BDS DPIE Biz, June 2022

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JUNE 2022

In this issue:

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Business Spotlight with spotlight shining on title story underneath the words
The Furlough Cheesecake storefront

The Furlough Cheesecake store has moved.

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Business Spotlight: The Furlough Cheesecake

Photo of The Furlough Cheesecake merchandise

The Business Development Section (BDS) recently assisted The Furlough Cheesecake bakery in obtaining permits to transition from one location in Prince George's County to National Harbor.

The Furlough Cheesecake is located at 185 Waterfront Street and features cheesecakes and other baked desserts.

The name of the bakery provides insight into the origins of the business. Economically impacted by the recent government shutdown and desperate to make ends meet, two sisters, Nikki Thompson Howard and Jaqi Thompson Wright, started the company to support their families. They began with two classic cheesecakes:  original and sweet potato — and have since branched out to include a variety of flavors including lemonade. The sisters state the lemonade cake, "represents HOPE, since we were able to take the lemons that life handed us during a very difficult time and make something sweet!"

Nikki and Jaqi are using this flavor to show support and appreciation to frontline workers who risk it all to keep everyone else safe. They have launched an outreach campaign called “One Million Slices,” by using donations to help send slices — and smiles — to frontline workers.

Additional information may be found on The Furlough Cheesecake website.

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white spacewhite spaceThe Inside Scoop, pic of construction equipment with bucket scooping dirt at construction sitewhite space

The Inside Scoop: DPIE’s Third Party Program

Summer is in full swing, and there is an abundance of construction and development in the County. As new entrepreneurs travel around the County looking for spaces to rent or buy, DPIE encourages applicants to utilize its Third-Party Program. Using the Third-Party Program will ensure that you can open your business promptly and on your project timeline.

Currently, there are four programs under DPIE’s Third-Party Program:

Peer Review Process Flowchart

1. The Third-Party Plan Review Program (TPPRP) enables owners and developers of large-scale commercial projects to retain an outside third-party team to complete reviews of their project plans. Third-Party plan reviews can save up to 75 percent of the typical plan processing time.

2. The Peer Review Program (PRP)
(see sample flowchart), a lower-cost option than the TPPRP, allows owners and applicants to select DPIE certified peer reviewers at their own expense to expedite the plan review process, instead of County staff. Using peer reviewers can reduce the plan review and approval times by up to 50 percent. Peer reviewers can be retained for various types of building and site development projects. Under the TPPRP and PRP programs, the entire project must be reviewed and approved before construction starts.

3. Although the above programs are not mandatory, all fire protection systems must  go through DPIE's Third-Party Plan Review Program for Fire Protection Systems (TPPRPFPS).

4. DPIE's Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP) utilizes qualified, third-party professionals, in addition to County quality assurance inspectors, to conduct and document field inspections of commercial building construction projects, commercial alterations/additions and other specified projects permitted by the agency. The use of third-party inspection teams may result in faster issuance of project use and occupancy certificates. Any project over $200,000 must be inspected through the TPIP.

More information about the review programs is available at the following links:

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Top Tips: Checking Your Permit Application Status

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Applicants and business owners may check the status of reviews by accessing "Project Reports" (see number 1 in red on visual) in ePlan.

  • Changemarks — Reviewer comments placed directly on plans
    (see number 2 in red on visual)
  • Checklist Items — Comments from the plan coordinator made during plan screening/distribution (see number 2 in red on visual)
  • Department Review Status — Status of the reviews (i.e., pending, approved and hold); also shows text of reviewer comments (see number 3 in red on visual)
  • Workflow Routing Slip — List of all completed tasks and pending tasks 
    (see number 3 in red on visual and the below sample)
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What's Happening: Events and Information

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Building Permits, U and Os and Inspections presentation cover of 2 construction workers reviewing plans

Business Development Section Event

Register to Attend!

Please join the BDS team at 12:00 noon on Thursday,
July 28, 2022, for a virtual discussion about "Building Permits, U&Os and Inspections" for commercial businesses. To sign up for this free webinar, please register at

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Over the last year, the BDS has conducted several webinars and prepared PowerPoint presentations for the business community on a variety of DPIE processes. These include Building and Use and Occupancy Permits, Inspections, Special Events, Business Licensing, and more. Customers may access the BDS presentations here.

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Resources: Business Community News

white spaceDPIE's Free ePlan Training for September adEconomic Development Corporation ad for how COVID-19 affects small businesses videoMaryland Small Business Development Center banner for informationPrince George's Chamber of Commerce monthly meetings adwhite space

contact us

County, Prince George's Proud and DPIE logos, plus DPIE address, phone and email