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Seminar scheduled for entrepreneurs

The Howard County Economic Development Authority's Business Resource Center will offer "Smart Start to Business Success," presented by an attorney, accountant, banker and insurance adviser, for new entrepreneurs selecting a business entity and concerned about taxes, liability and financing.

The seminar will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon March 8 at the Center for Business & Technology Development, 9250 Bendix Road, North, Columbia. The cost is $39.

"Export Howard County: Focus on Small Business," a workshop to help small business owners take first steps into the global marketplace, will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 21 at the same location. The cost is $99.

"Government Contracting Resources," a seminar for business owners considering competing in the federal market or those in the early phases of entering the market, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 22. The cost is $149.

"Franchising: The Safe Business," which covers the fundamentals of buying a new or existing franchise, will be offered from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. March 28. The cost is $59.

"Developing Your First Business Plan," a workshop for the first-time entrepreneur, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 29. The cost is $75.

The Center for Business and Technology Development provides assistance with business management, from start-up, business planning and financing to marketing and networking.

Information: 410-313-6550, or

Agriculture-related grant is available

The Howard County Economic Development Authority's Agriculture Committee has established an Agricultural Business Industry Youth Grant, an entrepreneurship grant for a Howard County youth, ages 18 or younger.

The grant is intended to improve the economic viability of agriculture in the county by encouraging youth to try new business ventures and providing a small sum as capital. A total of $750 has been dedicated from the county's Agricultural Marketing Program's local branding program, "Howard County Grown," for the grants, which are to be offered annually.

The money can be used to purchase materials for a greenhouse to grow herbs or cut flowers; create marketing materials for direct-sales outlets, such as roadside stands; develop a specialty service business, such as "relief livestock care-giver; start a vegetable business on a dairy farm; purchase superior genetics to improve brood stock performance; or finance similar projects.

Applicants, who must submit their proposals by Feb. 28, can be sole proprietors or form a joint venture with a Howard County company, partnership, sole proprietor or cooperative. The projects, which must be completed in Howard County, can also be carried out in existing farming operations.

Information or to request a grant application: Ginger Myers, Howard County Economic Development Authority, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 500, Columbia 21046, or 410-313-6500.

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