Friday Five | August 28, 2020

Each Friday, the Maryland Chamber will bring you the top five news stories from the intersection of business and government. Here are this week’s top five stories.

 1. Labor and environmental groups seek added workplace protections in MD

Advocate groups are pushing Governor Larry Hogan to issue an executive order requiring the Maryland Department of Labor’s occupational safety program to add new regulations for businesses during the pandemic. The groups are alleging Hogan has ignored their previous calls for added workplace safeguard requirements.

Groups such as the MD-DC AFL-CIO want an “emergency temporary standard” of new safety regulations which include items like required facemasks and social distancing to be implemented in the workplace. The groups say these measures are needed due to enforcement failure by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Governor Hogan’s office has contested that an emergency temporary standard is needed because the governor’s pandemic executive orders give local health officials the authority to shut down unsafe facilities.

In July, Virginia became the first state to adopt additional workplace safety standards relating specifically to COVID-19. OSHA retains the right to revoke state plans and require that only federal standards be applied. Whether they will exercise that right if more states enact these added regulations remains to be seen.

Read the coalition’s full letter here.

2. U.S. Chamber launches ‘Cost of Inaction’ campaign

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently launched the “Cost of Inaction” campaign to quantify and bring to life the challenges Americans are feeling as Congress and the administration fail to provide additional economic relief to individuals, families, businesses, and states impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

In launching the campaign, the Chamber is focusing on the costs associated with safely reopening K-12 schools across the country. The campaign illustrates how individuals and various industries are being impacted by Congress’ inability to reach a compromise.

The School Superintendents Association estimates it will cost the average school district $1.8 million or $485 per student in additional costs for disinfectants, personal protective equipment, and other preparations to reopen or the 2020–2021 school year. The House-passed HEROES Act provides $58 billion for K-12 education and the Senate proposed HEALS Act proposed $70 billion in aid. Yet not a dime of that will reach our local schools if Congress and the administration fail to reach an agreement.

To learn more and engage in the Cost of Inaction campaign, click here.

3. Maryland adds jobs in July, unemployment drops

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Maryland added 53,900 jobs in July and the state’s unemployment rate dropped from 8% to 7.6% from June. The national unemployment rate is at 10.2%.

The Leisure and Hospitality sector experienced the most growth with an increase of 26,100 jobs. The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector increased by 8,300 jobs from the Retail Trade (5,500), Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (2,500), and Wholesale Trade (300) subsectors.

Gov. Larry Hogan is encouraged by the state’s jobs numbers. In a statement last Friday he said, “We are doing much better on our health metrics than most of the country, and we are doing much better on our economic recovery than most of the country, and we want to do what it takes to keep it that way. I want to thank the many businesses that have been taking the health and safety precautions so seriously, and those that have been taking the ‘Maryland Strong: Back to Business Pledge’ and displaying it on their storefronts and places of business. Your actions are helping us get more Marylanders back to work, and keep Maryland open for business.”

To view the full July job numbers, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website.

4. Maryland Chamber of Commerce and Maryland Chamber Foundation upcoming events

Webinar | Reducing bias in the workplace through hiring, retention, development, and promotion

On September 2, at 11 a.m., the Maryland Chamber Foundation in partnership with BGE will host the second installment of the series promoting equity and inclusion in the workplace.

In our second webinar, “Reducing bias in the workplace through hiring, retention, development, and promotion,” we will be joined by a panel of Comcast representatives including Mary McLaughlin, regional senior vice president, Comcast Beltway Region; Kelli Hill, regional vice president customer care, Comcast; and Loren Hudson, regional vice president human resources, Comcast. This 60-minute webinar will consist of a 45-minute panel discussion and a 15-minute Q&A session moderated by Christine Ross, President & CEO, Maryland Chamber of Commerce.

Attendees will learn how companies focus on reducing bias in the workplace and create inclusive cultures that support retention and employee engagement. Resource materials will be provided to participants after the program.

Click here to register for the webinar

To view the first installment and to get more information on this series, click here to view the Foundation’s program page.

Thank you to BGE for sponsoring this important series and to Comcast for supporting session number two. 

2020 Congressional Roundup – virtual

On September 9th, starting at 10:00 am, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual Congressional Roundup. Do not miss the opportunity to hear directly from policy experts and Maryland’s congressional delegation regarding the current legislative and electoral landscape and how it intersects with the challenges presently being faced by the business community. Through this virtual event, attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions and to convey their concerns directly to lawmakers.

Click here to register for the Congressional Roundup

Current confirmed speakers of Maryland’s congressional delegation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce include:

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)

Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD4)

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD1)

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD8)

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD2)

Rep. David Trone (D-MD6)

Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy expert, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Thank you to the Maryland Chamber’s Trustee sponsors:

Thank you to our supporting sponsor:

Thank you to our federated partner sponsor:

Click here to register for the Congressional Roundup

*This event is $25 for members, $75 for non-members. You will need your member login to receive the member rate. If you need help accessing your member login please contact Kimberly Reach at or Nicole Seay at

For more information on upcoming webinars and other events, please visit our Events page. If you are unable to participate, please note that we provide links to full recordings of all past webinars here. If you have any questions, or wish to discuss a sponsored webinar, please contact Whitney Harmel at or (410) 269-0642, ext. 1117.

9th Annual Maryland Chamber Cup

#Maskup, get out from behind the screen and join us at stunning Cattail Creek Country Club on Monday, October 26, for a fun and relaxing day on the golf course. Early-bird pricing is extended to the end of September. Round up your colleagues, invite your clients, or come on your own and we’ll team you up. Reserve your spots today!

Maryland business leaders and Maryland Chamber members look forward to this event all year, this year more than ever. We look forward to connecting with you and promise to deliver an experience that’s truly “above par”!

Registration includes:

Your participation in Chamber Cup and other MDCC fundraisers allows us to continually enhance our members’ experience and work toward achieving our shared goal of growing jobs, expanding our economy and supporting our communities, now and into the future.

Click here to register for the Chamber Cup

Thank you to the Maryland Chamber’s Trustee sponsors!

Thank you to our Eagle Sponsors!

Thank you to our Tee Sponsors!

In response to the covid-19 pandemic, Cattail Creek Country Club has implemented the following measures per CDC guidelines that we ask all attendees to follow:

5. Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism seeks community input

The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV) has launched a short, 18-minute survey to ensure your local community needs are included in the Maryland State Service Plan. Like other State Service Commissions throughout the nation, the GOSV provides funding and support for AmeriCorps programs. They also support volunteerism and recognize volunteer service on behalf of the Governor.

The State Service Plan is our roadmap as we provide this leadership, support and recognition. To get it right, they want to hear from you about the needs in your community.

After you complete the survey, kindly forward the survey link to your network. Thank you in advance for taking the time to improve community service and the quality of life in Maryland.

Take survey here

Upcoming calendar of legislative briefings and hearings

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Click here to view up-to-the-minute COVID-19 resources on the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 resources page.





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