To highlight Dorchester County’s economic powers and potential, the 2024 “Water Moves Us” economic profile was released this month, a glossy magazine that shows off business potential, success stories and overall quality of life.
The annual magazine is published by the Dorchester Banner / BayToBayNews.com in partnership with Dorchester County Economic Development Office.
Community leaders were invited to a Jan. 24 luncheon at Suicide Bridge Restaurant in Hurlock.
“This is one of our major marketing pieces of the year, and the magazine tells a story of our assets: what we love about the county,” said Susan Banks, Economic Development Director. “These articles resonate with what you love and the reasons you choose to be here.”
This year’s magazine topics include service at the Patriot Point veterans’ retreat; voting rights and representation with the Freedom Shine; renovation updates at the Packing House; the impact of Ironman triathlons (Dorchester County is “crushing it” in sports tourism, someone once told Banks); and much more.
Fishing and hunting are highlighted, especially in the cover image by iconic photographer Jay Fleming, courtesy of the Dorchester County Office of Tourism. (Angling is so important that Dorchester even has several locations on Maryland’s relatively new Fly Fishing Trail.)
The project title “Water Moves Us” references the County’s marketing slogan and culture: “Home to industrious, innovative and creative individuals, Dorchester County’s landscape defines not only where – but who – we are.”
The magazine helps businesses in their decision to build or expand in Dorchester, while educating the community. It will be distributed more widely to the public this spring. Read “Water Moves Us” online at https://sections.iniusa.org.
As for-profit news company, run by a nonprofit trust, “we strengthen the communities that we serve by publishing unbiased journalism and helping businesses grow,” said Publisher Konrad LaPrade. This event and publication are part of that mission.
One important part of economic development and quality of life is a person’s internet speed. So, guest speaker Valerie Connelly discussed Choptank Electric Cooperative’s work to bring high-speed internet to rural areas through Choptank Fiber.
Historically, cooperatives were formed by “people who didn’t have access to electricity [in] rural areas where there was very little density, and it was too expensive for the for-profit companies to come provide service.” Today, “so many of our customers were also left out when internet service providers came through,” said Connelly, Choptank’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Relations.
So Choptank is treating high-speed internet service the same way, laying fiber optic lines one mile at a time. The Eastern Shore electric group jumped through hoops to form a subsidiary company, Choptank Fiber. The team is applying for millions of dollars in government grants to help reach people who want service, especially those who have no other high-speed choices.
Eastern Shore residents (both members and non-members) can register their name and address on the Choptank Fiber website to help planners determine public interest and need. Learn about Choptank Fiber at choptankfiber.com and 1-(877) 892-0001.