Council Member Keasha Haythe’s Remarks from 17th Talbot County Business Appreciation Summit

Talbot County Council member Keasha Haythe

The following speech was presented by Talbot County Council Member Keasha Haythe at the 17th Talbot County Business Appreciation Summit on May 2, 2024. Story and photos are courtesy of Talbot County Government.

Today, we will see firsthand some examples of the commitment and dedication our small businesses contribute to the County and statewide. The County Council is excited to share in this celebration. Projects are growing in every corner of the county and I’d like to share some highlights with you this morning.

Easton Airport’s airfield modernization program has moved into the construction phase. This phase of the project is focusing on improving airfield drainage with the creation of new wetlands, stream relocation and new culverts. The Easton Airport is an economic driver for our region, and project details will be shared with the public throughout this process as the project continues to move forward.

A new public safety complex is well underway and nearing completion, It will be the new home of the Talbot County Sheriff and a portion of the Department of Emergency Services. The facility gives our public safety and emergency officials a technology advanced homebase, allowing them to continue their important work keeping our community safe.  We are proud to have a local contractor, Willow Construction, working on this project and look forward to having the Sheriff’s Office move into the building in the fall of 2024.

This summer, we will celebrate the opening of the Talbot County Health Department located at Achievement Park on Idlewild Avenue in Easton.  This in-town location will serve our citizens and help to ensure the community continues to have access to public health services.

Additionally, we look forward to continuing our partnership with University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, the Town of Easton, and Easton Utilities as we move forward with the new regional medical center. To date, this is the largest—economic development project. It will not only improve the health of our citizens and those in the surrounding counties, but it will also be an economic engine for the Eastern Shore. We would not be this far along in the process without our federal, state, and local partners, and for that we say “thank you!”

Later this year, the County will begin the update of the County’s Comprehensive Plan which sets forth important public policy for land use, transportation, extension of utilities and public services, preservation, use and protection of natural resources, development, tourism, and community design among others.  When the time comes, we ask all of you to become engaged in the process.

Economic Development is the thread that connects every industry and all of us sitting in this room know the importance of investing in the business community. Our businesses are economic drivers, not only for the County, but for the region and the entire state of MD, I would even venture to say worldwide! They foster growth and expansion, create jobs, support our local nonprofits volunteer their time, and create sense of community right here in Talbot County.  

With that in mind, the County Council was elated to support the first cohort of the Talbot Works Business Academy. This program, facilitated by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, emphasized our commitment to the development of small businesses in our community.

I am happy to announce that on April 9, our first cohort of 15 small, minority-and women-owned businesses graduated with enthusiasm. By investing in this program, the Talbot County Council, the Mid-Shore Regional Council, and the State of Maryland have invested in our local economy and helped stimulate economic growth and stability for the future. We have some of the members of this first cohort with us today. At this time, I’d like to ask them to stand, along with their instructor Mr. Will Holmes, and be recognized.

In closing, I would like to leave you with my 3 Be’s of economic development.

Let’s all continue to make Talbot County a great place to live, work, play and do business! Thank you!

– Talbot County Council Member, Keasha Haythe

About Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism

The Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s mission is to enhance and promote a business-friendly environment for current and prospective enterprises and to advocate for policies that support and strengthen the economic vitality of Talbot County. The department’s vision for Talbot County is built on the principles of strong communities, empowered businesses, and innovative solutions.

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