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Chamber to hold awards ceremony

The Howard County Chamber of Commerce has announced the recipients of its annual Awards for Chamber Excellence. They will be honored at the 2007 Signature Event, to be held Oct. 5 at Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center in Ellicott City.

The Melting Pot, a four-year-old restaurant in Wilde Lake Village Center, will be recognized as the Small Business of the Year for its growth and commitment to the community.

Large Business of the Year (26 or more employees) will be Offit Kurman, a regional law firm with headquarters in Maple Lawn.

Earl Armiger, founder and chief executive officer of Orchard Development, will be recognized as Business Person of the Year.

Mary Ann Scully of Howard Bank is Entrepreneur of the Year, and David Lynch of Systems Integration and Support LLC is Young Professional of the Year. Both awards are new this year. The chamber's Exemplar Award and Chairman's Award for Volunteer Service will be announced at the event.

Humorist Dave Barry will entertain at the event. The theme of the event, presented by M&T; Bank and Turf Valley Resort, is "Funny Business."

The evening will include a dinner and pre-dinner and post-dinner receptions. Tickets are $125 for members and $150 for nonmembers.

Information: 410-730-4111, or

Columbia company gets $200,000 loan

J-ref, a private, not-for-profit funding source for Howard County startup and emerging companies, has lent $200,000 to Syntonics, a radio communications company in Columbia.

Syntonics, with headquarters in the Center for Business & Technology Development, produces specialty radio frequency communications equipment and accessories, primarily for the U.S. military. The loan will be used for a new product line and working capital for expanding facilities.

J-ref lent startup funds to Syntonics in March 2001. The company was founded in 1999 as a technology transfer spinoff of work at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in North Laurel.

Housing fair set for Sept. 29

The Howard County Department of Housing and Community Development is accepting applications from exhibitors and vendors for the second Come Home to Howard County Housing Fair, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29 at Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road in Columbia.

Sponsorships are available.

Information on mortgages and on programs and services available to Howard County residents will be available.

Educational workshops, seminars for homebuyers and giveaways are planned. The event is free and open to the public.

Information: Chris Julien, 410-313-6343.

Breakfast to focus on businesswomen

The Baltimore Washington Chamber of Commerce will present a Women In Business Breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday in the Courtyard by Marriott Fort Meade, 2700 Hercules Road in Annapolis Junction.

A buffet breakfast and networking opportunities will be provided. The cost is $20 in advance for members and $35 at the door for members and nonmembers.

Registration: www.baltwash, go to "Events." For directions: 301-498-8400.

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

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