(January 24, 2018 – ANNAPOLIS, Md.) — On an unseasonably warm day, hundreds of Maryland business leaders heated things up in the State House at Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s Meet the State event.
This full day, immersive experience was a chance for the business community to come together and stand as a unified force to make their voices heard. The day started off with a press conference announcing the Maryland Chamber Federation, a new membership model designed to organize thousands of businesses as a unified force, while also forging close collaboration with the dozens of local chambers of commerce throughout the state.
Maryland Chamber President and CEO Christine Ross said, “This partnership is designed to empower small businesses and enhance and grow the voice of business at the local, state and federal levels. Through the Maryland Chamber Federation, any business with 10 or fewer full time employees, who is a member of a participating local or regional chamber, will receive free Federation membership into the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. With 14 chambers of commerce already on board, the Maryland Chamber will add approximately 3,500 small businesses to its growing list of members.
Over in the halls of the State House, Meet the State attendees experienced a House and Senate floor session, gaining a deeper understanding of how the legislative process works. To complement this observation, the Maryland Chamber government affairs team educated attendees on the legislative priorities of the Maryland Chamber this session. This intro into issues allowed business leaders to join the lobbying efforts here in Annapolis through one on one meetings with their legislators.
With a General Assembly of 60 new legislators, attendees were eager to see how these fresh faces will impact policy this year. Speaker of the House Mike Busch noted, “there has been about a one-third turnover in the House and we are fortunate that we have a stable leadership team.”
Legislators in both House and Senate also touched on the bipartisan nature of the Maryland General Assembly. Delegate Kathy Szeliga made clear, “we are nothing like Washington D.C. We like each other, we get along. We respect each other’s values across the aisle.”
Senator J.B. Jennings added, “We will work together. We may disagree, but at the end of the day we shake each other’s hand. We may be on the same side of an issue the next day.”
The re-election of incumbents Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford last fall was a win for business. During Meet the State, it was encouraging to hear how our lawmakers are fighting for policies that will enable businesses to create new jobs across the state—especially in areas that need it the most. Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford left us with an encouraging message, “we’re going to keep working hard every day over the next four years to continue to make progress on economic development and job creation as we work to change Maryland for the better.”
After an educational day learning of the happenings in the General Assembly and hot topics to be addressed this session, such as $15 minimum wage, restrictive scheduling, crime in Baltimore and its impact on business, health care and so much more, attendees enjoyed a relaxing reception. Full of “Marvillous Beats,” photo booth fun and talk of the days events, it was the perfect night to cap off the day.
Thank you again to our incredible sponsors for making the entire event a success. Without you, Meet the State would not have been possible.
Click on the images to see photos from the day:
Check out the full photo album on our Facebook page.