EASTON —Sam Shoge, Talbot County economic development coordinator, delivered a report Thursday, Sept. 5, on current local business closures and expansions during the Economic Development Commission meeting through Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

The Coca-Cola warehouse and Fastanel, both located on Commerce Drive, are closing and consolidating operations, as discussed Sept. 5 at an Economic Development Commission meeting through Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

Sam Shoge, economic development coordinator, delivered a report on current local business closures and expansions.

The Coca-Cola warehouse will consolidate its Easton location to its Salisbury location on Oct. 28, according to Shoge. The Easton location employed about 40 to 50 people, many of whom have accepted jobs at the company’s Salisbury or Hanover locations. Other former employees will connect with the Department of Labor at the Talbot County American Job Center in Easton. The local workforce development agency provides a full range of assistance to job seekers and businesses.

As for Fastenal, an industrial supplies company, Shoge reported the Easton location consisted of one full-time employee and two part-time employees who will relocate to the Cambridge Fastenal.

“To balance out that news, on a more positive side, through our business retention efforts, we are pleased to announce that several of our businesses are going through an expansion process,” Shoge said.

Shoge reported that JASCO is doing “very exciting things.” JASCO provides a range of spectroscopy and chromatography analytical instruments, accessories and support.

Caloris Engineering, designer of evaporator and dryer technology for the dairy and wastewater treatment industries, is seeking an accountant to join their team.

The position “has been open for quite some time and they are really anxious to get that filled,” Shoge said.

Critchlow Adkins was also discussed in potentially having one of its sites be brought up to energy efficient standards. Shoge said a meeting with Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center Director Matthew Peters, a conversation about the nonprofits clientele took place.

Shoge said the immigrants served by ChesMRC are mostly coming from Guatemala, and according to Peters, 90% of such immigrants are coming from two villages in the entire country.

“There are amazingly fascinating stories behind some of these immigrants. He (Peters) sees this as untapped labor for businesses that are seeking additional help.”

Shoge said Peters “could be a very good resource in helping those businesses get connected with this community.”

“They are very tight knit and many of them get jobs through word of mouth so it’s imperative that our businesses are making those relationships with the people who are directly connected...”

Shoge also mentioned a new bakery opening in Easton called Turnbridge Talbot. The business is located at 803 Goldsborough St. across from the Country School and next to Bountiful Interiors’ new location.

The owners of Turnbridge Talbot also have a bed-and-breakfast in Denton.

“The owners are very excited to expand here in Talbot County,” he said.

Next, Shoge said that Konsyl Pharmeuctical ceased its manufacturing of fiber-based products and outsourced it to a manufacturer in New Jersey. Such products are distributed in Walmart and several other grocery stores.

Konsyl will pivot its local team to take on more marketing and sales, “ramping up pretty extensively, they just went through a whole re-branding campaign and will be bringing on additional sales and marketing team members.”

Since the company has a lot of scientific equipment that it no longer needs, Konsyl connected with the biology program at Easton High School, and staff will be dropping by to examine and potentially take hold of the equipment.

In addition, a marketing and advertising company for local businesses, iFrog, will have a grand opening ribbon cutting at noon Tuesday, Sept. 10. Its new space at 101 Bay Street in Easton has been revamped and is now open. The site is the home of iFrog Digital Marketing and other tenants.

Sundance Homes, a kitchen and bath showroom, will have a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 6 at 12 p.m., with an open house the following day with special discount offerings.

Next, the Economic Development Resource Fair will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 18. At the event, representatives will speak about the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’ opportunity zones, enterprise zones through the Department of Housing and Community Development and the recent Arts & Entertainment District designated to Easton.

Finally, Shoge spoke about the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, or IMET. IMET is located in the inner harbor of downtown Baltimore and conducts cutting edge research on aquaculture.

Shoge said the Cordova aquaculture project is leveraging technology and processes developing at IMET. (American Aquaculture Holdings LLC acquired the Allen Harim poultry processing plant in Cordova and will develop a state-of-the-art, vertically integrated aquafarm at the facility.)

“The interesting thing about this particular Cordova aquaculture project is that it has attracted a lot of attention both regionally and nationally,” he said. “There are several businesses working very closely to be suppliers and future collaborators.”

“This is definitely going to represent an ongoing conversation because there is serious, serious business attraction potential through this entire industry.”

@Kayla_StarDem

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