Venture Access Hosts Minority & Small Business Resource Fair

On Thursday, February 15th, Venture Access INC., powered by the Harford County Chamber of Commerce and Harford County Office of Economic  Development, hosted the Minority & Small Business Resource Fair in partnership with the Harford County Caucus of African American Leaders. The event, sponsored by APG Federal Credit Union, was held at the APGFCU Arena at Harford Community College.

The event featured 36 business resource vendors, 4 educational breakout sessions, and a keynote address given by Shari Bailey, Founder of Laila’s Gift. Thank you to the event sponsors, Harford County Public Library, Wellpoint, and WorkPerx Employee Insurance; vendors, and partners for making this event such a success. 

Natalie Pixley, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Harford County Chamber of Commerce and lead coordinator of Venture Access, gave welcoming remarks. Monica Worrell, Business Development Director at APG Federal Credit Union, encouraged small business owners to lean into their community for growth and support. Jim Thornton of the Harford County Caucus of African American leaders also shared grateful remarks for the business community’s dedication to small business equity. 

Attendees included local small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Attendees visited with vendors, building their resource network and gaining personal awareness of the business resources available in Harford County and the surrounding areas. Vendors that offer small business support included: Harford County Chamber of Commerce, Harford County Office of Economic Development, Harford County Caucus of African American Leaders, Small Business Development Center, U.S. Small Business Administration. Harford County Chapter of the NAACP, Susquehanna Workforce Network, Town of Bel Air, Project Opportunity, Baltimore Community Lending, Harford Haven Studio, Image 360, M&T Bank, Beacon Staffing Alternatives, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Maryland Insurance Administration, Harford Community College, Supporting Strategies, Maryland Department of Transportation, Freedom Federal Credit Union, Harford County Department of Community Services, WorkPerx Insurance, Ganvir Law, Jarrettsville Federal Savings & Loan, Real Accounting Solutions, Point Breeze Credit Union, Zimmerman & Associates CPAs , HAR-CO Credit Union, AAG Insurance Enterprise, G.S. Woods Financial Solutions, APGFCU, APGFCU Arena at Harford Community College, Harford Bank, Truist, Wells Fargo, Maryland Minority Business Directory. 

Attendees circulated through five informational sessions: Creating and Leveraging your Network, led by Kewing Ewing Jr. and Megan Ewing of Harford Haven Studio, Small Business Marketing on a $0 Budget led by Natalie Pixley of the Harford County Chamber of Commerce and Iron Rose Fencing, Business Plan Basics led by Bryan Laing od the Small Business Development Center, and  Business Funding, led by Bonnie Barressi of Harford County Office of Economic Development. 

Shari Bailey, founder of Laila’s Gift gave the keynote address. She shared her story of being a mom of twin girls, one with special needs, that inspired the nonprofit, Laila’s Gift, to celebrate birthdays and other milestones of children with different abilities. Shari encouraged attendees to be proud of what they have accomplished and what they will accomplish, using “proud” as an acronym: Passion, Resources, Organization, Unleash, and Deliver. 

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or new business owner looking for resources in Harford County, please contact Venture Access at

View pictures from the event here and a recording of the keynote presentation here.

Photo credit: Harford Haven Studio and Harford County Chamber of Commerce 

Video Credit: Laila’s Gift

Share This Post

About author:-