Home Sales Rise 10.8 Percent

Home sales in Howard County rose 10.8 percent in January, compared with January 2002, according to Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc., a Rockville real estate listing service.

Houses were on the market an average of 39 days, the same number of days as the previous January. The average price rose 11.6 percent to $258,889, up from $232,048 the same period in 2002.

Howard Chamber Plans Mixer

The Howard County Chamber of Commerce will hold a networking mixer from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Eggspectation Restaurant, 6010 University Blvd., Ellicott City. The cost is $10 for members, $20 for nonmembers. For more information, call 410-730-4111.

$75,000 Goes to Charity

Manekin LLC, a Columbia commercial real estate firm, along with its subcontractors and vendors, said it raised $75,000 for 28 charities at the company's annual holiday party. The organizations that received the funds included Hospice of Howard County, Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland and the Arc of Howard County, a nonprofit that assists children and adults with developmental disabilities.

InfoVista Leads French Firms

Software firm InfoVista, which has its North American operations based in Columbia, was ranked the fastest-growing French technology company in the 2002 Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 Program in France. The ranking was based on the company's past four years of revenue. From 1998 to 2001, InfoVista's revenue grew 2,478 percent, the company reported.

Seminar to Focus on Trade Shows

The Baltimore-Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce will hold a seminar, "Maximizing Your Trade Show Participation Through Advertising, Brochures, Web Communications," from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the chamber's office, 312 Marshall Ave., Laurel. The cost is $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers and those who have not paid in advance. To register, call 301-725-4000 or e-mail bwcc@baltwashchamber.org.

The chamber will also hold a mixer next Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Sport Fit Laurel Racquet, 204 Fort Meade Rd., Laurel. The cost is $12 for members who have prepaid, $22 for nonmembers. To register, call 301-725-4000 or e-mail bwcc@baltwashchamber.org.

Software Agreement Signed

Micros Systems Inc., a Columbia firm that sells software and hardware to hospitality firms, has signed an agreement to install its point-of-sale software system at 387 company-owned locations for Friendly Ice Cream Corp., which is based in Wilbraham, Mass.

Send items for Thursday's Business Notes to Sabrina Jones by fax at 410-772-2330; by mail to Business Notes, The Washington Post, 10490 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Suite 650, Columbia, Md. 21044; or by e-mail to jonessl@washpost.com.