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Annapolis, Arundel business groups merge, hope to increase influence

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Anne Arundel Trade Council and the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce merged yesterday to become one of the largest business networking groups in the state, which they hope will give them additional legislative influence.

The new Annapolis and Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce has a membership of 1,300, which makes it the same size as the Maryland and Harford County chambers of commerce. The three groups are the biggest of the 64 chambers in Maryland, said Joan Hatfield of the state group.

"This new chamber will unite the voice of the business community on issues of importance," said Bob Burdon, a former executive director of the Trade Council who is president and chief executive officer of the new group.

"With the resources that would come about from these two organizations, we will be able to deliver a much higher level of service."

Larry Ulvila, president of the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce, said it made sense for the groups to unite because many county business people belonged to both. The Annapolis group moved into the Trade Council's Severna Park office Dec. 11, and leaders of both groups signed the merger papers yesterday afternoon.

The group will have an annual budget of about $800,000.

Pub Date: 12/18/98

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