Chamber Update

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Please give a warm welcome to our newest members of the chamber: LogoZone Promotions (upgraded to bronze member), First National Bank, Joy Cortina – Arbonne and Advanced Healing Art.

Did you know there are six chambers of commerce in Anne Arundel County, each operating independently as small businesses, and none receiving government funding of any kind?

That might seem like a lot, but there are 56,000 businesses and countless nonprofits, and each chamber has a unique focus and “target market.” In the Greater Severna Park and Arnold areas, our base is mainly businesses with 10 or fewer employees, and many nonprofits. Business owners are our neighbors and friends, they employ our children, give us the desired goods and services that make our community truly unique, and are always giving back through donations.

Many of our businesses are multi-generational and family owned, and some are close to 100 years old!

When Walter Winkelmeyer, owner of a local coal, feed and grain store, founded the chamber in 1957, he paved the way for the business-friendly community that we enjoy today. Over time, his business would become the first hardware and paint store in the area to meet the demand of people converting their summer cottages into full-time residences.

Our community has everything – great restaurants, specialty stores, health and wellness businesses, wonderful nonprofits and so much more. And the COVID crisis has severely impacted the operations of all.

Even though our businesses have reopened to some extent, many are nowhere near generating the revenue required to sustain operations for the long term. We ask our community to please shop local and check first with local businesses for the products you need, as many have created e-commerce and carryout options. You can most likely find everything right here, and your patronage will keep our small businesses going and carry them to the other side of this crisis.

We cannot afford to lose our small businesses, as they are vital to the local economy in so many ways.

Back to the six chambers - I am thrilled that we are working together for the good of all businesses. We have communicated regularly throughout this crisis, shared ideas, hosted a multi-chamber networking event, and are working with the local government to voice and protect the interests of our businesses.

We were hoping to reschedule our Independence Day parade to Labor Day, but due to the COVID restrictions, our permit was not approved. We look forward to a fantastic Independence Day parade in 2020, so start planning!

Our chamber was so happy to restart our monthly Successful Women in Business group after a summer/COVID hiatus. We held a virtual networking meeting and created plans for some great events for the remainder of the year, including an outdoor beer and wine tasting and more. Please check our website at www.gspacc.com for updates.

We held a ribbon cutting for the Severna Park Community Center’s opening of its new pool, which was discovered to have major cracks after over 60 years of use when the center closed during the pandemic. If you have lived in the area long enough, you have been in the pool (remember when it was covered by a bubble?) The new pool is beautiful and will serve the community for many years to come. However, it was an expensive and unexpected renovation, so please consider a donation to www.spcommunitycenter.org.

Our health and wellness committee is going strong with practitioners in many fields including acupuncture, cranial sacral massage, essential oils and more. We are working on a community-based forum to present ways to keep your immune system strong, especially as we enter the cold and flu season.

We are looking forward to our 2020 Driving Force for Business annual golf tournament, which will be held at the beautiful Chartwell Golf and Country Club on September 14. Our sponsors for the tournament are Lean on Dee Senior Care Advocates, Chick-fil-A Severna Park, Emerald Financial Partners, The Matt Wyble Team of Century 21 New Millennium, Alexander Animal Hospital, Passanante’s Home Food Services, Fellner Legal Services, Kris Leigh Assisted Living, Garry’s Grill and Catering, Bernward Construction and Mechanical, Moran Insurance, Spring Arbor Senior Living, Minuteman Press of Crofton, M&T Bank, Griswold Home Care, The MWE Partnership, Consolidated Insurance + Risk Management, Reliant Management Consultant, LogoZone Promotions, Steak ‘n Shake Millersville, Landmark Roofing, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, the David Orso Team of Compass Real Estate, Bank of Glen Burnie, Gardiner and Appel, Cedar Square Homes, Firehouse Subs, Broadleaf Tobacco the Blended Essentials, Wilkins Automotive, and Barranco Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

We would love to have you join our mailing list to stay current on events and activities. Please send us an email at info@gspacc.com or visit our website at www.gspacc.com.

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