Your Success is Our Business by Laura Rowles View All Posts

photo of Laura Rowles at GGCC

About Your Success is Our Business by Laura Rowles

Laura Rowles is the Director of Events & Marketing for the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) serving almost 400 members by hosting over 30 networking events each year, as well as providing educational seminars and special events. The Chamber hosts numerous events each year including: breakfasts, lunches, after-five’s, ribbon cuttings... Read more

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Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Celebrates National Small Business Week

(l:r) Chelsea Selby, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber, director of membership; Francis Llave, Fitness Together Potomac, manager; and Brittany Hilton, Hughes Network Systems, franchise marketing specialist; celebrate Chamber membership and small business during National Small Business Week.

The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) supports small business and there’s no better time to do that than National Small Business Week. At the GGCC, every day is a celebration of business. Small businesses are vital to economic development in Montgomery County.  One week a year, we are afforded the opportunity to go above and beyond to recognize the critical contributions of the Upcounty’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

This year, the IRS marked the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week as May 5-11, 2019. National Small Business Week recognizes the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the United States each year.

We’re here to help and respond to the needs of all businesses, including small businesses, in the Upcounty, Maryland, in an effort to sustain positive growth. In honor of Small Business Week, we took the opportunity to highlight the impact of its entrepreneurs & small business owners by making a daily visit to five Chamber Members -donned with balloons and sweets- to thank them, show our support for them, and recognize their hard work, dedication and impact they have on our community.

Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy,” said Marilyn Balcombe, GGCC Executive Director. “It is important to show our support for all our small businesses.”

While we look forward to this week’s events, the Chamber celebrates small business success every day. The GGCC recognizes that it is the efforts of small business that has made this country the success that it is today.  And when small businesses thrive, jobs are created and the economy flourishes for everyone’s benefit.

Last week, we celebrated and nurtured Montgomery County’s vibrant small businesses. Five GGCC Members were chosen for a special visit.

We visited Gimmel, Weiman, Ersek, Blomberg, and Lewis, P.A. They trace their beginning in Montgomery County, Maryland to 1973, and through a focus on responsive, economical legal service, has evolved into a full-service Law Firm providing a wide array of legal services to individuals and businesses. The firm has been a Chamber Member for 28-years. Learn more:

Established in 1906, Shannon and Luchs Insurance Agency is a well-known independent insurance agency in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, but has national representation in all fifty states. They are considered a boutique in that a customer can place all their personal insurance, business insurance, life insurance, employee benefits and financial planning all in one place, catering to the diverse needs of small to medium size business owners. A Chamber Member since 2009, we were delighted to visit this vibrant small business. Learn more:

We had a fantastic evening with Congressman David Trone, D-MD 6th District; City of Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman; & City of Gaithersburg Councilmember Robert Wu, visiting small businesses in Old Towne Gaithersburg, Maryland. It was a great opportunity to get to know hardworking entrepreneurs, who greatly contribute to the local economy. Chamber board member, Bruce Kanner, & Chamber staff joined Trone, Ashman, & Wu on visits to Victor Litz Music Center, Don Jorge’s Restaurant, and Gaithersburg Rental. It was special visiting with Robert Chiswell of Gaithersburg Rental Center, as they were a founding Member of the GGCC in 1950.

Treated our Small Office-Home Office small businesses with donuts at their monthly meeting. This group was created for those Members who work at home to provide support to one another through a business roundtable.

We attended Montgomery County’s launch of Business Connect – a new County program to support businesses with training, workshops & individual counseling sessions for entrepreneurs and small business owners – at the Upcounty Regional Services Center in Germantown, Maryland.

Continued our National Small Business Week visits with our Board chair, Brittany Hilton of Hughes, at Fitness Together in Potomac & Nestle Toll House Café by Chip in the Kentlands. Fitness Together- a personal training facility that specializes in one on one training in a private environment- has been a Chamber Member for a year. Learn more: Nestle Café is a sit-down street side type cafe serving Nestle products such as: coffee, 20+ kind cookies, cookie cakes; and savories including: panini’s, flatbreads, wraps, breakfast, ice cream, smoothies and more. They have been a Chamber Member for seven months, but are already making an impact on the community. Learn more:

Cochran Automotive Service Center in Germantown was our fifth stop. They provide full automotive repair service for foreign & domestic vehicles. Cochran is your neighborhood auto repair service center. They are advocates of giving back to their community and are big supporters of another Chamber Member, Operation Second Chance. They have been a Chamber Member for three years and were established in 2002. Learn more:

We finished the week conducting a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Madison House Autism Foundation, who celebrated the grand opening of their new office space in Gaithersburg.

We want to congratulate and encourage all the small business owners out there. The ingredients for your own little slice of the American dream are truly remarkable! Anyone who has ever tried–and especially succeeded–in a self-employed venture knows that there is no such thing as instant success. It takes countless hours of hard work, determination, and confidence. Don’t give up on your dreams–you keep America going! Congratulations to all of the County’s Small Businesses, especially those that are members of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce.

We encourage you to please visit your local small businesses and say “thank you for being here” and remind you to shop small, shop local, buy local and please do business with other Chamber Members.

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.

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Laura Rowles

About Laura Rowles

Laura authors the blog Your Success is Our Business on MyMCMedia. Laura is the Director of Events & Marketing for the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce - a member-based organization of businesses that have joined together for the purpose of promoting the civic, commercial and industrial progress in our communities. The area's economic well-being is a result of the caliber of work that is done by the Chamber. The Chamber has a major impact on business, income and future growth of the area. My position at the Chamber - Director of Events & Marketing - affords me the opportunity to plan quality events for our Members and market the Chamber is a variety of avenues. At the GGCC, we typically have around 30 events each year including: breakfasts, lunches, after-five's, ribbon cuttings and special events. The consensus is we have high quality events with good energy. In 2012, we had over 2,040 people visit our events. Most our events are free to Members so securing sponsorships for all events. Additionally, I am responsible for planning networking, overseeing the budget and marketing of all events in order to make them successful. Lastly, I coordinate all marketing and communication efforts of the GGCC including weekly email blasts, its quarterly newsletter, all social media platforms, media relations and community outreach.


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