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Prince George's Economic Development Corporation Partners With Shabach! Ministries To Host Small Business And Job Seeker Summit

EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman (standing) speaking at Shabach! Ministries, Inc. at First Baptist Church of Glenarden Worship Center in Upper Marlboro, MDUpper Marlboro, MD, March 21, 2016 - On Saturday, the Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation hosted a Small Business and Job Seekers Summit in partnership with Shabach! Ministries, Inc. as part of its "Activate Prosperity" Tour to build awareness about the opportunities and resources within the County. More than 100 job seekers, local business owners and entrepreneurs flocked to the First Baptist Church of Glenarden Worship Center in Upper Marlboro to learn about the 20,000 job opportunities, $9 billion in business resources and no cost training opportunities that residents can take advantage of through the EDC and its life changing programs.

"I appreciate the partnership that Shabach! Ministries and the Economic Development Corporation are creating for the residents of Prince George's County," said EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman. "We want to re-create the sense of entrepreneurship that Jesus and his disciples displayed when He walked among us. Jesus was a carpenter, Luke was a physician, James and Peter were fisherman and all of them were focused on changing the circumstances in their communities. To paraphrase Angela Davis, I urge each of you to change the things you cannot accept, instead of accepting the things you cannot change. Where I come from, that is called 'hustling backwards'."

Mr. Coleman and the EDC team gave attendees specific information on the financing programs, training programs and the small business development services available to help them obtain maximum increase in their lives and businesses. Team members also discussed how to write a business plan, and how to get certified to do business with Prince George's County.

Shelly Gross-Wade, President and CEO of the Prince George's County Financial Services Corporation (FSC First) talked about how her organization can be a resource for small business owners to gain access to traditional and non-traditional capital.

"As business owners in Prince George's County, you are in a world class community, and FSC First is here to finance your businesses," said Ms. Gross-Wade. "We are not here to measure your failures, we are focused on measuring your success. At the heart of all business, it is cash flow that pays bills; not collateral, not character. FSC First is here to finance businesses and help you speak the language of traditional banks to get to 'Yes' on a loan request."

Kisha Logan, EDC Small Business Services Manager also shared her insight on how entrepreneurs and small businesses can be successful.

"I was delighted to see so many small business owners come out to the Summit today," said Ms. Logan. "It is important for business owners to have a 'go to' person to help them unravel the perceived red tape of being in business for themselves. My goal is to ensure that County businesses, regardless to what stage of development they are in, have the information and resources necessary to bid on any procurement, hire as many employees as they want to hire and increase their revenues through sound business decisions. This helps their businesses to grow and makes the County thrive."

The small business owner portion of the Summit generated many follow-up questions from the attendees, many of whom did not realize the number of free services the EDC provides for business development.

"I was truly enlightened today by the information provided at this workshop," said Carolyn Marshall, President of Carolyn's Corner, a customer service training and coaching center in Capitol Heights, MD. "I was particularly impressed by how this workshop encouraged small businesses to do our homework, have things in place and not come to the table empty handed so that we can do business professionally when we get ready to expand. I am very glad I came."

Job seekers learned about the training and certificate programs available through the County's Largo One-Stop Career Center and Laurel Regional Workforce Center to become competitive for high wage jobs, particularly in the areas of Information Technology, Health Care, Transportation and Construction. They also learned about the available grants to provide tuition, childcare and transportation assistance for residents participating in the training programs.

"Today's event was very informative and I received more than enough information on what I need to do to make better career choices," said Jane Washington of Upper Marlboro, MD "As an unemployed professional, I found out today that I can go to the Largo One-Stop Career Center to work with a recruiter, who can assist me in my job search. I will definitely be there on Monday morning!"

The EDC will continue its 'Activate Prosperity' tour at the Spirit of Faith Christian Center on Saturday, April 23rd at 9 a.m., 2261 Oxon Hill Drive, Temple Hills, MD to share its life changing programs that can provide high wage employment or produce generational wealth through business creation and expansion. To attend this electrifying event, please RSVP to Crystal Ballard at 301-883-8254 or cballard@pgcedc.com today.

For more information on how to gain access to capital, get assistance in writing a business plan and other business support services, contact Kisha Logan, Small Business Services Manager at 301-583-4650 or kvlogan@co.pg.md.us.

For more information on how to identify job opportunities, register for job training and certification or career development workshops, contact Liz Williams, Director of Workforce Development Services at 301-883-4615 or elwilliams1@co.pg.md.us.