Blog: Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Announces New Program – Pathways to Business Success

The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) announces a brand-new grant program designed for women and minority business owners to enhance their business by more fully engaging them with formal networking opportunities through the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce.

The program was made possible through an economic development grant from the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation.

Through strategic workshops, business resource groups, networking events and a free one-year Chamber membership, participants will gain new skills and relationships to increase the value of their business.

Throughout the pandemic we discovered that business owners who were engaged in a formal business group did much better than those who were more isolated,” said Marilyn Balcombe, GGCC President. “As we recover, we want to make sure everyone has access to the resource our Chamber can provide”

There are two tracks available – one for business owners who are just starting out and another for new business owners who are ready to expand.

Eligibility Criteria

Track 1 – Early Venture

  • Already in business or plan to launch by March 31, 2022
  • Has a business name
  • Has a business concept
  • 51% woman-owned or minority-owned
  • Located Upcounty*

Track 2 – Established Businesses

  • In business for 18 months – 3 years
  • Has a business plan
  • Has a Tax ID # if appropriate
  • Is in good standing with the State of Maryland by the start of the program
  • 51% woman-owned or minority-owned
  • 51%-time occupation for owner
  • Located Upcounty*

*Upcounty includes Gaithersburg, Germantown, Clarksburg, Damascus, North Potomac, Darnestown, Poolesville and smaller surrounding communities.

The education workshops are in partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County and the Maryland Women’s Business Center.

Curriculum for the businesses just starting out will include

Workshop 1: Creating a Business Plan

Workshop 2: Financial Foundations

Workshop 3: Marketing


Curriculum for expanding businesses include:

Workshop 1: Basics of Human Resources

Workshop 2: Managing Money and Cash Flow

Workshop 3: Lead Generation & Outreach


The Pathways for Business Success program launches January 2022. Women and Minority business owners that meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in participating in the program, can apply at

More information on the program is available at or by contacting the GGCC’s Director of Membership, Stephen McDow, at or 301-840-1400 x17.

The GGCC is active in providing business-to-business networking opportunities throughout the year: a collective voice in local, regional, and state legislative affairs, professional development opportunities and other services that enhance the business environment.

The GGCC is located at 910 Clopper Road, Suite 205N, Gaithersburg, MD. To learn more about the GGCC visit us at Find us! Facebook: | Twitter: @GGCCNEWS | Instagram: gburggermantownchamber


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