Kent County Economic Development both leads and participates in activities designed to assist local and prospective businesses in achieving their goals and objectives. Economic Development strives to provide a centralized problem solving location for county, state, federal, and private resources designed to continually improve the county’s business climate and living and working environment.
The Kent County Chamber of Commerce (Ms. Loretta Lodge, Executive Director at 410-810-2968) works to promote and enhance the growing business climate in the county.
The Kent County Tourism Development Office (Ms. Bernadette Bowman, Director at 410-778-0416) has information and assistance on every facet of visiting and living in Kent County.
Washington College (800-422-1782 or 410-778-2800), located in Chestertown, and the 10th oldest college in the nation, is a private 4-year liberal arts college founded in 1782, and has provided a high level of business support and cultural enhancement to Kent County since its inception.
Chesapeake College (410-822-5400), located in Wye Mills, was founded in 1965 as Maryland’s first 5-county community college. Chesapeake offers associate’s degrees and certificate programs, plus workforce training options. Bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees are available through the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center. The partners are Salisbury University, LaSalle University, Stevenson University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, University of Maryland University College and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
SCORE, “Counselors to America’s Small Business” (410-810-2969) is a non-profit association which provides entrepreneurs no-cost, confidential face-to-face and email counseling.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) (410-827-5304), located at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, provides no-cost counseling and low-cost training programs to entrepreneurs of existing and developing businesses.
The Maryland Department of Commerce is a major partner with Kent County in attracting new businesses and retaining and expanding existing businesses. The Department of Commerce publicizes Maryland’s attributes, and markets local products at home and abroad to stimulate economic development, international trade, tourism and promote film production in Maryland.
- The Maryland Agricultural & Resource Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBICO) 410-267-6807, mission is to assist Maryland's farm, forestry, seafood and recreation-based businesses to achieve profitability and sustainability by providing targeted services that help retain existing Ag/RBI production and commerce, promote rural entrepreneurship and nurture emerging industries.
- Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) Thomas Rider, Business Services Supervisor, Division, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation Thomas.Rider@Maryland.gov 410-822-3030 Ext. 308 (office) 443-842-0711 (cell) 410-820-9966 (fax). Maryland Workforce Exchange
- Small Business Administration (SBA) The Small Business Administration is a United States government agency that provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Resource Guide for Small Business
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Resources for taxpayers who file Form 1040, Schedules C, E, F or Form 2106, as well as small businesses with assets under $10 million. Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center Industries/Professions Tax Centers Employment Tax Resources
- Downtown Chestertown Association (DCA) Downtown Chestertown Association (DCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting businesses and professional services in and around Chestertown through activities that encourage residents and tourists to visit and shop locally.
- Sassafras River Business Council (SRBC) The Sassafras River Business Council is a non-profit organization founded to support local businesses in and around the Sassafras River communities.
- Greater Rock Hall Business Association (GRHBA) The GREATER ROCK HALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION supports many local organizations, activities and annual events in Rock Hall, Maryland.
- Kent County Women In Business (WIB) Kent County Women in Business is a networking group where women can congregate and share intellectual resources and experiences in order to assist one another in accomplishing success in their business endeavors. Our mission is to provide connection and support and to foster the growth, strength and development of women in business in Kent County, Maryland.
- Chester River Welness Alliance (CRWA) The Chester River Wellness Alliance is a certified 501c3 nonprofit organization of health and wellness providers, business owners and individuals who are committed to; Supporting the practices of the health and wellness providers in the community; Educating and administering to the health and well-being of residents and visitors alike; andPromoting Chestertown and the surrounding area as a vibrant wellness destination.
- Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC) Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 2004 to help advance an entrepreneurship ecosystem on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. This includes the counties of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester.
- Upper Shore Regional Council (USRC) The Upper Shore Regional Council (USRC) was created in October, 2003 (Chapter 100, Acts of 2003). The Council is a regional planning and development agency for Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties. The Upper Shore Region is home to over 1,400 farms that are preserving the land and the rural character the region. These farms encompass more than 360,000 acres, and produce sales of over $294 million. We exist to foster the physical, economic and social development of the region. For the development of the area’s human and economic resources, the Council initiates and coordinates plans and projects.
- Rural Maryland Council (RMC) The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) brings together citizens, community-based organizations, federal, state, county and municipal government officials as well as representatives of the for-profit and nonprofit sectors to collectively address the needs of Rural Maryland communities. We provide a venue for members of agriculture and natural resource-based industries, health care facilities, educational institutions, economic and community development organizations, for-profit and nonprofit corporations, and government agencies to cross traditional boundaries, share information, and address in a more holistic way the special needs and opportunities in Rural Maryland.
- Kent County Board of License Commissioners (Alcoholic Beverage) The State of Maryland empowers the Board of License Commissioners to administer and enforce the provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. The restrictions, regulations, provisions, and penalties contained in these laws are for the protection, health, welfare and safety of the people of Kent County and the State; and are carried out by the Kent County Liquor Board.