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WIPP National Partner Karen Barbour Appointed Co-Chair of Governor’s Commission on Small Business

Tuesday, February 08, 2011  
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Sandra Schwartzman
RMR & Associates
301-230-0045, ext. 100

The Barbour Group’s President Karen Barbour is Appointed Co-Chair of the Governor’s Commission on Small Business

Champion for delivering surety bonding to small businesses joins Commission to represent and provide opportunities for growth to Maryland based small businesses

Westminster, MD – February 8, 2011 The Barbour Group, a Maryland-based surety brokerage known for its passionate approach to helping small businesses find bonding solutions, announced today that President, Karen Barbour has been selected to join and hold the position of Co-Chair on Maryland’s Governor’s Commission on Small Business. The Governor’s Commission on Small Business is a 26 member Commission, made up of leaders of Maryland based small businesses, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House, the Secretary of Business and Economic Development, the Secretary of Housing and Community Development, the Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the Secretary of General Services and the Secretary of the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs.

Originally created by Governor O’Malley in 2010, the objective and goal of the Commission is to engage with communities across the State to hear what entrepreneurs are facing and address the barriers that are impacting their business growth. In addition, the Commission is responsible for:

  • Recommending economic policy development measures to the Governor and General Assembly;
  • Overseeing the implementation of the Small Business Task Force recommendations;
  • Developing and recommending a standard definition of small business;
  • Advocating for full employment and skills upgrades to support business development and job creation in emerging and growth industries;
  • Identifying public/private partnership opportunities to supplement small business economic programs and financial incentives; and
  • Identifying methods to improve resource accessibility for small Minority Business Enterprises.

I am honored to gain appointment to the Commission as Co-Chair and believe the outcomes will be critical to the betterment of small businesses and business at large in the State of Maryland. I look forward to contributing my experience and expertise to the Commission and working with fellow Commission members to provide the resources and innovative solutions for our State’s small businesses to continue to grow and be successful,” says Karen Barbour, President of The Barbour Group.

Since Barbour founded The Barbour Group, in 2002, it has seen consecutive annual sales growth of more than 45%. To date, Barbour has led the company to achieve success in providing surety bonds for the construction industry in more than 30 states and four international countries. Barbour has made a conscious effort of going above and beyond for her clientele including, being active in construction trade associations to help address business issues impacting the contracting industry. She has served as vice chair of the board of the Minority Building Industry Association and on the boards of the American Subcontractors Association of Baltimore and the Washington Building Congress.

A champion for small businesses, Barbour is active in public policy and promotes legislation that improves the business climate for contractors and other small businesses operating in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. She has initiated, authored and driven landmark legislation in Maryland and on Capitol Hill to develop an amendment to The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve the Small Business Administration’s ability to provide contractor bond guarantees. This legislation has enabled small business, woman-owned, veteran-owned and minority firms more success in capturing bonding capacity. The Barbour Group, LLC is a three-time recipient of Maryland’s TOP 100 Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) award and recently received the distinguished Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Certification for Women Business Enterprises (WBE), becoming the only surety bond focused agency in the Mid-Atlantic region to be recognized with this gold standard and identified as the agency of choice.

About The Barbour Group

The Barbour Group, based in Westminster, Maryland, provides a comprehensive suite of surety bonding and commercial insurance solutions for small, medium and large construction contractors as well as Fortune 1000 companies. Led by President Karen Barbour, a 26-year veteran of the surety bonding industry, The Barbour Group is known for its dynamic problem-solving approach that combines high degrees of industry knowledge and business acumen with equal measures of passion, persistence and positivity. Unlike typical surety bonding agencies, The Barbour Group combines the insight of a contractor and the experience of a veteran underwriter to find creative business solutions for customers and eliminate the uncertainties of the surety bond approval process. For more information, call (866) 876-9610 or e-mail

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