post on social networks.

It's not enough to guess when users might log in to a given network, or when audiences in your niche are hungriest for the latest information. Now that more and more brands from all kinds of industries realize the value of connecting with their audiences on social networks, it's important to understand how your audience uses social platforms and what they want out of your content. 

An ecommerce brand may see social engagement follow daily and seasonal patterns of shopping engagement, while a corporate thought leadership account may see plenty of clicks at the start of the workday when readers are looking for inspiration.

In order to get granular and find out the best times to publish on social media for four social media networks, we worked closely with Sprout's data science team to pull this information based on our customers. The data below shows when our 25,000-plus Sprout customers were engaged the most (and least) across major networks and broken down by industry.

Let's take a look at the unique insights we found for the best times to post on each social network:

Disclaimer:
 Data from Sprout Social include users from various plan types, industries and locations. All time frames are recorded in Central Time Zone (CST). Number of engagements represents total engagements a brand received on the specific channel during that hour time frame. Industry-specific data includes mid- to high-level engagement times.

Best times to post on Facebook for media:



Best times to post on Facebook for consumer goods:


 


"For Maryland taxpayers, state and federal refunds are down slightly"

For some taxpayers in Democratic states like Maryland with high state personal income taxes, the federal tax changes in 2018 have produced lower refunds on their state and federal tax returns.

This is because the federal law placed a $10,000 ceiling on itemized deductions for personal taxes, and raised the standard deduction to $24,000 on a joint return, making that more beneficial for most.

Last year, Maryland legislators refused to change Maryland's tax law that does not allow itemized deductions on the state return if itemized deductions were not used on the federal return, as Gov. Larry Hogan had proposed. Instead, they too raised Maryland's standard reduction for most taxpayers.

Allowing itemized deductions would have reduced Maryland revenues too much, legislators argued. Instead they set aside $200 million in additional revenues generated by the federal tax changes to begin funding the Kirwan education commission recommendations.

Overriding Turbo Tax  

In the case of my own tax return, I found that I had to tell the Turbo Tax application I use to prepare my returns to use itemized deductions rather than the new higher standard deduction the software preferred. This raised the amount of taxes we owed the IRS, but substantially increased our state refund, for a net gain of  $300.

This was one of the many potential complications of the new law. These included changed withholding tables from the IRS which increased paychecks throughout 2018, but ended up reducing expected refunds.

Data released last week by H&R Block, the tax preparer, confirmed the negative impact of the federal tax changes on taxpayers in Maryland and other blue states, based on millions of tax returns filed through March 31.

The average federal income tax for Maryland taxpayers was down 21%, but the national average was down 25%, with taxpayers in most states getting greater tax cuts.

Federal refunds for Marylanders were down 6%, among the greatest reductions in the nation. Taxpayers in most state saw their federal refunds increase slightly.

Taxpayers in only four states and the District of Columbia got less benefit than in Maryland from the federal tax cuts, according to H&R block.

According to figures from the Maryland Comptroller's office, through last week
they've issued 1,374,326 refunds with an average refund of $965, down $69 (6.6%) from this time last year.

As of Monday morning, the comptroller's office had processed 2,340,927 returns (more than 92% electronically), compared to 2,230,559 this time last year, 110,000 or 5% more.

And yes, we filed electronically and got our state refund into our bank account in three days. It was $900 less than last year.
 

 

"Maryland's New Tourism Ad Campaign Invites Visitors to be 'Open For It'
Campaign aims to boost overnight stays, showcases the state's water and culinary experiences"

BALTIMORE, MD (April 17, 2019)

Maryland - Open For It (A-0:30)
Maryland - Open For It (A-0:30)

The Maryland Department of Commerce's Office of Tourism has unveiled a new ad campaign built around the tagline 'Maryland - Open For It.' The campaign encourages prospective visitors to stay overnight and enjoy a range of the state's water and culinary-based experiences, including sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, fishing in Western Maryland, eating the state's famed steamed crabs, and visiting the beaches of Ocean City. Multiple versions of 'Maryland - Open for It' began running this week on television and will continue throughout the spring.

Targeted markets include the New York metro area, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. The campaign also includes print advertising in national and regional magazines, as well as companion radio, digital and social media campaigns. The campaign was designed to leverage the state's established business marketing campaign 'Open for Business.'

"Our administration is proud to introduce this vibrant new tourism campaign, which speaks to the many wonderful experiences and unique destinations that make Maryland so special," said Governor Larry Hogan. "Maryland welcomed more than 41 million people in 2017, and we look forward to this campaign driving even more visitors to our great state."

"Commerce's 'Open For Business' tagline aligns perfectly with this new tourism campaign, and together they work to promote Maryland as a great place to live, work and visit," said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. "As we continue to target specific markets for our advertising, we are seeing some impressive results. Over the last year, visitors from New York are up 10 percent, with visitors from Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. increasing four and three percent, respectively."

'Open For It' was developed over the past 18 months by the Tourism Office's agency of record - Columbia, Maryland-based Marriner Marketing Communications.

"Maryland packs so many cultural, culinary, and water-related experiences into one truly unique place," said Chris Just, Marriner Marketing Communications vice president and creative director. "This campaign we formulated is meant to be a call, a wish, an invitation to Maryland for all who are open for an unforgettable vacation."


 
 


MARYLAND'S RESIDENTIAL HOUSING MARKET REMAINS STEADY

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.

 
NOTE: UNITS ARE THE "UNITS" SOLD, PENDING ARE UNDER CONTRACT.

*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, www.mdrealtor.org.

 

 
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 info@BowieChamber.org
 

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.!

Staff Contacts
Ashleigh Armentrout
aarmentrout@cityofbowie.org
 
Tiffany Wright 
twright@cityofbowie.org
 
 
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.

PRESENTING PARTNER
Annual Investment: $10,000
 
PLATINUM PARTNER
Annual Investment: $5000

GOLD PARTNER
Annual Investment: $2500

SILVER PARTNER
Annual Investment $1000

INCUBATOR PARTNER
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 membership@BowieChamber.org. 

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