Howard Bank’s Annual “Keep It Local” Contest Returns to Celebrate Small Businesses with $10,000 Grand Prize

Self-nominations from local businesses are being accepted May 3 - 21

BALTIMORE, MD, May 3, 2021Howard Bank, a commercial-focused community bank serving businesses, professionals, and individuals, has launched its third annual “Keep It Local” contest to support small businesses in Maryland with the opportunity to win $10,000.

The Keep It Local contest recognizes small businesses that have gone above and beyond in the community. Self-nominations will be accepted from small businesses from May 3 – 21. Businesses located in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Harford, and Howard counties as well as Baltimore City are eligible.

To apply, eligible businesses may complete the online nomination at and share an inspiring story about the business’s exceptional commitment to the community.

“This past year challenged us all like never before, especially for small business owners, but our mission never wavered. We remain dedicated to helping build enduring legacies for our customers, employees and the community – and this contest is just one of the ways we show our commitment,” said Rob Kunisch, President and COO at Howard Bank.

“Local businesses are the heart and soul of our community. While this past year was difficult for small businesses ingrained in our community, they continue to look for ways to support others,” said Erica Starr, Director of Marketing at Howard Bank. “We want to celebrate and recognize their inspiring commitment.”

Following the self-nomination period, the top 15 finalists will be announced June 1 and the public will have the opportunity to vote on the first round of finalists through June 8.

The top five finalists will advance to the second round of voting, which will be held from June 14 - 21. The winner of Howard Bank’s Keep It Local contest will be announced on June 28.

Previous winners of the Keep It Local contest include Rise N’ Grind Café’ and Impact Martial Arts.

“When setting up my new business I chose Howard Bank as a trusted partner because of their community involvement and their incredibly warm customer care. I had no idea that years later Rise ‘N Grind would be nominated to win Howard Bank’s Keep It Local contest,” shared Angelina Vanderhoef, Owner of Rise ‘N Grind. “The contest winnings helped immensely, by affording us more freedom to support local organizations. Winning this contest not only validated our efforts, it fueled our drive and encouraged us to be the best community-spirited business we can be.”

For more information and the nomination, visit

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