Pawtastic OrganicsPawtastic Organics

As the small business librarian at Cecil County Public Library, I have the opportunity to work with all types of entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. I’m amazed at their ideas as well as what motivates them start a business in the first place.

I recently worked with Pawtastic Organics, who have a very personal reason for starting their business: owner Lori Channell’s yellow Lab Abbey’s health. Abbey had many ailments and out of necessity, Channell changed her dog’s diet to more nutritious, home-cooked meals.  Channell saw dramatic improvements in her dog’s heath, and began to see a small business opportunity emerge in making healthy treats for animals. 

Standing at the check-out counter at the North East Library with numerous “How to Start a Business” books, the librarian asked her if she knew about CCPL’s Small Business Information Center.

She made an appointment with me and I shared information and resources on how to start a business. We discussed market research, sample business plans from similar businesses and a checklist on how to get licensed in Maryland. Channell said, “I was in awe of the librarian’s skills. I left her office thrilled with the fact that I knew I was moving in a direction to make Pawtastic Organics available to market.”

I then referred her to Ryan Del Gallo at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC offers another free service: mentorship for aspiring entrepreneurs. They discussed the importance of a well-written business plan, successful use of technology and creating an online store. “With the help of the library and the SBDC,” Channell said, “I learned it is ok to ‘think big’, but the key is to stay grounded with a well written business plan.”

Pawtastic Organics bakes homemade healthy treats using only natural and/or organic ingredients for furry loved ones, including both dogs and horses.  To place your Pawtastic Organics treat order, visit:, email or call (443) 553-3697. Deliveries are every Friday to all of Cecil County and surrounding areas.  


Peacock Training Institute, LLC


I am so proud to have played a role in Cecil County native Alan Pfau opening his very own firearms training business, Peacock Training Institute, LLC. His story is so compelling because it showcases the power of successful partnerships between local organizations, and the strength the library has in connecting patrons to vital community resources.

Pfau served his country for over 14 years with multiple deployments stateside and overseas, and he hoped to translate the skills he learned in the military into a small business. One of his first decisions was to check out some books around the topic of owning your own business at the Cecil County Public Library. Little did he know that information gained from the books he checked out on entrepreneurship would be a small portion of the information he would receive from the library on launching his first business. While at the library, he learned about the Small Business Information Center, made an appointment with me and we discussed how the library could help him become his own boss.
Pfau and I met one-on-one and discussed his dream of starting a firearms training business. I provided relevant demographic and competitor information related to his industry, including gun ownership rates, which in turn helped him make more reliable projections for his business plan. The competitor information I was able to provide for him came from a free library database called Reference USA. With this information, he analyzed gun ranges near and far and got a sense of their sales volume, number of employees, and credit rating scores. I also knew he would benefit from assistance from other local organizations that have a mission to help small businesses succeed in Cecil County. I referred him to the Cecil Business Resource Partners (CBRP), which he describes as a real turning point for his business. CBRP is a partnership of Cecil County's education entities and non-profit organizations that have joined together to share information about free resources for small businesses. CBRP members include: Cecil County Public Library, Cecil County Office of Economic Development, Small Business Development Center, Cecil College, Susquehanna Workforce Center, Cecil County Chamber of Commerce and Business Education Partnership Advisory Council.

One CBRP member I suggested Pfau meet with immediately, the Small Business Development Center counselor Ryan Del Gallo, Pfau now credits as being an instrumental mentor in the creation of his business. “Del Gallo assisted me with the financials of my business, writing a business plan, really everything that I needed advice with – he was there for me.” Pfau regularly meets with Del Gallo to discuss his business and credits his relationship with the Small Business Development Center as giving him access to connections throughout Cecil and Harford County. These connections fostered growth for his business, especially the focus group set up by Del Gallo to test out Pfau’s business concept.
Pfau used another connection he received through CBRP to teach a seminar titled, Refusing To Be A Victim, at Harford Community College. CCPL’s introduction to CBRP also gave him a connection to Cecil College. Pfau’s goal is to eventually teach courses there as well. Pfau mentioned another member of CBRP, the Susquehanna Workforce Center (SWN), as giving him access to private industry contacts. He also has an internal training scheduled with SWN in January.

Pfau’s entrepreneurial journey is a shining example of why the Small Business Information Center can be a game changer for local entrepreneurs. The library is a welcoming place, and when I meet with nascent stage entrepreneurs, they feel comfortable asking important questions and researching industry information to be better poised to reach out to banks, community members, or other organizations for assistance with their start-up.

If you are interested in learning more about the Cecil County Public Library’s Small Business Information Center, or any of the other CBRP members call 410-996-5600 ext. 128, email, or visit:

For more information on seminars and training provided by Peacock Training Institute, LLC, visit,, or contact Alan Pfau directly at 443-406-6260. Peacock Training Institute, LLC’s main goal is to make sure clients understand and feel comfortable handling firearms, and Pfau’s training programs are designed to prevent participants from becoming a victim, inside or outside the home. Pfau acknowledges that there is only one place to shoot in Cecil County, Elk Neck State Park, but Peacock Training Institute, LLC will accommodate shooting arrangements there. Pfau’s long-term goal is to open his own shooting range in Cecil County, and with the help of the committed Cecil Business Resource Partners, he can see this coming to fruition.

Aristos' Harvest

Beth Tumas walked into the Small Business Information Center at the Cecil County Public Library back in 2012 with the dream of creating a small business that produces and sells natural honey and goat milk products, locally, with fresh homemade ingredients. At the time, Tumas did not even own a single bee or goat, but she had a vision and a passion, she just needed a plan of action. Fast forward to today, and Beth operates her small business, “Aristos’ Harvest” along with her numerous colonies of bees, her herd of alpine goats and with her other animals, she has recently expanded her business to a new farm. She sells her honey, soaps, lip balms, and her hand salve at stores like Pickled Pickles in Oxford, PA and Rooted in New London, PA. Tumas’ mission statement for Aristos’ Harvest is that it will be “a working farm that balances our animals, ourselves, and the environment through education, business, and environmental stewardship.” Tumas credits her business success with the help she received at the Cecil County Public Library’s Small Business Information Center (SBIC).

At the SBIC, she met with the Small Business Librarian one-on-one and learned the process of starting a business and how to map out her goals in a business plan. Tumas is especially grateful for the free online Gale Courses the library offers. She took the free course titled, “Start Your Own Business” and learned about the different legal business structures and the tax implications of each form. She credits the course for giving her a firm foundation to make smart decisions in the early stages of her business.

Tumas also credits the knowledge she gained at the free programs offered by the SBIC at the library with her success. Tumas states, “the free QuickBooks classes taught at the library really tasked me with organizing my business. I realized the importance of keeping track of inventory and now, at any point, I can know if I am making or losing money. I am so grateful I learned this in the early stages of my business.” At another program Tumas attended, “From Hobbyist to Entrepreneur: Building an Online Business” presented by local business owner and artisan, Sara Renzulli, she learned the adage “Don’t be afraid to promote yourself.” Tumas said that really stuck with her and has given her the courage needed to self-promote her business, something that she was not initially comfortable with. The Small Business Information Center provides free assistance and resources to any aspiring or established entrepreneur

Country Clean

The library was fantastic in helping us take our green cleaning business, Country Clean, to the next level. We had a consultation with the small business librarian and she had already spent a lot of time reviewing our website and social media. She had some fantastic and easy strategies to help us access potential new customers and leads for the business and really spent time giving us custom feedback on using social media in a more effective way. We were very impressed! We are so grateful to have these kinds of resources at our public library and are excited to grow our residential and commercial green cleaning business in Cecil County.

Country Clean was founded in 2011 with the purpose of offering high quality cleaning services that are safe for our clients, our staff and the environment. We believe that green cleaning can be safe, effective and affordable! If interested in contacting County Clean, please visit or email

Aging Life Guides

Aging Life Guides logo

After almost 20 years as the Admissions Director at a local healthcare center, I decided to leave and start my own business, Aging Life Guides. I wanted to continue helping seniors and families who are dealing with the challenges of their aging family members. I realized I had a wealth of knowledge about the aging process and wanted to pass this on to families who are dealing with these issues.

A friend of mine, who also started a business, told me about the Small Business Information Center at the Cecil County Public Library. I called and spoke to the business librarian who provided me with key resources like the “Keys to Starting a Business” pamphlet, along with the guidance to proceed with my dream. I also attended a workshop on starting your own business presented by the business librarian at the Perryville Library that gave me additional resources.

I have been in business since September 2015 and my business continues to grow. I have been able to help families obtain all the resources that our county has to offer, as well as plan for the future. As an eldercare consultant and care manager, I am able to do an assessment and care plan for seniors and identify problems and provide solutions. More information can be found at my website: or by calling 443-207-8834 or emailing

The Small Business Information Center has given me and continues to give me the support and resources needed to build my business and my dream.

A New Leaf

A New Leaf

Having moved to Chesapeake City with the intention of opening a small garden-themed shop, I began to seek input from a number of sources. When a business owner in town suggested the Small Business Information Center at the Cecil County Public Library, I looked it up. Compared to the other checklists I’d reviewed, the materials were thoughtfully prepared, and comprehensive. A meeting with the small business librarian offered additional demographic reports and references beyond the online offerings. The resources proved valuable when opening my shop “A New Leaf” in Chesapeake City.

As you enter the historic portion of Chesapeake City, on the south side of the canal, the shop is in the front room of the first house on the left. The “Welcome to Chesapeake City” sign is in our yard. The website,, lists hours, town events, and a summary of what you can find “In Store.” We carry planters, watering cans, garden gloves & tools, totes, trugs, yard art, chimes, bells, spinners, fairy garden accessories, birdbaths, wildlife homes & feeders, and nature and Irish themed decor and jewelry. We’re especially excited about both the local and fair trade items from Pure Scents Candle Company, Step by Stepping Stones, North Country Wind Bells, Ten Thousand Villages, and African Market Baskets.

Be sure to sign up for special offers at, or follow us on, and Even better, just stop by for a look: 424 George Street, Chesapeake City, MD 21915.

The Write Touch, LLC

The Write Touch

I discovered the Small Business Information Center last year and was referred by the Baltimore County library. Driving over one hour to meet with the business librarian, I set out to learn more about the SBIC and how they could assist me. When I met with the Small Business Information Center, I was provided with pamphlets, tons of information and contacts which helped me with starting my writing and editorial business. The business librarian was very helpful as she was very open with information and a great resource throughout the whole process. Today, I am very grateful I made the step of contacting Cecil County Public Library’s Small Business Information Center. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself!

The Write Touch, LLC. offers writing and editorial services for authors, businesses and students. India Lindsey is the owner of The Write Touch, LLC. TheWriteTouch, LLC can be reached at 443-219-4108 or by email at TheWriteTouch, LLC. can be reached online via Twitter at @_theWriteTouch or

Jessica St. Clair Studio Logo

Jessica St. Clair Studio, LLC
"Art transcending perception"

When I was ready to take serious steps in starting my own business, but felt overwhelmed by a magnitude of questions, I sought answers and found many through the Cecil County Public Library. While taking a "Small Business Success" course through the Small Business Development Center, the Small Business Librarian was a guest speaker and introduced our group of perspective business owners to all the wonderful resources Cecil County Public Library has to offer. I've participated in their fantastic variety of free workshops, checked out books they've suggested for my research and consulted their start up guide for direction in officially establishing my business.

As the proud owner and artist of Jessica St. Clair Studio, LLC I've built a business based on my passion, and am happy to attest that Cecil County Public Library helps entrepreneurial dreams become reality. Establishing a business here in Cecil County has given me the opportunity to become an active member of the community, exhibit and sell award winning artwork, provide professional graphic design services and offer my collection of Bark RemarksTM "doggone funny greetings for a great cause" which feature and give back to local shelter dogs in need of loving homes.

designendipity logoDesignendipity

After 10+ years of designing for other companies, Debbie Shiller gained the courage to venture out on her own, but lacked the know-how to start her own business. Enter the Cecil County Public Library's Small Business Information Center, which Debbie says, "truly painted a 'yellow brick road,' complete with a checklist explaining how to start a business." This past January, Debbie started her home-based business, Designendipity, with the hope and aspirations of eventually opening her own storefront. By mid-summer, she was pulling midnight shifts -- balancing a full-time position and her home business.  Debbie was delighted to tell us, "Thankfully, and I would be remiss without saying that God provided me with the means to open my own place and on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, I will officially be open for business. I truly believe the library's Small Business Information Center definitely provided me with the confidence I needed."

If you are looking to re-brand your company, are just starting out, or need to promote your school, team, or event, Debbie Shiller from Designendipity can take your design ideas to the next level. Her store is located at 101 Old Mill Plaza, North East, MD 21901 and she can be reached at 443.907.3646. For more information about Designendipity, visit:

Best Vacations

best vacations north east md

Cathy Parsons, owner of Best Vacations, a full-service travel agency that is family owned and operated in North East, came to the library's Small Business Information Center to seek assistance with expanding her business. Cathy had been running a successful home-based travel business and wanted to research the possibility of a storefront location. The librarian discussed the need for a plan of action with goals and measurable objectives to provide a roadmap for her dream of a storefront location in North East. Together, they performed a market analysis and researched local competitors in the area. Cathy said that the Small Business Information Center allowed her to see "the importance of a bigger picture and that taking baby steps to achieve your ultimate dream is okay."

Best Vacations is now located at 29 S. Main Street in North East, Maryland. They can assist you with destination weddings, honeymoons, international and domestic group travel, girls' getaways, or just a fun family vacation. You name it and they can customize it! Store hours vary based on season. They can be reached at 410-287-0193 or at

Katelyn Thomas Photographykatelyn thomas photography

Katelyn Thomas, owner of Katelyn Thomas Photography in Port Deposit, used the Cecil County Public Library's Small Business Information Center to start her business. She describes how the SBIC helped transition her from aspiring entrepreneur to local business owner.

"I was able to use the FAQ for Starting a Small Business in Cecil County to make sure I didn't miss any important steps in setting up my business. I also talked to the business librarian to make sure I had taken all the necessary steps. In addition, I was able to use information from the library's small business website, such as Demographics Now and the sample business plans, to help me create my own business plan and perform basic demographic research. A program the SBIC held on email basics for small businesses helped me jump start my business mailing list."

Katelyn Thomas Photography can be reached at 410-378-4521,,, or

As They Grow Kids Consignment, LLC

As they grow kids consignment, llcCristy Galasso believes in budgeting, especially when it comes to outfitting her three boys. As a life-long Cecil County resident, Cristy found herself going to Delaware for children's consignment sales. These sales were very popular and she recognized many fellow Cecil County residents attending. It hit her that she should create consignment events in Cecil County, and so she ventured into the Small Business Information Center at the Cecil County Public Library to learn how to bring this idea to fruition. Cristy states that "the Small Business Information Center at the Cecil County Public Library was instrumental in the start of my business. It has a host of resources for potential business owners to research, plan, start, and manage their business. They provide assistance in every aspect of starting a business and deserve a lot of credit."

Cristy's business, As They Grow Kids Consignment, LLC, can be found at They offer new and gently used baby, children and maternity items at a fraction of the retail price. Their first sale will be at the Route 40 Knights of Columbus Hall, March 15-17.

Handy Boys Cleaning Service, LLCHandy Boys Cleaning LLC

Buryl Windle had a dream to open his own small business and employ local Cecil County residents. He found out about the Small Business Information Center through a contact at the Small Business Development Center. Buryl had the dream, but needed to learn the steps necessary to start the business. With the help of the Small Business Librarian, Buryl used the Key Steps Brochure from the Cecil County Public Library to fill out the necessary forms and start his business. Buryl also shared the unfortunate story of his disability with the librarian. She was able to get him in touch with the Department of Rehabilitation Services' RISE program and Buryl is currently in the processing of seeking grant money from them to purchase 3 vans for his business and they have provided him with a mentor. Buryl described the Small Business Information Center as giving him "everything needed to get this thing going!" Buryl has since hired 5 employees and is looking to hire even more in the near future.

Buryl Windle owns Handy Boys Cleaning Service LLC and provides commercial and residential cleaning services, specializing in stripping and waxing floors. Other services provided include: shampooing carpets, steam cleaning, and commercial kitchen cleaning. No job is too big or too small. Handy Boys Cleaning Service LLC is licensed, bonded, and insured and provides free estimates. They can be reached at 443-224-5250 or 410-658-3278.

Cecil County Public Library Wins Chamber of Commerce Awards

Chamber of Commerce Award

The Cecil County Chamber of Commerce named Cecil County Public Library the 2011 Nonprofit Partner in Business at its annual gala. The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors selected Cecil County Public Library for their outstanding work to support small business in Cecil County, assist job seekers and career changers, and to foster educational opportunities for all ages.



The Palette & The Page, LLC

The Palette & The Page"The small business Librarian, Laura Metzler, has been a huge help and a wonderful cheerleader for our small business, The Palette & The Page, LLC a gallery in downtown Elkton. She met with us at the very beginning of our operation in November of 2009 and has continued to guide us. At our first meeting we learned about various websites, she recommended several books and told us about the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) and SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives.) Since then we have used her vast knowledge, and she was extremely helpful when we decided to become a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in January of 2011. Laura has also been kind enough to send us to knowledgeable people to answer our varied questions. She is a valuable resource for small business owners in Cecil County!

We opened in November 2009 and initially functioned as a pop-up. In December of 2010 we decided it was time to take the plunge, function as a gallery and become an LLC. Becoming an LLC just strengthened us, increased our presence in the community and legitimized us as a small business in Cecil County. We continue to see growth each month and now represent thirty artists in our Gallery. We offer various options to artists for showing their work and are thrilled with the impact our business is having in the community. In 2014 we were awarded the Small Business of the Year by the Elkton Chamber & Alliance.

One of the more important workshops we went to at the Elkton Library was the one on email marketing. We now have almost 1000 people on our email list and send out two to four newsletters each month. It has been an extremely affordable and valuable marketing tool for us.

As a business, we have regular First Friday events in downtown Elkton and have gotten other artist venues and business to join with us in these - now there is an active and vibrant First Friday Art Loop. We, and many of the other venues, have food and live music at these events and now attract a regular following of people from the surrounding communities who also bring friends with them when they attend. Our goals for the downtown Elkton community are many: to support local artists, the arts, and to provide a place for people to connect with local artists, authors & musicians and find unique, handmade artistic items for themselves and as gifts for family and friends.

We have been so lucky to have gotten great support from the Cecil Whig, The Guardian, the Elkton Chamber & Alliance as well as the Cecil County Library's SBIC.

The Palette & The Page, LLC is an gallery owned by three women. We support local artists, artisans, authors and musicians from the tri-state area, but mostly from Cecil County. If you'd like more information about us please visit our website You can find a form to sign up to be on our email list. We'd love to have you visit us at our gallery at 120 East Main Street in Elkton. Our hours are Tuesday through Friday 11am to 6pm, Saturday 11am to 3pm and on First Friday's we stay open until 8pm. If you have questions please call us at 410.398.3636 or email us at"

Patti Paulus, Founding Member of The Palette & The Page, LLC

Scott Design Scott Design

Professional graphic designer, Sandy Scott, found out about the Small Business Information Center at the library via doing a Google search.

"My experience has been wonderful! By asking me direct questions about my business, the small business librarian was able to compile lots of relevant resource materials and weblinks. Working with the librarian has been like having a personal research assistant. Her efforts have been thorough and extremely valuable."

"Particularly, just learning about all the resources available was a great help. One of the books loaned to me by the business librarian was a business tax guide. I found it so helpful that I purchased a copy for my personal library. In addition, it was interesting to learn about competitors in the area and making sure my business name was not already in use."

Scott Design's primary focus is developing logos and business marketing material for print. Sandy targets her services toward emerging and small businesses in Cecil County, MD and New Castle County, DE. 


Capello Confections & GiftsCapello Confections & Gifts

Joanne Capello had an unbelievable family recipe and a dream to open her own bakery. She came to the Small Business Information Center at the Cecil County Public Library to learn how she could turn her family's recipe into a thriving Cecil County business.

With the help of the small business librarian, Joanne formulated a plan of action to open her bakery in historic Port Deposit, Maryland. Writing a business plan helped Joanne to set objectives to reach her goals. The library's free databases allowed Joanne to research her competitors. This information allowed her to analyze her competition and narrow down her target market. The small business databases proved to be a valuable tool for researching demographic information as well. Joanne was able to find out how much people in Port Deposit were spending on various bakery items in a given year. With the information garnered at the library, Joanne was ready to start her business.

Today, Joanne is the proud owner of Capello Confections & Gifts. She sells homemade scones, bisconnes (a combination of a scone and a biscotti), cookies, eclairs, pies, cakes, and much more. She is also available for in-home tea parties. You can find more information about her tea parties and her bakery at by phone at 410-378-0808. Her bakery is located at 14 South Main Street, Port Deposit.

The Assistants

The Assistants

Charlotte Jones is an innovative entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, and creative assistance to clients from home. After completing the necessary courses to become a virtual assistant, Charlotte visited the Small Business Information Center to learn how to effectively market her new business.

At the Small Business Information Center, Charlotte learned the importance of a feasibility study. The Small Business librarian worked with Charlotte to discover the types of industries that would need a virtual assistant and how to target those industries. The librarian demonstrated how to create free professional business cards online and identified both online and print resources that would help Charlotte create a marketing plan.

Charlotte credits the Small Business Information Center in helping her to "think outside the box."  If you are interested in inquiring about Charlotte's virtual assistant business, The Assistants, please call 410-642-9276.

Fringe Salon and SpaFringe salon

Ann Hovatter's dream to open a hair salon is now a reality. The grand opening of Fringe Salon and Spa, LLC in Rising Sun was December 5, 2009. The success of the opening and the great location and decor of the salon proves that Ann did her homework before opening her own small business.

While in the planning stages, Ann came to the Cecil County Public Library's Small Business Information Center for guidance and information that she would need to be her own boss. The library provided Ann with a brochure that explains all the steps necessary to start a business in Cecil County. Because the process of small business ownership was new to Ann, this brochure was a great place for her to create a checklist and make sure that she followed all the appropriate steps. The librarian showed her the many small business resources available from the library. She also attended a free business program at the library that explained how small businesses can successfully use social media to gain loyal customers. Ann states that "without the help of the library, I could not have pulled this off so quickly - the resources were great! I just took them and ran like the wind!"

Fringe Hair Salon and Spa, LLC is located at 225 East Main Street in Rising Sun. To make an appointment with the salon and spa, call 410-658-7575. You can learn more about them at their website,, or on their Facebook page,

Small Business Success Video

Small Business Success Video

Click play to watch a video showcasing a Small Business Success story about Wyre Naturals, a local company that makes beautiful, handmade soaps.

Wyre Naturals

We are very excited to present another success story from the Cecil County Public Library's Small Business Information Center. Veronica Wyre, owner of Wyre Naturals, is a small business owner who lives, gardens and handcrafts natural soaps and products in Cecil County.

Veronica began making soap as a little girl, taught by her grandmother. As an adult, she made soap for her own family and soon, the requests for her gentle and lovely products became more and more frequent. Soap making was a hobby she enjoyed, so Veronica decided to see if she could turn it into a profitable venture. She was also committed to creating a small business that was "green" and chose to embrace earth-friendly practices for her products and work.

The soaps produced by Wyre Naturals are made from natural, wild harvested and organic materials, all hand-crafted using carefully researched recipes of her own creation. Many of her products are created fresh when you order, using botanicals she grows or acquires seasonally from local gardeners and growers. As a commitment to providing her customers with the safest and most natural products, Veronica chooses organic ingredients whenever possible.

Wyre Naturals

Veronica came to the Cecil County Public Library's Small Business Information Center to get help starting and growing her business. Veronica met with the Small Business Librarian many times to discuss her business ideas, legal aspects of small business ownership, as well as marketing, branding growth and more.

Veronica currently sells her soaps and products online, at the Elkton Farmers Market, and at booths at many local events throughout Cecil County. She is also available to do demonstrations of soap making and use of botanicals. For more information or to purchase products from Wyre Naturals, contact Veronica Wyre by visiting her website

Patricia's Thrift StorePatricia's Thrift Store

On September 5, Patricia Gayles opened up Patricia's Thrift Store in Elkton. Patricia has been planning the opening of her store for a long time, and started her preparation at the Cecil County Public Library. With the help of the small business librarian, Patricia was able to develop a plan of action for starting her business. The librarian was able to send her relevant information pertaining to her business plan and personally invite her to programs that she felt Patricia would benefit from attending. Patricia praises the small business planning books she was able to check out at the library. They provided her with a wealth of information to guide her in the planning process. Along with the small business books, she was also able to research demographic information on one of the library's free small business databases. This allowed her to narrow down her target market and have a better understanding of her customer base. The library also helped Patricia identify competitors and set a pricing strategy. Patricia attended a library program presented by a SCORE volunteer that taught her how to develop a positive cash flow.

Patricia's Thrift Store is located at 10 Chestnut Drive, Suite N in Elkton, MD and is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm. She has a wide variety of new and used products for sale, including clothes, furniture, and household items. She sells children's clothes for as little as $2.00 and women's dresses for $5.00! She accepts donations to the thrift store during regular business hours, and also accepts major credit cards.


AAMCO Transmissions: Complete Car Care

The library is proud to welcome a new small business to the community! Tom Furlong opened an AAMCO franchise at 349 East Pulaski Highway in Elkton. AAMCO specializes in transmission diagnosis and repair, as well as complete car care including: brakes, exhaust, shock/struts, radiators, oil, lube and filter changes, air conditioning and tune ups. With over 900 loAAMCO Transmissionscations nationwide, the AAMCO's warranty will follow you across the country. Marketing research shows that the "Double A...BEEP/BEEP...MCO " trademark is recognized by an astonishing 90+% of the motoring public.


Tom was able to gain the necessary information needed to start his AAMCO franchise by meeting with the Cecil Business Resource Partners, of which the library is a member. The library's Small Business Information Center guided Tom through the process of writing a business plan. "The small business librarian helped me craft a business plan that was innovative and quite complete. The library provided both anecdotal examples as well as websites and URL's for valuable information going forward. It was with this help that I was able to secure funding for equipment purchases as well as vital marketing/ advertising activities. With the help of the SBDC and the library, we are well into our first month of service and the results have been quite amazing. Cecil County and specifically the Elkton automotive community have embraced us and we are off to a great start."


If you are interested in having your car serviced at AAMCO, they can be reached at 410-392-6383.

Que's Cart Hot Dog StandQue's Cart Hot Dog Stand

The Small Business Information Center is excited to introduce a new business to the community. LaVerne Lewis has opened a hot dog stand, "Que's Cart." In the early stages of developing her hot dog cart business, LaVerne visited the Small Business Information Center at the Cecil County Public Library. LaVerne explains how the library was able to guide her through the stages of starting her small business.

"Getting information on putting together a business plan for a small business like a hot dog cart was invaluable for me. Also, the most important aspect was learning how to capitalize on finding the right location and learning the competitive side of business. Being a new business in a very small town and still being able to make income was the best thing ever. I know in my heart that I would not have been able to do this had I not come to the library."

The hot dog stand is open Monday through Friday, 11am to 1pm at Triumph Industrial Park. Que's Cart is also at the Elkton Farmer's Market, Monday through Thursday from 2pm to 4pm and every Friday from 2pm to 6pm, as well as Saturday from 11 am to 3pm. LaVerne's hot dog cart sells all beef hot dogs, hot sausages, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, soda and bottled water. Don't forget to ask her about her delicious carrot cake too! The hot dog stand is also available for hire for events and parties. If you are interested in reserving the cart, LaVerne Lewis can be reached at 410-392-3818 or at

Kilby Cream

Kilby Cream

Lisa Kilby's dream to launch a homemade ice cream shop started with fresh ingredients from her family's dairy farm. In addition to sweet treats, her vision was to create an educational opportunity for children.


The Cecil County Public Library was key to helping her develop a business plan and secure grant funds. Our Library's Small Business Information Center provided much of the data in her plan, which helped her secure $50,000 in seed money for her agritourism venture. According to Lisa's husband Brad, my wife would have gone crazy without the library's help.


Kilby Cream is thriving in its first location, recently opened a second location and is expanding its product line. Stop by for a cone sometime!

Kebbi Web HostingKebbi Web Hosting

Kabir Abubakar is a dual citizen of the US and Nigeria. He came to this country to attend university, then served as an intelligence specialist in the US Army.

Despite personal, economic and cultural hardships, Kabir dedicated himself to create Kebbi Web Hosting LLC to help himself, his family, and the community he left behind in Kebbi State, Nigeria.
Through the Cecil County Public Library's Small Business Information Center and their partners, Kabir developed a compelling business plan to provide web hosting for business and government customers.

Building on his success and to show his appreciation to his adopted community, he is working to develop a sister-city program between his home in Nigeria and Elkton, Maryland.

LuMu CandiesLuMu Candies

LuMu Candies is a love story. Joanne, an organic chemist and ardent candy maker, met Norm, a business consultant and teacher. After merging personally, they meshed their professional skills to develop a candy making business. "LuMu," is their acronym for "Love You, Miss You," which they used in their frequent emails while dating.

Joanne learned how to develop and grow her business via the Cecil County Public Library's Small Business Information Center. Thanks to hard work and the skills learned at their library, LuMu Candies was awarded the Cecil County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Entrepreneurial Award in 2006.

Award-winning buttery English toffees, barks and crunches are now part of the LuMu product line and are all hand-made from uniquely formulated blends. They are now sold in numerous local shops and on the company's retail website.