Business news briefs

Submitted photo/Dorchester Chamber of Commerce
Free Spirit Threads is a new retail clothing and accessory store in Downtown Cambridge with an online presence as well. Tori Swann is only 16 years old and is already making her mark in the business world! The store opened on Oct. 17 to an enthusiastic welcome. On Oct. 20, the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting which had a good attendance. Tori also has plenty of family and friends supporting her. Free Spirit Threads can be found at 519 Poplar St.. For more information, visit freespiritthreads.net, or call 443-521-0858.

Hyatt wins award
More than 715,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe, naming the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina recognized as the Number 2 Resort in the South.
“The results of this year’s survey, conducted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are a testament to the lasting power of a meaningful travel experience,” said Jesse Ashlock, U.S. Editor of Condé Nast Traveler. “The winners represent the best of the best for our audience and offer plenty of trip-planning inspiration for all the adventures we can’t wait to have next.”
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. The full list of winners can be found here.
“We are thrilled to be recognized with such a prestigious accolade as Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards,” said Joel Bunde, General Manager of Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. “Our team is dedicated to caring for others so they can be their best and we strive daily to provide unforgettable and meaningful experiences that our guests will cherish for years to come. We are honored by this recognition as it is a testament to the premier experience we provide on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore.”

Chamber’s Golf Tournament
The Golf Tournament is one of the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce’s Signature Events. These events help us to raise funds needed to continue to provide services for our members and community. We also use the events to raise funds for the Foundation Scholarship program and specifically for the Jason T. Wise and Gerry Boyle Scholarships.
The 30th Annual Chamber Challenge Golf Tournament was held this year under the leadership of Jeff Hubbard, and with many thanks to our Event Sponsors, Culta, Fat Ricky’s, Whitten Insurance, and Cambridge Marketplace, along with a very long list of others that made the event a great success in the year of Covid. Could not have the event without the great support of the staff at River Marsh Golf Club at the Hyatt.
This year we added a companion event under the direction of Tracy Tyler, a Fun Pickleball Tournament. We received very positive comments from those that participated. We would like to thank the Chamber Challenge Pickleball Tournament Sponsors as well: Charles C. Powell, Inc. REALTORS, Comfort Inn & suites, Effectv, & Mid-Shore Graphics.
If you are interested in serving on the Golf Tournament Committee next year give us a call or send an email to info@dorchesterchamber.org.

Ribbon Cutting for CTC
Bring your mask and join the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 10 at noon to help the Center for Therapeutic Concepts celebrate their new location Cambridge after years of having a successful Outpatient Mental Health Clinic in Largo. The new location is in the buildings behind the Dorchester Square Shopping Center, at 828 Airpax Road, Suite 200, Cambridge.

Grow Your Sales Team
Maryland Capital Enterprises and the Women’s Business Center announced a free, online small business workshop, set for Oct. 29 10 a.m. to noon, “Grow Your Sales Team on a Shoestring Budget During Covid.” Learn the basics to get you on the path for more incoming business. Do less of the smaller tasks and enjoy life more!
Guest Speaker: Jessica Koch Consulting Where: Online Learning Webinar via ZOOM
Advanced registration for all events is strongly encouraged to ensure there are enough signups to have a workshop. For questions, contact Marvin Jenkins at mjenkins@marylandcapital.org or call 410-546-1900 ext. 104.
To register visit marylandcapital.org/services/business-education. A ZOOM link will be sent to registrants. SBA’s participation is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs or cosponsored programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least two weeks in advance.

Nov. 3 holiday
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) announced Thursday it will formally recognize Election Day as a corporate holiday during presidential election years. All CareFirst associates will receive a full day of paid time off this year and in future presidential election years.
Between presidential election years, CareFirst associates will receive an additional eight hours of paid time off to be used for civic engagement. As a leading employer and community champion, CareFirst supports the full and active participation of its workforce in the democratic process, a statement from the agency said.

$10M to Port of Baltimore
The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao on Thursday announced the award of more than $220 million in discretionary grant funding to improve port facilities in 16 states and territories through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program.
U.S. maritime ports are critical links in the U.S. domestic and international trade supply chain and this funding will assist in the improvement of port facilities at or near coastal seaports. The Port Infrastructure Development Program aims to support efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve facility and freight infrastructure to ensure our nation’s freight transportation needs, present and future, are met. The program provides planning, operational and capital financing, and project management assistance to improve their capacity and efficiency.
Of the 18 projects that were awarded grants, eight are located in Opportunity Zones, which were created to revitalize economically distressed communities using private investments.

New ag website
The Agriculture and Food Systems (AgFS) Team is excited to announce a new logo and website that will highlight Extension activities of this statewide program. The mission of the AgFS Extension Program is to conduct applied research and provide research-based educational programming to increase producer profitability while conserving resources by using cutting-edge technologies and practices. The team consists of nearly 70 educators with experience and expertise in a variety of agricultural topics. Outreach activities include print, social, online, one-on-one consultations and classroom teaching.
This winter, many programs will have online learning options such as agronomy, vegetable, forage and fruit meetings as well as opportunities for pesticide and nutrient voucher credits.
For questions about the AgFS Program or this page contact Darren Jarboe at 301-405-6935 or jarboe@umd.edu.
and visit https://extension.umd.edu/agriculture.

Major deal at Port of Baltimore
One of the world’s top international forest product producers has signed a new contract with the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) that will significantly expand its operations at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore. The agreement with Metsä Group of Finland and Logistec (as terminal operator Balterm) will consolidate all Metsä Group’s Mid-Atlantic volumes through the Port.

The three-year contract commences January 1, 2021, and includes options for an additional three years, for a potential six-year total. Under the terms, Metsä and Balterm will lease 797,980 square feet of warehousing space at the South Locust Point and Dundalk state-owned public marine terminals, an increase of more than 300,000 square feet – or more than 60% – compared to the current Metsä contract signed in 2016.
Projected annual volumes from the new Metsä Group contract include 370,000 tons of rolled paper used to produce packaging materials commonly used in the food service industry, as well as liner board used to produce cardboard materials, and pulp used to produce tissues, paper towels and napkins. Each giant roll of paper can weigh up to 7,000 pounds and, if unraveled, would stretch about 12 miles in length.