Office of Economic Development Aims to Be One-Stop Shop for Local Business Support

Last Updated on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:49pm | Business Resources

Garrett County's Office of Economic Development is aiming to be a one-stop shop where local business owners can find support and resources to help them manage their businesses. The office has invited local business owners throughout the county to connect with Kim Durst, the business retention specialist, for a 45 to 60 minute confidential session at their places of business.
“In Garrett County, our business resources are as deep as our waters,” said Kim Durst economic development specialist for the Garrett County Office of Economic Development. “Our goal is to add value to our county businesses, help them improve their networks, refine their business strategies and ultimately grow their bottom line.”
Garrett County’s Office of Economic Development is committed to supporting all Garrett County businesses, whether it’s one of the 50 new businesses that made a home in the county last year or a veteran business seeking a modern edge. Working in collaboration with local, regional and state educational institutions and agencies, the office assists business owners with business plans and budgeting, senior leadership training, custom workforce training, expansion support, exporting plans, marketing strategies and local, state and federal financing.
Since Garrett County is a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone), businesses in the county qualify for preferential status in competition for federal government contracts. For business owners interested in federal contracting opportunities, becoming a HUBZone-certified business is key, Durst said. “We are in the process of developing a toolkit to assist local businesses in applying for this designation and urge them to contact our office for assistance,” she added.
“Also let us know if your business has a job opening or if you’re hosting a special event or sale or sponsoring an event or team—likewise if you have an employee who’s reached an employment milestone, been named employee of the month or received an award or special recognition,” Durst said. “We’ll help get the word out via our website and social media channels. Our office is creating a megaphone, and we want to shout about your business!”
“The Deep Creek Experience”
Together with the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, the Office of Economic Development last year launched “The Deep Creek Experience” branding initiative to encourage tourism and continued investment in communities throughout the region. From specialty manufacturing to specialized tourist adventures, Garrett County businesses are on the move and collectively defining “The Deep Creek Experience” for a new generation of potential residents and visitors.
“All business owners in Garrett County create this ‘Deep Creek Experience’—whether the business targets visitors to our county or represents our county to consumer or business prospects farther afield,” Durst added. “As our local businesses develop new jobs, products and authentic customer experiences, they’re further strengthening our economic identity.”
Learn more by contacting Kim Durst at 301-334-1992 or, or visit
About Garrett County, Maryland:
Nestled in the mountains of Western Maryland, Garrett County features high elevations—and higher opportunities for prosperity. Lured by an abundance of resources and natural beauty, more than 900 businesses elevate their workforce—and profit margins—in Garrett County. Boasting a solid workforce and affordable real estate, Garrett County blends modern conveniences with country living. Efficient by design, Garret County’s technology and transportation infrastructures redefine rural life, offering convenience and proximity to key markets.
In Garrett County, we’re reinventing rural. Mindful of our agrarian roots, we support the organic growth of innovation. Visit to learn more.