The County Economic Development Commission is taking nominations forthe annual Venture Awards to be given out in May.

The awards, co-sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Committee, honor businesses that have expanded in the past year.

The deadline for nominations is March 15, the EDC member Alfred Boyer of C & P Telephone.

Information: 857-2070.

Last year, awards were given to Duke's Brushless Car Wash, Quality Glass and Aluminum and Random House, all in Westminster.

In a report at Wednesday'sEDC meeting, Boyer, chairman of the public relations committee, saidcommittee members would like to help businesses in their dealings with county government.

Some business people aren't comfortable talking to government officials and may need help wending their way through the system, he said.

EDC members may be able to identify resources and provide information to business owners, Boyer said.

Also at the meeting, James C. Threatte, director of the county Department of Economic and Community Development, said the county commissioners have asked him to explore alternatives ways to finance a business parkin Sykesville.

Monday, the Sykesville council killed a measure tocreate a special tax district, which would have allowed developers to obtain a $1.5 million state-county loan package.

Security Enterprises Inc. wants to build an industrial-retail park at Route 32 and Raincliffe Road.

EDC members also heard a presentation by John Samony from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Center in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

The center helps businesses that have been hurt by competition from foreign companies.

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