The largest black-owned company in the region is leaving Prince George's County.
Radio One Inc., which has reached a tentative deal with officials in the District to move there from Lanham, is the only company in the county on Black Enterprise magazine's latest list of the country's 100 largest black-owned firms. The company was ranked 10th.
Radio One chief executive Alfred C. Liggins III said earlier in the year that he planned to move his company to the District's U Street corridor, continuing a long history of successful black businesses in that area. None of the companies on the magazine's list is based in the District.
Prince George's County is home to many black-owned businesses, but most are small. In 1997, the Census Bureau found that 20,040, or about 40 percent, of the 50,040 businesses in the county were black-owned. Many were one-person start-ups, consultancies and government contractors. According to the Census Bureau, only 1,441 of the county's black-owned businesses had paid employees.
Radio One moved to Prince George's in 1997. It was founded in 1980 by Liggins's mother, Cathy Hughes, out of a trailer in Northeast Washington. The company has flourished since moving to Lanham and now owns 69 radio stations and a cable channel.
Many of the largest black-owned businesses in the region are in Fairfax County, a high-technology hub. All but one of the six black-owned companies in Fairfax on the magazine's list are technology-related businesses.
Prince George's has drawn large numbers of African Americans, and their small businesses, from the District in the past decade. The county has offered incentives to help the small businesses grow, including a technology incubator for minority-owned companies. It also lured the National Capital Minority Business Opportunity Committee, a federally funded program intended to help minority-owned businesses win contracts.
Skating Rink's Demise
Skate Palace in Temple Hills, formerly Crystal Skate, closed last week after 21 years, said former manager Brenda Walker. The closure leaves skaters mourning the loss of another popular spot. The rink will soon be converted to office space occupied by a nonprofit organization, Walker said. "Everyone is really heartbroken," said Walker, who choreographs for a skate club. At least two other local rinks have closed in recent years, she said.
Science Event for Girls
The Prince George's County Commission for Women, Maryland Commission for Women and Prince George's County Department of Family Services will hold a free technology and science symposium for girls 14 to 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 1400 McCormick Dr. in Largo. The symposium will provide information on careers in aerospace, medicine, information technology and other sciences. Call 301-265-8436 for more information.
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