If you're just learning about Adventure Capital, you're probably wondering what's so special about this initiative? Adventure Capital has the distinction of being a proposal by individuals not business investors, who care about their community and want to see it flourish. But more than that, how commerce and growth is achieved is equally important; That it is respectful of the natural surroundings and history that have attracted and housed generations with a spirit of adventure.
Garrett County has a rich history as one of the original routes westward in America's expansion. The National Road that included the historic Casselman Bridge in Grantsville was one of Maryland's greatest infrastructure accomplishments at the time. It was the largest stone arch in America upon it's completion in 1813, stretching 80 feet over the Casselman River. Its completion ushered in a flood of wheeled traffic and an explosion of commerce that serviced travelers.
Today, the bridge acts as a popular tourist destination and an awe-inspiring backdrop for the Spruce Forest Artisan Village. Log cabins house varied artisans who create and sell pottery, weavings, sculpture, wood carvings, quilts and other Appalachian native crafts. The smallest state park in Maryland neighbors the bridge with the trickling Casselman River steadily flowing by.
The spirit of the Westward expansion is rooted in Adventure Capital. With the new connecting route of telecommunication, emerging and expanding businesses can put down roots in a setting that's user-friendly and impossible to dispute. Affordable residential and commercial space, friendly communities, small town charm and open spaces provide room to breathe and opportunity to grow.
Adventure Capital is an economic arm of the nonprofit advocacy group, Engage Mountain Maryland (EMM). The organization recently received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Maryland's 6th District Congressman, John Kevin Delaney for work in "Protecting the environment through advocacy, education and outreach."
This new venture is yet another approach to enhance the Western Maryland quality of life by introducing new complimentary commerce opportunities. The organization's principal economic focus is to attract metro area businesses that require little more than internet and telephone access.
"There are companies paying a premium price for real estate in the Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia metro area, for example," says Eric Robison, EMM Legislative Chair. "These companies can run their businesses from Garrett County for a fraction of the cost while eliminating the chaos of rush hour traffic and congested living and work environments."
Mark Stutzman, President of EMM shared that they have been building a comprehensive plan to welcome new business to Garrett County. "It's going to require a unified effort of key stakeholders to make business transitions appetizing and seamless," he explained. "The timing is right, and we are prepared for an expansion of population and employment opportunity. This is a situation where everyone wins, and we can't wait for the official launch."
Although it's unlikely there will be large stone landmark constructed for this next wave of Westward growth, the impacts will be equally historic. Capitalizing on rural business locations could revolutionize how corporate business models function. It will require little more than an open mind and a sense of adventure.