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Local Bakery Owner To Be 1st Of 500 'Activate Prosperity' Multimillionares

(l. to r.: John Mason, Business Development Director, PGCEDC; Jim Coleman, President and CEO, PGCEDC; April Richardson, President, D.C. Sweet Potato Cake)Greenbelt, MD, February 25, 2016 - This evening, more than 100 local business owners from Prince George's County came out to Sobe Restaurant and Lounge in Greenbelt, Maryland to network with the Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) at their signature "Thirsty (for Business) Thursday". Tonight marked the first "Thirsty (for Business) Thursday" (T4BT) of the 2016 season for the EDC, and the first anniversary of Sobe's, one of the most unique and sophisticated dining experiences in the heart of Prince George's County. The special guest speaker was April Richardson, Esq., president of D.C. Sweet Potato Cake in Hyattsville, MD, who is achieving tremendous success through her partnership with the EDC, and is on her way to becoming the 1st of 500 'Activate Prosperity' multimillionaires.

"We are serious about growing our businesses in Prince George's County," said EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman. "April Richardson is an example of what a partnership with the EDC is all about. To 'Activate Prosperity' a company must first, move to Prince George's County. Second, partner with the EDC and let us provide you with access to capital and match-make you with top customers. That's how we roll; that's how we are creating 500 multimillionaires within the next three years. April is number 1. Sobe owners Tony and Josette are numbers 2 and 3, with 497 to go. Who's next?"

Richardson inspired the standing room only crowd with how her company has grown from a small, struggling bakery in the District of Columbia to a full-scale retail and manufacturing company in Prince George's County with products currently being sold at Wegman's, Starbuck's, and Honey Baked Ham. Ms. Richardson is the first woman-owned African American bakery in the region to be featured in the Starbuck's bakery case. D.C. Sweet Potato Cake has also been featured on QVC. Additionally, her products will soon be available in Safeway stores in the region, thanks to introductions made by EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman.

"The EDC has definitely had a positive effect on our company," said Ms. Richardson. "Thanks to Mr. Coleman introducing me to a Safeway Executive at one of the EDC's networking events, we are gearing up to distribute our products to more than 125 stores in this region. From site selection, to the financing of our new full scale manufacturing facility (to accommodate our new clients), to allowing me to inspire you tonight, the EDC is truly making a difference in Prince George's County. Come and be a part of this movement in our County."

Ms. Richardson's plans for County expansion include a retail operation in Hyattsville, which will open in the Spring of 2016 and a large scale manufacturing facility, also in the County. She is expected to hire 25-30 County residents to keep up with the growth of her business.

Tony and Josette Simpson, the owners of Sobe Restaurant and the presenting sponsor of this evening's 'T4BT' also shared how their vision to bring upscale dining to Prince George's County has been realized. Using their own funds, the Simpson's purchased and designed their restaurant to resemble a beautiful night club in South Beach Florida. Collectively, the Simpson's employ more than 100 employees, and provide top quality employment and training in management and culinary arts to County residents.

"Prince George's County deserves 'white table cloth' restaurants, just like any other County in Maryland," said Tony Simpson. "We are delighted to be able to partner with the Economic Development Corporation to ensure County residents can have gainful employment in an upscale restaurant and enjoy delicious food in a sophisticated atmosphere. We are fully committed to helping our community grow and prosper."

In addition to Sobe Restaurant and Lounge, this evening's event was graciously sponsored by Berman Enterprises in Rockville, MD, NAI Michael Companies in Lanham, MD and D.C. Sweet Potato Cake in Hyattsville, MD.

The EDC's "Activate Prosperity" initiative is an aggressive three year plan designed to create 500 multimillionaires by connecting them with potential clients, valuable resources and assistance programs; thereby creating more jobs for County residents.

Join the EDC on March 14, 2016 as we host the 'Connections for Success' forum with the Prince George's Chamber of Commerce which will address "Enhancing Relationships With Customers for Long Term Growth". It will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 1801 McCormick Drive, Suite 140, Largo, MD 20772.

Admission and parking are free. Attendees must RSVP to Crystal Ballard at (301) 583-4650 or cballard@pgcedc.com.