Friday Five | January 22, 2021

Did you know: Annapolis was known as the Athens of America during the seventeenth century and once served as the capital of the United States.

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. The 17 Things Joe Biden did on Day One

On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Not wasting any time, Joe Biden signed more than a dozen executive orders in his first hours as president, many of which are expected to reverse initiatives established under the Trump administration.

The top priorities of Biden’s administration include ending a pandemic through increased distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations and passing a $1.9 trillion economic relief package. He is also taking steps Democrats have long demanded on immigration, environmental and racial justice issues.

While President Biden’s first 100 days include an ambitious push, he continues to work with both parties in Congress to accomplish his policy goals, so far avoiding many of the steps progressive groups and lawmakers want him to take, including canceling student debt and overriding the patents of drugs developed with public funds.

To read more, please click here.

 2. Governor Hogan’s Proposed $49 Billion State Budget

On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Democratic leaders in the Maryland General Assembly took their first look at Governor Larry Hogan’s $49 billion proposed budget. Overall, the budget presented a solid plan to help public schools and prioritize aid for Marylanders hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.

In his proposed budget, Hogan included more funding than the existing state formulas required for public schools which will allow Maryland schools to see an increase in state dollars on top of millions in recently approved federal coronavirus aid directed to schools.

Some improvements pointed out by lawmakers on the proposed bill include higher funding for tutoring and designated funding for wider-broader internet access. The proposed budget is set to counteract the potential drop in state aid caused by the pandemic.

For more information on the proposed budget, please click here.

 3. National Association of Manufacturers Economic Report

On January 18, 2021, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released its updated Economic Report, providing insight to help manufacturers plan their operations, support their workers and strengthen their bottom line. With exclusive first-look research and reports by industry experts, the latest report indicates a rise in manufacturing production, expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year.

Manufacturing production increased 0.9% in December, rising for the eighth straight month. Despite gains since the spring, manufacturing production remained 2.6% below the pre-pandemic pace in February. Even as capacity remained 2.3% below what was seen in February, manufacturing capacity utilization increased from 72.7% in November to 73.4% in December, the highest rate since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

For more essential takes on leading economic indicators, please click here.

 4. Maryland at the Heart of COVID-19 Research

Over the past year, various companies, including several in Maryland, have been racing to produce a COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers and scientists have been working around the clock to understand the virus and its implications on health, the economy and everything in between.

In addition to universities and private companies, federal agencies and military installations have remained a critical force behind COVID-19 research. Maryland specifically, with 75 federal research labs, 60 federal facilities and 20 military facilities, is at the heart of research that will help the world overcome COVID-19.

For more information regarding Maryland’s impact on COVID-19 research, please click here.

5. Upcoming Events

Maryland Chamber Town Hall with Senator Chris Van Hollen

Join the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and Senator Van Hollen on February 1, 2021, for a town hall-style event to discuss the recently passed COVID-19 relief legislation and its impact on Maryland businesses. Senator Van Hollen is eager to hear feedback from Maryland Chamber members on this critical aid and to learn what priorities are top of mind for Maryland employers for the new Congress. Don’t miss an opportunity to engage with a leading member of Maryland’s Congressional Delegation.

Learn more and Register Today

Maryland Chamber State of the State with Governor Larry Hogan

Join the Maryland Chamber of Commerce along with Keynote Speaker Governor Larry Hogan and a panel of experts as we discuss the State of the State. Panel discussions will address current challenges to the economy and public health.

Check out our Events page on Wednesday, January, 27, 2021 to register.

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

Upcoming Calendar of Legislative Briefings and Hearings

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Friday, January 29, 2021

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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