Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich today announced the launch of a “Business Center,” based in the Office of the County Executive. The Business Center is a rebranded and expanded version of the County’s Business Advancement Team (BAT). It will be focused on assisting businesses looking to start, expand, or relocate in the County.
Goals for the Business Center include conducting proactive outreach to the County’s business community, reducing inefficiencies in County processes to make it easier to own and run a business, and connecting local businesses to the numerous resources available through the County. The Business Center is home to the County’s Small Business Navigator position, business liaisons, business incubator system, business grant programs, and access to resource partners.
“When COVID hit, our Business Advancement Team worked tirelessly to provide tens of millions of dollars in business grants to our hardest hit industries,” said County Executive Elrich. “As we emerged from COVID, we saw an opportunity to expand the team and shift its focus from pandemic assistance to proactive and responsive customer service for our businesses. We are one of the most diverse communities in the entire nation, with businesses that reflect this diversity. Our County is full of assets for businesses, but we recognize that we must compete in a regional and global community. The Business Center is going to give us the edge to better support our local businesses, work with our partners in and out of government to attract new businesses, and help our business community succeed, create jobs, and grow our economy.”
The “Business Center” has launched a new website that was designed with significant input from local business leaders to make it easier for anyone to navigate and access critical resources.
“Most business owners have very little time to delve through a cumbersome website for information,” said County Executive Elrich. “The old Business Portal did a good job of providing a comprehensive list of resources, but we heard again and again from business owners that it was too much information and too complicated. The new website was created with direct input from small business owners, and was designed with them in mind to simplify County assistance and information.”
The “Business Center” website has been streamlined to answer the most pressing questions from businesses. “Business Center” staff is focused daily on business assistance, with attention on small and mid-sized businesses. This includes:
- Finding structural issues to be removed for businesses to succeed
- Proactively reaching out to small businesses throughout the County to hear their concerns
- Providing resources to businesses and contract partners to provide additional resources for small business owners and creators
- Providing programming and resources through the County incubators to ensure small startups have resources to thrive
- Monitoring website and other avenues to ensure that businesses are responded to within two business days of requests for assistance or resources
“We encourage businesses to contact us with their requests,” said Gene Smith, manager of the Business Center. “Our team is in the best position to help you with any business-related questions you have for the County. Our goal is to have someone ready to assist, and a team member will follow up with each request within two business days.”
Check out the Business Center’s new site at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/business/.