Friday Five | January 15, 2021

COVID-19 cases are surging in Maryland and across the country. The Maryland Department of Health regularly updates its data in order to keep Marylanders informed about trends in cases, hospitalizations, and other metrics. It is abundantly clear that we must remain vigilant in following federal, state, local, and CDC guidance. We must continue to work together to do the things necessary to slow the spread in order to keep Maryland open for business and on the road to recovery.


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. Governor Hogan Announces $1 Billion Emergency Stimulus and Tax Relief Package

On January 11, 2021, Governor Larry Hogan introduced the RELIEF Act of 2021, an emergency legislative package that plans to provide over $1 billion in stimulus and tax relief to MD families, businesses and those rendered unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This package is in addition to the $700 million in relief that the governor has previously announced. Hogan has also implored both houses of the legislature to act on it immediately so he can sign it into law as soon as possible.

The RELIEF Package (Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families Act) includes the following:

The package is funded by the remaining surplus at the end of the 2020 Fiscal Year, budget reductions and a small portion of MD’s Rainy Day Fund.

 2. Vaccine Eligibility Expands

On Thursday, Governor Hogan announced that Maryland will move into the next substage of its coronavirus vaccination plan beginning next week. Monday will mark the beginning of vaccinating those 75 and older and people of any age living in assisted living, developmental disability or behavioral health group homes.

For more information regarding Maryland’s vaccination plan, please click here.

 3. Build by the Fourth of July

On Thursday, January 14, 2021, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced their Build by the Fourth of July initiative, inviting organizations to join in a statement calling on members of the 117th Congress to pledge their support for the enactment of broad-based, bipartisan infrastructure legislation by the Fourth of July, 2021.

While organizations won’t agree on every issue, the U.S. Chamber believes the path to overcoming these divisions begins with uniting the broadest possible coalition of stakeholders to elevate infrastructure as a priority and mobilizing this coalition to secure commitments from members of Congress to enact a bill into law by the Fourth of July. The initiative calls for enactment of comprehensive legislation that will:

Please click here to read and join the effort.

 4. BGE Energizing Small Business Grants Program

On January 20, BGE will launch its Energizing Small Business Grants Program as part of its $15 million pledge to assist small businesses with COVID-19 relief and recovery. This is a component of BGE’s comprehensive Customer Relief and Energy Infrastructure Investment Plan, designed to help the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the BGE Energizing Small Business Grants Program, eligible businesses located in BGE’s service area will have three opportunities to apply for grants of up to $20,000:

To be eligible, a business must have between two and 25 employees, less than $7 million in annual revenue, a demonstrated need for support, a strong plan for moving forward and be in good standing with the state of Maryland.

5. Boost with Facebook

Join Facebook on February 4, 2021, to learn how you can jumpstart your business! Facebook launched the Boost with Facebook initiative in 2011 to help educate small business owners about the tools that can help them find success on media platforms. The digital Boost with Facebook program services cities across the US in an effort to help US small businesses grow, and to equip more people with the digital skills they need to compete in the new economy.

During COVID-19, the program will focus on helping small businesses reach their audiences and recover from disruptions. This virtual event will bring together small business owners, entrepreneurs, job seekers and community groups to enable them to learn how to use technology to grow their business to learn new skills.

Learn more and Register Today

Check out our Maryland Chamber Events Page for all of our Upcoming Webinars, Briefings, and Sponsored Events!

Upcoming calendar of legislative briefings and hearings

Thursday, January 21, 2021

  • 1:00 p.m. – Budget and Taxation Committee

Wearing a mask in public lets us live life more safely. And it keeps you and everyone around you better protected from coronavirus. The more we mask together, the faster we get back to enjoying life…together. So, just carry on, masks on, Maryland.





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