TRADELINE NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2017

A monthly newsletter brought to you by Greater Bowie Chamber of  Commerce.


Top stories in this newsletter.

           
 Chamber Tips- Cecily               Membership                  Corporate Partners        Bowie Business Journal

                          
          Employment                  Message from the ED     Prince George's County             Food Pantry          

               
         Local Government         People, Places & Events                   Bowie                                          

A Message From The Executive Director
The Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce and the City of Bowie are pleased to announce the 2017-2018, selections for the Youth Leadership Bowie program year: Anthony Jones, Bowie High School; Kennedy Nash, Elizabeth Seton High SchoolOlivia Nazelrod, Elizabeth Seton High SchoolPhillip Nissen, Chesapeake Math & IT Academy; Layla White, Bishop McNamara High School.

Youth Leadership Bowie (YLB) began in 1998 as a co-venture with the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce (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 

Pauline K. Markward
Executive Director, GBCC
(w) 301.262.0920 * (c) 205.876.9023
pkm@bowiechamber.org
Chamber Tips - Cecily
As a new working member at the Chamber and a seasoned social media millennial, I find it important to highlight the benefits of connecting the use of social media as a tool for businesses in the Bowie community and beyond. I understand for some of you there might be a learning curve when it comes to understanding how to use social media for professional purposes, rather than posting selfies and browsing memes. Although those things are fun to partake in, I can assure you that by utilizing social media in the right ways, you could be opening and propelling your business's marketing strategies and brand name to a new level of success. Here are some tips from Forbes Magazine contributor, Jayson DeMers, on some of the ways social media marketing can help your business:
  1. Increased Brand Recognition - Let's face it; almost everyone is using social media in some way or another in this day and age. That means you have the opportunity to be visible to an entire online world of potential customers outside of your physical parameters. Social media platforms act as virtual podiums for you to make your voice heard and inform your audience. They allow you to have more visibility as a business, which is always good. You want to be seen for your hard work!
  2. Improved Brand Loyalty - You can connect with customers who already see and support you, but might need that extra involvement in terms of staying connected and engaged in what you are doing as a business. Social media gives your customers a chance to follow your business in an easy way that won't conflict with their daily schedules. Additionally, studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof (Jayson DeMers, Forbes).
  3. Higher Brand Authority - Likewise with your followers, the more activity and buzz of people talking about your business on social media, the more people find value and authority in your brand name in general. You've got the power!
  4. Increased Inbound Traffic - Without social media, your page is limited to people who already know about your business and keyword searches. But, every social media site you post from can help attract clicks across websites and create a variety of paths potential customers have to take in terms of stumbling upon your business.  
  5. Decreased Marketing Costs - Well, this is a financial no-brainer; social media is free! Some people buy premium accounts and pay to promote their posts, but you don't need to do that to successfully use social media as a business tool. Even at that rate, though, advertising via social media is relatively cheap depending on what your intentions and goals might be. In reality, you can spend a couple hours a day tending to your social media accounts and end up seeing results pretty fast.
  6. Richer Customer Experiences - Social media is a form of communication everyone is using, similar to email and phone calls, whether you like to admit it or not. Therefore, it's another chance to demonstrate top-notch customer service when you're visible and available to customers publicly online. Others will take note of this and admire your dedication!
  7. Improved Customer Insights - As a business owner, I'm sure you want the quickest and most enriching reviews on your services, products, and practices, so why not streamline the whole process using social media!? You can receive fast, quality information from customers in order to be aware of how you can constantly be providing the best services possible.
Now if these reasons aren't enough to convince you to get on the social media train, then maybe consider these points:
  • Your competition is already involved. It's likely that your competitors are already using social media for business purposes, so why let them take the lead? Take action now to be a bolder business open to serving your customer base in a multitude of ways!
  • The sooner you start, the sooner you reap the benefits. Once again, everyone is already using it... so you might as well take advantage of this tool to grow your audience.
  • Loss and risk are insignificant. The cost of getting started on social media is minimal compared to other forms of marketing.
In reality, the longer you tell yourself that social media isn't important for your business, you're actively losing any chances of enhancing your business. The benefits are clear and most important, virtually free! For those of you who don't know how to get started, feel free to contact the Chamber for assistance, or any millennial teenagers since they tend to be social media gurus of our time.
I hope you benefitted from this business insider blurb! If you have any questions or comments about the piece or about social media in general, feel free to contact me at cecily@bowiechamber.org.
Economy
Jobs

The City of Bowie is seeking applicants for the following positions:
 
  • Ice Arena Attendant (open)
  • Assistant Director -  Public Works Department (open)
 
Visit www.cityofbowie.org/jobs for more information or to apply.

Repurposed information, 
Local Government
New City of Bowie Water System Fee

Customers of the City's Water & Sewer System will find a new fee on their bill.  The Renewal and Replacement Fee was put into place effective July 1, 2017 to help pay for the replacement of aging pipes in the water distribution system.  The City's system was constructed in the early 1960s when much of Levitt Bowie was being developed.  Now over 50 years old, it is in need of upgrading.
 
The system provides service to approximately 7,900 customers, which is less than 40% of all City households. The Water System consists of the water treatment plant, 90 miles of water mains, three water storage tanks and six water wells.  The Sewer System consists of the wastewater treatment plant, 85 miles of collection mains and eight pumping stations.  The costs of the system are borne by the system's customers.  No tax revenue supports the system.  In order to pay for the necessary upgrades, a new quarterly Renewal and Replacement Fee of $22.75 was imposed. Work on upgrading the pipes will take place this year in Long Ridge and will continue over the next several years throughout the entire system.
 
There will also be a rate increase for Fiscal Year 2018.  The water rate increase is $.23 per thousand gallons and $.34 per thousand gallons for sewer services.  This will pay for increased costs associated with managing the system.  Between the new fee and the rate increase, customers should expect their bill to be approximately $30 more per quarter.
 
Future of the Indoor Sports Facility Project
At the September 18 City Council Meeting, there will be a staff presentation and discussion on various options for a new indoor sports facility. The voter ballot question process will also be discussed. For more information on the project, please contact John Fitzwater at 301-809-3075 or jfitzwater@cityofbowie.org. To sign up to speak that night during the public hearing, contact City Clerk Awilda Hernandez at 301-809-3029 or ahernandez@cityofbowie.org.
 
September is National Preparedness Month
Disasters Don't Plan Ahead, But You Can!  As Texas begins to recover from Hurricane Harvey, the City of Bowie would like to remind residents that September is a good time to review preparedness information for severe weather, including hurricanes, and other emergencies that can occur throughout the year. September is both National Preparedness and Maryland Preparedness Month. Government agencies, businesses, community groups, schools and families will all be participating in events to help promote disaster preparedness. Making preparations when threats are not imminent can make communities more resilient.
 
Several online sources provide good emergency preparedness information for these and additional threats. Keep up with the City and these other organizations all month long for tips on how you can better prepare for an emergency.
 
 
Avoiding Fraud
Scammers are always looking for new ways to gain access to your personal information or to trick you out of your money. Residents have recently reported receiving calls saying they had failed to report for jury duty and were being fined for their absence. The caller demanded a penalty payment in the form of a money order and threatened arrest if the residents didn't comply. Another scam involves people coming to your door posing as IRS agents. These scammers are persistent and their schemes are endless. Don't become a victim.
 
Remember every door-to-door solicitor in Bowie must be licensed and must carry and display proof of that license. Report violators to the City's Code Compliance Office at 301-809-3008. Trust your instincts. If something does not look right or does not sound right, close the door, hang up, or otherwise disengage. Ask someone you trust, such as friend or family member, before parting with your money, taking any action, or signing a contract.
 
The Federal Trade Commission offers a great list of tips to help you avoid fraud. The basics are listed below. The full article is at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud.
 
1.      Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust like a government official, a charity or a company you do business with.
2.      Do online searches for scams, using words that describe your situation.
3.      Don't believe your caller ID. It can be easily faked.
4.      Don't pay upfront for a promise. Be suspicious of offers for a service, a loan, a prize, a job or anything else when you did not initiate an inquiry.
5.      Consider how you pay. Requests for payment by gift card or wiring money are not normal.
6.      Talk to someone you trust before making a decision.
7.      Hang up on robocall sales pitches.
8.      Be skeptical about free trial offers.
9.      Don't deposit a check you receive in exchange for wiring money to someone.
10.  Sign up for free scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/scams.
 
Repurposed information, 
Bowie News Flash
Bowie Library
Reopens After Renovations

Residents were looking forward to the Bowie Library branch reopening and the long-overdue renovations. This is an exciting time for residents in the immediate area including Bowie High School students, and with brave and innovative updates, this library for the future will serve as an important reflection of our community. We want to thank retiring Prince George's County Memorial Library System Director Katherine Tease for her leadership.  The Bowie Library project, costing $2.5 million, reopened following a six month renovation, which featured upgrades for new restrooms, eight (8) study rooms, enhanced children's room, revamped teen space, new bookstore cafe, additional electric outlets for digital devices and new meeting room.  For the Bowie Blade story, please visit www.capitalgazette.com/

Repurposed information,
District 4 Newsletter

Sign up for Bowie's Energy Audit Program ($100 Value)

Save money and improve the comfort of your home with a no-cost BGE comprehensive energy audit available for Bowie homeowners. Complete an application online at www.cityofbowie.org/eap or in the Planning Department at City Hall during City Hall business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) For more information, contact Kristin Larson at 301-809-3044 or klarson@cityofbowie.org.
  
Repurposed information, 
New & Renewing Members 
CQI Associates

Doctors Community Hospital

Ettienne's Premier Pediatric Care

Fairwood Wine & Spirits

Hospitality Development Co., LLC

NASA Federal Credit Union

Prince George's Community Federal Credit Union

Reliable Cleaning

Samosa Supreme, LLC

Sophisticated Travel of Upper Marlboro Maryland
 

Corporate Partners 
Platinum

BGE
  An Exelon Company

Gold

St. John Properties 

Bronze 

Eric Linzey, ActionCOACH

O'Malley, Miles & Gilmore ,P.A 

Sherman Ragland, RealInvertors, LLC

Widmann Financial Services
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.

Additionally, if you have a particular interest or subject you would like to share with the community you may want to consider producing your own television show with the Bowie Community Media Corporation. For more information, email info@mybowietv.org or call 301-814-3057.
Peanut Butter Shelf
Bowie Food Pantry

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!

Prince George's County
County Council Passes Resolutions Supporting Food Truck Hubs in District 4
 
The 4th Council District looks forward to welcoming two new Food Truck Hubs to the Bowie Town Center and Capital Office Park, following the adoption of CR-30-2017 and CR-31-2017 by the County Council on June 6th. 
 
Food Truck Hubs, initially approved by Council legislation in 2015, are outdoor areas designated by the Prince George's County Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement (DPIE) where two or more mobile units may sell freshly prepared foods, or fresh fruits and vegetables. However special Council authorization is required to locate a Food Truck Hub outside of the designated areas.  
 
Food Truck Hubs increase public access to healthy food options, encourage economic development and promote entrepreneurship and revitalization by offering unique value to our community and economic development efforts. We look forward to a successful business venture with these mobile food vendors in the cities of Bowie and Greenbelt while balancing the interests of public health, safety and overall community well being.  Both the Cities of Bowie and Greenbelt supported the designations at Bowie Town Center and Capital Office Park, respectively. 
 
The Bowie Town Center Food Truck Hub will be located at 15606 Emerald Way, and the Greenbelt Food Truck Hub will be located at Capital Office Park, 6404 Ivy Lane in Greenbelt.  We hope to enjoy these new locations soon.

Repurposed information,
District 4 Newsletter
Our Mission

To protect, enhance and promote local business by providing a voice for business at the local, county and state levels.
Upcoming Events




After Hours Mixer
Freeway Airport, Inc.
Date: September 14, 2017
Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: 3900 Church Road
Bowie, MD 20716
Cost: $20 Member; $25 Non Member & Walk-ins


CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell- Breakfast
Date: September 27, 2017
Time: 7:30 - 10:00am
Location: Bowie Comfort Inn
Cost: $35 Prepaid; $45 Walk-ins

Brewie Fest 2017
Date: October 7th
Time: Noon
Location: Baysox Stadium
Rain or Shine
More information to follow!

After Hours Mixer
DHC Medical Supply
Date: October 12, 2017
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: 8855 Annapolis Road, #100, Lanham, MD 20706
Cost: $20 Member; $25 Non Member & Walk-ins


Women In Business Luncheon
Multi-Chamber 
Date: October 11, 2017
Time: 11:30am
Location: Walden Country Club
Cost: $30 Member; $35 Non Member & Walk-ins

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

48-hour notice is required on cancellations 
Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce, 2614 Kenhill Drive, Suite 117, Bowie, MD 20715
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