Creating A More Vibrant, Prosperous Maryland | September 2023
Maryland SBDC State Star Winner Announced
MD SBDC Director Lora Brown,
2023 State Star Winner Anastasiia Kucher
Each year, America's Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) selects an SBDC employee as "State Star", representing "the best of the best" from each state.

Join the Maryland SBDC in celebrating our winner, Anastasiia Kucher! State stars are SBDC employees who show exemplary work and commitment to small businesses. Anastasiia's coworkers describe her as "dedicated" and "a joy to work with".

Anastasiia was one of many awardees honored at ASBDC's STAR Reception, hosted at the famous Grand Ole’ Opry, in Nashville, TN. This event brings together top SBDC professionals from across America to celebrate the exceptional contributions made by SBDC State Stars to the small business community.

Congratulations, Anastasiia, on your hard work and dedication!
Maryland Business Opportunity Center Hosts Successful
Inaugural Showcase Event
On Monday, September 11, 2023, the Maryland Business Opportunity Center (MBOC) hosted its inaugural Showcase, where Program Director Dr. Dana Hauanio-Lore and MBOC consultants thanked U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) for their role in supporting MBOC's mission to assist underserved entrepreneurs in Maryland. The event not only highlighted the pivotal role played by the distinguished senators but also shone a spotlight on MBOC's successes and diverse clientele. 

In addition to Senators Cardin and Van Hollen, the Showcase was attended by the University of Maryland President Dr. Daryll Pines and Dr. Dean Chang, Associate Vice President for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Small Business Association's Steve Umberger, Maryland SBDC Executive Lora Brown, as well as SBDC staff and community partners.

For more information about MBOC and its initiatives, please click here.
From left to right: Dr. Dana Hauanio-Lore, Dr. Dean Chang, Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Lora Brown, Dr. Darryll Pines
The Maryland Business Opportunity Center (MBOC) addresses the challenges that preclude significant
portions of the Maryland community from effectively accessing local, regional, and national business resources; most immediately to help them overcome the pandemic-related challenges they now confront.

The MBOC is operated by the University of Maryland and partnered by the Maryland Small Business
Development Center.
SBDC Client Spotlight
Local Business Owner Overcomes Challenges With the Help of
Maryland Small Business Development Center
Annapolis, MD – Wednesday, August 30, 2023 – Heather Lamb, the visionary entrepreneur behind BluZone LLC, has achieved a remarkable success story by overcoming significant hurdles in launching their business with the invaluable assistance of Dr. Candace Pruett from the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and a VOLT loan through Anne
Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC).

About Heather Lamb and BluZone LLC

Heather Lamb, is a registered nurse and wellness expert with nearly ten years in the healthcare
sector and decades of prior management experience. Heather was previously a Wound Nurse
for MVS Wound Care and Hyperbarics (formerly Hyperheal Hyperbarics Wound Center).
Heather is passionate about providing holistic, accessible, comforting care.

BluZone LLC provides hyperbaric therapy oxygen therapy (HBOT) which involves breathing
pure oxygen in a pressurized space called a hyperbaric chamber. Hyperbaric therapy was first
introduced in 1861, when the first functioning HBOT chamber was used within the United States
to treat nervous disorders. Since that time, this therapy has grown to become one of the most
promising and upcoming treatment modalities in the United States and worldwide. HBOT is now
being used increasingly for both medical and non-medical reasons. Some of the non-medical
reasons include, but are not limited to, healing, recovery, swelling, inflammation, scar tissue
repair, increased brain function, longevity, and athletic performance. Anti-aging treatments,
especially those focused on telomere health, have become exceedingly popular as the median
age of the American population continues to grow.

Assistance from SBDC and AAEDC

When Heather reached out to the SBDC, they were faced with a series of challenges that
threatened to impede the realization of their entrepreneurial dreams. Determined to transform
their vision into reality, Heather sought out the expertise and guidance of the SBDC through a
referral by Anita Dewling at the AAEDC.

The primary issue Heather confronted was the need for funding and permitting assistance,
critical components for any successful business launch. Dr. Candace Pruett meticulously
reviewed Heather's business plan and worked collaboratively to craft comprehensive cashflow
projections. These projections played a pivotal role in the successful acquisition of a business
loan from VOLT.

Additionally, Candace and Anita demonstrated their unparalleled dedication by offering valuable
guidance through the complex process of obtaining permits at the county level. Thanks to the
unwavering support and expertise provided by Candace and Anita, Heather has triumphed over
the challenges and has successfully launched her business in Annapolis.

Heather expressed their gratitude, stating, "The guidance and expertise from the SBDC was so
valuable in starting my business. Their dedication and strategic insights have been instrumental
in turning my business dreams into a tangible reality."

More Information

BluZone LLC is planning a formal ribbon cutting ceremony with the community for Monday
September 18th at 4pm. For more information about this event, please visit

The Maryland SBDC remains committed to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit within the
community and empowering businesses to thrive against all odds. Through personalized
support and tailored solutions, the SBDC continues to serve as a beacon of hope for aspiring
and established business owners alike.

For more information about the Maryland SBDC and its range of services, please visit
Are you ready to kickstart your business success?
Maryland SBDC, Southern Region Is Hiring!
Position: Full-Time SBDC Business Consultant II 
Location: Prince Frederick, MD (hybrid work schedule)

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Business Consultant II effectively provides business counseling to SBDC clients; including business plan development, coordination with lenders and/or investors, and preparing and analyzing business financial statements/reports.

This position is open until filled. Click here for more information.
Resources for SBDC Clients
Maryland SBDC is excited to partner with Posture, Inc. to bring our clients an affordable solution to cybersecurity.

Get 12 months of Posture Starter, free for SBDC clients, to boost your cyber hygiene and protect your data. Get Posture
Cybersecurity Guidance For Small Businesses

ASBDC and North Star have developed resources for small businesses that cover a variety of topics and can help your small business navigate the sometimes overly complicated subject matter of cyber and data protection. Click here to learn more.
Special Offer for SBDC Clients
Take advantage of 30% off Constant Contact’s marketing tools for three months now through December 31. 2023. Click here for more information.
SBDC Training Programs
"Designed with You in Mind"

The SBDC offers a comprehensive range of training courses and programs to help you develop the planning, management, and financial skills necessary to make your business thrive.
No-Cost Confidential Consulting 
"Practical Solutions for Your Business Needs"

Whether you need help identifying local markets for your business, are developing a strategic business plan and want a second opinion, or have compliance issues you'd like to clarify, our consultants are ready to help you successfully grow your business.
The SBDC has more than
20 service locations throughout Maryland.

Click below to learn more.
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Maryland SBDC
Creating a more vibrant, prosperous Maryland.
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