Allegany County is well suited for the individual wishing to build a business from the ground up, or who is self employed.
In Allegany County and the state of Maryland, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and respected.
Local real estate is suitable and affordable, for any number of small business projects, from small production and distribution sites to artists' lofts and workspaces. Many older buildings in Allegany County's communities work well in allowing for creative use of space. Compared to the location costs in metro areas, particularly those around the Capital Beltway, Allegany County actually makes going after an entrepreneurial dream affordable.
It's not unusual for the small entrepreneur to live and work in the same location. The cities of Cumberland and Frostburg have incentives for those interested in working and living in their respective communities and making their dream of business ownership or self-employment a reality.
Funding is available through Department of Defense's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). The SBIR program (commerce.maryland.gov/Start) funds stage research and development at small technology companies and is designed to stimulate technological innovation, increase private sector commercialization of federal R&D, increase small business participation in federally funded R&D and foster participation by minority and disadvantaged firms in technological innovation.
A source for any entrepreneur is the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Whether you need start-up assistance, financing, or assistance in expanding, the SBDC has resources the entrepreneur can tap. The Western Maryland SBDC, serving Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties, offers one-on-one consulting and cost-effective training to existing businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Through the SBDC, entrepreneurs can develop and refine business plans, solve operating problems, find sources of capital, develop strategies to support growth and profitability – all for no cost. In addition, SBDC training programs are targeted to the needs of small business owners and pre-venture start-ups, with the specific goals of providing high quality, low cost training programs.
The Maryland SBDC Network also offers a specialized procurement program (PTAP), designed to help sell your products or services to federal, state and local governments.
SBDC offices are conveniently located throughout the region. To contact the Western Maryland SBDC, call 800-457-7232 or 301-687-1080. Or visit the SBDC website at (www.marylandsbdc.org).
Tri-County Council for Western Maryland is a regional economic development organization representing Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties. They assist with business development and expansion efforts in the Western Maryland area and can direct businesses to state and federal resources and programs to help set up a new business or assist expanding businesses. For more information on Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, visit (www.tccwmd.org) or call 301-689-1300.