Awards to mark business diversity

The Committee for Business and Economic Diversity of the Howard County Economic Development Authority will celebrate business diversity through its 13th awards program recognizing business leaders and their achievements in promoting equal business opportunity.


The breakfast awards program will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 24 at Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville.

Nominations are being sought for awards for Business Achievement, Individual Achievement, Business Diversity Achievement, The Howard County General Hospital Rising Business Star Scholarship and the Earl H. Saunders Entrepreneurial Scholarship.


Applications for the scholarships are available at Howard County high schools. To request nomination forms: 410-313- 6550, or thecenter/cbed.html. The deadline for nominations and applications is March 9.

The Howard County Economic Development Authority is a public-private partnership working to promote economic growth and stability in the county. Information:

Fitness franchise opens in Ellicott City

Planet Fitness, a 15,000- square-foot gymnasium in Ellicott City, has opened for business at 8488 Baltimore National Pike. The franchise, owned and operated by Diana Hamilton and her fiance and partner, Hans Dutt, features more than 70 pieces of cardio- and strength-training equipment, including a 20-station, 30-minute circuit workout area called "PF Express." Access to personal trainers and tanning beds is included.

Hamilton, the first woman to own a Planet Fitness franchise, opened a facility in Baltimore in May. Planet Fitness, a national group, owns 150 franchise locations.

The company caters to beginners seeking fitness; the cost is a one-time fee of $59 and a $10 monthly fee. Fees are charged month to month.

Small-farm marketing to be course topic

The Howard County Economic Development Authority's Agricultural Marketing Program and Carroll Community College will jointly offer a four-session course, "Show Me the Money: Mastering Direct Marketing for Small Farm Viability."


The course will include discussion of small-farm viability and individualized business planning; an overview of marketing; options for small farms; best-fit product inventory for small farms; and implementing a marketing strategy. One-on-one assistance will be available.

The course will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays, March 6 through March 27, at Carroll County Community College in Westminster. Lunch will be provided. The cost is $85 a person; two who attend from the same operation pay $150.

Registration is due by Feb. 16.

Information: Ginger S. Myers, 410-313-6500.

Business Digest items may be sent to or faxed to 410-715-2816.