Carroll County Establishes Business Advisory Councils to Spur Economic Development

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners have announced the creation of four new additional district business advisory councils to promote economic growth in the area.  Earlier this year Commissioner Doug Howard, District 5 spearheaded the establishment of the first business advisory council set to focus on bringing in business associated with the federal government’s Base Realignment and Closure process.  Comprised of volunteers from various industry sectors, the group was successful at attracting new businesses as well as maintaining strong relationships with current ones.  The Carroll County Times reports:

“They are generating ideas, they are generating contacts, they’re generating appointments for us to meet with people,” Howard said. “We ended up with a meeting at [the National Security Agency] because of a contact somebody had to look at the possibility of locating some of their activities at [the Warfield Complex in Sykesville].”

Commissioner Richard Rothschild, R-District 4, said Howard has created a good model for each of the commissioners to use. The business advisory councils, Rothschild said, have the opportunity to solve a lot of problems.

“We were lamenting the fact that we had businesses that were struggling that have left, and we had no opportunity whatsoever to intervene in any way,” Rothschild said. “This would give us the eyes and ears on the street.”

Frazier said she has already begun visiting different businesses in her district. A business advisory council, Frazier said, will give her the opportunity to pull those businesses together.

Frazier said she hopes that as the business advisory councils progress, they can promote the idea of shopping in Carroll County. People need to know there are places where they can get the items and services they need, Frazier said.

Since five commissioners can only do so much with promoting the county, having volunteers from five advisory councils can generate more outreach to the business community and bring more people to Carroll, Howard said. The advisory council members, Howard said, have become excellent ambassadors for the county.

“One of the things about a very conservative government is we don’t have as many arms and legs as a lot of other jurisdictions that we’re competing with for economic activity,” Howard said. “For us to send seven or eight people to an event is almost impossible because we don’t have that many people in our economic development department.”

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