Eldersburg Business Report
by Doug Howard, president of the Entrepreneur Factory
April 2005

Eldersburg: A Great Place to Start a New Business

howardDoug300It is part of the American Dream to start your own business, be your own boss and build for your own future. Most of America’s new jobs and new innovations come from people that take on this challenge and start businesses of their own. And now, Eldersburg is proving to be a great place to start that new business.

Whether it is a restaurant or a hair salon, a lawn care business or IT consulting, many new businesses are opening right here and there are a number of reasons why.

One major factor is the tremendous growth in population. Even with the recent building moratorium, the population in Eldersburg continues to grow and provides a larger customer base demanding all types of businesses. This growth is likely to continue as will the demand for products and services. The growth in population is also supplying the area with more people to work in new businesses.

Also, there are many new locations for retail shops and offices. The addition of new shopping centers and the remodeling of existing locations have added thousands of square feet of retail and office space. This has resulted in dozens of new restaurants, several new banks, and a host of other businesses to serve the growing community.

There are some great resources that can assist businesses in Eldersburg get started. Some of them include Start-Up Carroll, providing free services for those starting a business; the Miller Small Business Center at Carroll Community College, providing business training, workspace, Internet access and other resources; the Small Business Development Center, providing business planning and general advice. There are also many strong business associations to support businesses such as the South Carroll Business Association and the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. There is no shortage of help for someone that wants to start a business.

At the same time, Eldersburg does have some challenges. Businesses that require good interstate access have a challenge in south Carroll County. Until Route 32 is expanded, and Liberty Road is widened, traffic will continue to be an issue. Also, some areas have limited options for broadband Internet access. This can also be an issue. Water, zoning and other factors can all be obstacles for certain types of businesses.

Financing is also generally available. There are many banks in Eldersburg that are aggressively seeking the opportunity to work with new small businesses. Though the new owner must have a solid plan, money to invest and good credit, there is financing out there for new businesses and interest rates are very reasonable.

Eldersburg also has many ways to promote a new business. There are several new, local papers that offer reasonable advertising rates. Eldersburg has an adequate supply of billboards, mailing services and other means to find customers.

The economic development of south Carroll County is largely dependent on the growth of new businesses. Eldersburg has already experienced tremendous business growth in the last few years, but there is more to come. The space is here. The resources are here and the customers are here. It will be really interesting to watch our business community grow.

Doug Howard is president of the Entrepreneur Factory, and founder of Start-Up Carroll, a group helping small businesses in Carroll County get started.

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