Our Mission: To protect, enhance and promote local business by providing a voice for business at local, county and state levels.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Welcome to Bowie, Maryland!
Welcome to the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce Newsletter and to our community, one of the best places in Maryland to live, work and raise a family.

The Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce understands that in order to have a strong economic environment you must have a strong community. We are truly blessed in our community to have leaders, business owners, educators and citizens who realize that we all share in the responsibility of creating economic success and happiness within our community.

The Chamber’s goal is to work toward improving the quality of life for all through the support and commitment of its members, volunteers and committees. The Chamber is proud to sponsor events throughout the year to help support the community.

As the Executive Director, I am honored to work alongside our dedicated Board who all share the same vision, business growth and healthy community environment.

If you are not a member of the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce, please join us today. Your membership will benefit your business and the community. I look forward to working with everyone.

Be well,
Pauline K. Markward
Executive Director
News & Notes
Executive Committee
Terry Rogers, President
Message from the President

It is wonderful to be reporting on this fun event after more than a year of canceled functions. I am excited to be chairing our spring golf fundraiser. We are thrilled to have secured the prestigious Country Club at Woodmore for our tournament taking place on Monday, May 16th. I hope you will participate in whatever way you can, either by putting together a golf foursome, volunteering on the day of, or by donating either monetarily or by donating a silent auction item.
There are many levels of sponsorships available so if you or someone you know would like to be a sponsor, volunteer or donate to the silent auction, please contact me at info@bowiechamber.org or 301-262-0920.
We have an opportunity to make this golf tournament the most successful fundraiser the GBCC has produced. The Chamber is an important part of our community and very much needed at this time to lift us all up. With your support and enthusiasm, we can successfully swing for the "23rd Annual Bowie Chamber Golf Open".
News & Notes
Membership Development

Join a Chamber Committee Today!

Minority, Veterans & Small Business Committee
To offer useful information and networking opportunities focused on helping minority, veterans and small businesses successfully meet the challenges they face in today's business world.

Fundraising Committee
Is responsible for overseeing the organization's overall fundraising.

Legislative Committee
Advocates on behalf of the Chamber before the City Council, County Council and General Assembly. Informs the Board and membership of pending issues before those bodies of interest to Greater Bowie businesses.

Membership Development Committee
Works on expanding the Chamber membership base as well as retaining existing members.

Healthcare & Environmental Committee
Promotes Chamber Healthcare related businesses to the community, healthcare related networking events, bringing healthcare providers together, promote environmental awareness and responsibility among Chamber members. and holds community Home & Health Expo.
Membership is just a CLICK away!
News & Notes
Healthcare & Environmental Committee
Valentine's Day: Good for the Heart
Chocolate, red wine, and other expressions of love can be good for you.

The stuff of Valentine's Day may be good for the heart, in more ways than one. Chocolate, red wine, and expressions of love could not only make thumpers go pitter-patter in romantic fashion, they could also lead to better heart health.

According to a growing amount of research, chocolate, red wine, and love can play a role in keeping the blood flowing throughout the body. Experts do not always agree on how these elements boost cardiovascular fitness, nor do they always recommend them as tools for disease prevention. But it's clear that a little of each isn't too bad -- in moderation.

The Sweet Stuff
Many people see chocolate as a guilty pleasure. How many dieters have felt they've committed a sin upon indulging in the cocoa delight? How many mothers have warned their children against eating too much, lest they get cavities?
There's no doubt chocolate can contribute to weight gain and tooth decay, but now researchers are finding it can do good things for the body as well.

"It seems a component in cocoa -- flavonoids -- can be heart healthful," says Susan Moores, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). She says flavonoids are antioxidants, known to protect against free radicals in the body. Free radicals are suspected of damaging arteries and triggering buildup of plaque (fatty substances) in the wall of blood vessels, which can lead to atherosclerosis.

Antioxidants can also help lower the level of "bad" cholesterol (LDL), and increase the amount of "good" cholesterol (HDL). This antioxidant effect is apparently greater in dark chocolate, because it has more cocoa beans, a natural source of flavonoids.

The flavonoids in dark chocolate may also improve the health of the endothelium (the lining in arteries and veins), says Joe Vinson, professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.

In one study, he says people with one risk factor for heart disease (i.e. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides) drank a single 6-ounce glass of cocoa, rich in flavonoids. From that one drink, researchers reportedly found a significant improvement in the flexibility of the arteries.

Studies can be misleading, though, says Vinson, as researchers typically give subjects high doses of cocoa. "We don't know if lower doses work," he says.

In the same vein, health experts warn against eating too much chocolate as it is usually packed with calories and saturated fat.

If you indulge yourself or a loved one in the cocoa treat, eat a small amount. Cynthia Sass, RD, spokeswoman for the ADA, recommends buying more expensive chocolate, but less of it. "With rich chocolate, it doesn't take much to be satisfied," she says, noting that people who take time to savor, and let the candy melt in their mouth, tend to be more content with smaller servings.

Heartwarming Toast
Wining and dining has long been a Valentine's Day tradition for sweethearts, and now there may be more reason to clink glasses.
For people who drink a moderate amount of red wine, there's a heart health benefit. Research has shown that the flavonoids in red wine -- originally from grape skins -- have an antioxidant effect, may raise good cholesterol levels and may help prevent blood clotting in vessels.
Other, more controversial findings reveal that not just red wine, but moderate amounts of alcohol in general, wards against cardiovascular disease.
"Alcohol has a blood-thinning effect, and that was what was found to be effective against stroke and heart disease," says Sass.
Yet the studies on different types of alcohol have been small, and don't show as much effect on increasing good cholesterol, says Holly Novak, MD, director of prevention and women's health at Prairie Cardiovascular in Springfield, Ill.
Additionally, Vinson says alcohol can also produce free radicals, which are bad for the liver, counteracting any antioxidant benefits. The only exception, he says, is red wine in moderation.
All the health professionals interviewed by WebMD warn against excessive drinking, or encouraging nondrinkers to start drinking. Alcohol consumption can raise the risk of liver problems, high blood pressureobesitybreast cancer, suicide, and accidents.
Women of childbearing age are also encouraged not to drink, as alcohol can harm the growth and development of an unborn child. By the time women who drink heavily find out they're pregnant "the damage could already be done," says Sass, who recommends sparkling grape juice, or dark-red grape juice with sparkling water as alternatives to red wine.
For people that choose to drink alcohol, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends one to two drinks per day for men, and one drink for women. A drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.
Overall, experts don't recommend red wine or any other alcohol as a first line of defense against heart disease.

Cupid's Arrow
The word "love" has stumped people for ages. It has made people feel like they're floating, or become crybabies upon hearing a certain song. It has also made otherwise sensible people do crazy things.
Yet, as mysterious a force love is, there seems to be no surprise that it is capable of many, many things.
How about improving heart health? As ludicrous as it may sound -- yes -- there is proof that it can do that, too, and more.

"The evidence is very strong that good relationships have health benefits," says Blair Justice, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Texas School of Public Health.

According to Justice, various investigators have looked into different types of relationships (i.e. marriage, family, and friendship), and have shown that love can:
  • Help prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.
  • Protect against heart disease.
  • Boost levels of antibodies in the body.
  • Reduce levels of stress chemicals, which can damage the immune system.
  • Lower risk of disease in general.
  • Decrease risk of early death.
  • Lengthen life.

Love's protective effect against heart disease has been tested in several settings.
Researchers who kept track of Italian American immigrants in Roseto, Penn., found that people who maintained close family ties as in their homeland tended to have less incidence of heart disease compared with other American communities, even though they ate a high-fat diet.

"Gradually, over time, a certain percentage of these (Italian American) families started to adopt more American ways -- getting more interested in the fast life, fancy cars, and country club memberships -- and they started getting the same incidence of heart disease as people who had been in this country," says Justice.
A long-term study was also done on Japanese Americans who moved to Hawaii and California, and the results were similar. Immigrants who adopted more American ways tended to have more incidence of heart disease compared with those who kept their traditional close family ties.

One theory explaining love's effect on physical health involves human nature. "It's instinctual to have this need for touching and talking," says Justice. He says the personal contact turns on a part of the nervous system, which has a calming effect, and allows for a smaller amount stress chemicals in the body.

In addition, the human touch can lower blood pressure, and illicit a sense of safety, connection, and comfort, says Carol Rinkleib Ellison, PhD, author of Women's Sexualities, and a psychologist in private practice.
"People who do affirm their love for each other before going to sleep tend to sleep more deeply, in a more relaxed way, and they'll wake in the morning more refreshed, in a better mood, and, therefore, they'll get along better," says Ellison.

Real life may not always be as simple, but experts do agree that having less stress is good for the health of the overall body, including the heart.

Gifts From and for the Heart
Offering your sweetie love, red wine, and chocolate for Valentine's Day may, indeed, help you score big in the heart department. But romantic and healthy gift giving need not be boring.

Below are some ideas from the health experts interviewed by WebMD to help get hearts pumping.
  • Give a fruit basket, or sign up your loved one for a fruit-of-the-month club that delivers fresh produce to doorsteps. Red fruits such a strawberries, cherries, and ruby red grapefruits are rich in antioxidants, says Sass.
  • Give your loved one a pedometer. It's a fun tool that can help your honey see his or her fitness progress. After all, exercise is good for the heart. Moores suggests setting up a date to walk together.
  • Take a field trip to do something with one another, rather than buying a material object. It's a chance to create a new experience or re-live an old one together, says Ellison.
  • Give a funny book, as humor is good for the heart, says Sass.

If you're still at a loss at what to give for Valentine's Day, fret not (stress is bad for your heart health).
"Whether it's a small box of chocolates, red roses, or it's time spent together, the point is to give a gift on Valentine's Day to somebody you care about," says Novak, reminding that the effort is what usually touches a person's heart.
Go Green

The term sustainability is used to describe an efficient way of looking at development and growth. According to The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook (p. 119), it is "about meeting today's needs without hampering future generations." This means growth that ensures waste-free production, values people, and maximizes profits -- the process recognized as the triple bottom line. 

Sustainability Plan
The Bowie Sustainability Plan, adopted on November, 21, 2016, is a 10-year plan that details goals, strategies, and actions that will help ensure Bowie is a diverse and vibrant community that is committed to its citizens, economy, and natural environment. Achieving the objectives in this plan will be a continued community effort, and every resident can make a difference. Each year we do an update of where the City is in regards to the Sustainability Plan - what actions have been taken, what we have achieved, and what we still need to work on. View the 2020 update here
Get Your Flu Shot!
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Health officials tell us flu shots will be especially important as we move into flu season while still in the midst of the global pandemic. Flu shots are now available for County residents through the County Health Department’s upcoming free flu shot clinics. Adults with insurance are encouraged to get vaccinated by their primary care provider or at a local pharmacy. For more information and to make an appointment for the County’s free flu shot clinics, visit http://health.mypgc.us/flu
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people can become severely ill. Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions. Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience more than four weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Older people and those who have certain underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and effective.

For more information, CLICK HERE
Your health matters to the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce.
Over the next few weeks we will be practicing social distancing by limiting or reducing unessential meetings.
News & Notes
Minority, Veterans and Small Business Committee

Black In Business: Celebrating The Legacy Of Black Entrepreneurship
EDITORS' PICK Feb 3, 2020,06:35am
-Ruth Umoh

African-Americans have played a profound role in shaping the U.S. business landscape. Technological innovations like the traffic light, automatic elevator doors and even caller ID all sprung from the minds of creative black luminaries.

To honor their business achievements this Black History Month, Forbes spoke to a number of founders, investors, activists, celebrities and experts on the black diaspora. What emerged from these conversation was a rich, complex portrait of black entrepreneurship, one that highlights the black community’s tremendous creativity, as well as a resilience that was born, in part, out of hardship and necessity.

Historically, black-owned companies, like Madam C.J. Walker’s hair-care line and the businesses that formed Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street, were developed in direct response to racial discrimination. “These segregation patterns then created market opportunities for black entrepreneurs to step in, make money and meet the demands of the black community,” says Mehrsa Baradaran, author of The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap. With few work opportunities and high job instability, many black pioneers took matters into their own hands, building small enterprises that served and employed fellow African-Americans.

The black community’s long history of entrepreneurship is marked by ebbs and flows. The Reconstruction era, the period after the Civil War, saw a sharp rise in the number of black-owned businesses as the country attempted to right some of the inequities of slavery. But in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the resurgence of Jim Crow laws enforcing racial segregation, coupled with the Great Depression, led to the decline of black entrepreneurship. “Black businesses were targeted and we saw a rollback in many of the advancements that were made previously,” says Tiffiany Howard, a small business and entrepreneurship fellow at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

The rate of black business creation continued to rise and fall throughout the 20th and 21st century, increasing in the ’90s, dipping during the 2008 recession and rising again post-recession. In recent years, the number of black-owned businesses has risen dramatically, with black women fueling much of that growth. In 2003, Oprah Winfrey, arguably the most notable black female entrepreneur, became the first black American billionaire. And in just the last five years, four other African-Americans have reached the billionaire echelon.

But even with this forward momentum, black entrepreneurs still face a number of challenges: primarily, a lack of access to capital, says Ron Busby, president of the U.S. Black Chambers. “We have the acumen, the creativity, the knowledge and even the manpower. But without access to capital, our ideas come to a standstill, are stolen or are manipulated.” 

Many of the black 2020 30 Under 30 listmakers echo a similar sentiment in candid video interviews with Forbes, but they also note the black community’s collective ability to persevere against all odds. And in an effort to level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color, a number of corporations and wealthy black business leaders have created funds to invest in minority-owned companies. Real estate tycoon Don Peebles announced a $500 million fund for emerging minority and female developers in June 2019, and banks like JPMorgan and Citigroup have launched initiatives and investment funds to support underrepresented entrepreneurs. 

Still, much remains to be done both in the private and public sectors. “In order for there to be a great America, there must be a great black America,” Busby says. “And in order for there to be a great black America, you must have great black businesses and a great black economy.”

If history is any indication, black entrepreneurship will continue to grow and thrive in the coming years—an economic boon for Americans of all colors.
December 22, 2021

As the business community continues to feel the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, today the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) announced the results of its Personal Services E-Business Grant. The E-Business Grant, which drew more than 250 applications, was focused on assisting local small business community by providing funding for technical support of their businesses. Generously funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund, 147 Prince George’s County personal services business owners’ applications were approved, providing more than $660,000 in grant assistance.

“This personal services business grant will help bridge the gap between County businesses and potential customers. Having a robust website with online sales capabilities and the ability to interact with your customer base is key to being competitive in this tough economy,” said Ebony Stocks, Executive Vice President of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation. “The EDC is happy to support Prince George’s County businesses and the personal services industry in particular because as they extend their reach, it also means that they are expanding their growth.”

The Personal Services E-Business Grant program provided grants of $5,000 to Prince George’s County-based personal services businesses to support increased foot traffic to brick-and-mortar establishments, improvements to point of sale technology, and cross-channel functionality. The grant could also be utilized to establish or expand online sales capabilities, obtain real-time insights into customers, for scheduling, and for inventory management. In total, 147 companies received grants of either $2,500 or $5,000 to support their e-business operations.

Over the last 12 months, the EDC has distributed more than $40M in grants to County businesses, supporting job creation and sustainability for thousands of employers. For more information about technical assistance programs, grants or the many other services provided by the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation, please visit www.pgcedc.com.
News & Notes
Fundraising Committee
Peanut Butter Shelf
Bowie Chamber has adopted the Peanut Butter Shelf in the Bowie Interfaith Pantry. Each month the Bowie Food Pantry goes through approximately 350 jars of peanut butter. 

You can drop off your donation at the Chamber office or directly to the Bowie Food Pantry, located at 2614 Kenhill Drive, Suite 134. (Chamber Office is Suite 117.)
Save the Date!

In-Person Networking Opportunity
Bowie Chamber 5:35!
Chessie's Chesapeake Grill
Comfort Inn Conference Center
4500 NW Crain Highway
Bowie, MD 20715
2nd Wednesday of the Month (February 9, 2022)
Starts at 5:35 p.m.
No registration required.

* * *

Presidents' Day
Monday, February 21, 2022
Chamber office will be closed for Presidents' Day.

* * *
23rd Annual Bowie Chamber Golf Open
Monday, May 16, 2022
Country Club at Woodmore, The
12320 Pleasant Prospect
Mitchellville, MD 20721

Unless otherwise noted above, register online www.BowieChamber.org

For additional information call 301-262-0920 or email info@BowieChamber.org
72-Hour notice is required on cancellations
Bowie Business Journal
In conjunction with the GBCC, Bowie Business Journal (BBJ) is a cable television program designed to help Bowie business owners start and grow their business. The 30-minute show features GBCC members. If you would like to be a guest and showcase your business please email info@BowieChamber.org

News & Notes
Legislative Committee
444th session of General Assembly
will convene in Annapolis, Maryland
January 12 - April 11, 2022


If your business has reached a milestone or received an award, please email the Chamber at info@bowiechamber.org. We look forward to giving kudos in Tradeline!

2021 - 2022 Board of Directors
Terry Rogers 
NAI Michael
Chair, Nominating Committee
Michael Oleru
Vice President
Chair, Business & Economic Development Committee
Christopher Rizzi
Vikki Kalitsi
Visiting Angels
Chair, Budget Committee
Stephanie P. Anderson
Past President
O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A.
General Counsel
Tom Zizos
Beall Funeral Home
R. Anthony Pasciuto
Byrd & Byrd, LLC
Reginald Forbes
Forbes Financial
Chair, Golf Tournament
Eddie Pounds

Kaiser Permanente
Chair, Healthcare Committee
Tony Perez
LA Perez Consulting
Muriel Evans-Buck
Luminis Health
Co-Chair, Golf Tournament
Pam Scott
M&T Bank
Craig Muckle
Marketing Consultant
Co-Chair, Golf Tournament
Catherine Newman
Melvin J. Berman
Wanda Rogers
Realty Transaction Services Inc.
Chair, Women in Business Committee
Andrew M. Roud
St. John Properties
Michael Byrd
Sydian Systems, LLC
Chair, Legislative Committee
Chair, Membership Committee
Diane M. Polangin
Total Tax Service
Pauline K. Markward
Executive Director
Thank you!
Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce can't thank our members enough for all they do... and of course, we would love to see even more NEW members, so everyone, please try to make it part of your mission to bring in at least one new member!

For more information, contact our Membership Committee membership@BowieChamber.org.  

Start your membership today by clicking here!