Friday Five | January 8, 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 brings you the top five news stories from the intersection of business and government. Here are this week’s top five stories:

 1. 2021 Legislative Priorities

New Year, New Legislative Priorities!

Each year, in coordination with our membership, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce identifies anticipated critical issues and establishes a legislative agenda to guide our strategy and advocacy efforts at the Maryland General Assembly. Every session presents us with an opportunity to educate lawmakers about the positive steps being taken by job creators to advance economic recovery and move Maryland forward. It also affords us the opportunity to raise the challenges being faced by employers and to work collaboratively toward solutions that make Maryland a better place to live and work.

Download the Maryland Chamber of Commerce 2021 Legislative Priorities & Anticipated Critical Issues Guide here.

 2. Vaccines in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Employers

As COVID-19 vaccines become available, many employers are left wondering how to approach vaccines in the workplace. In preparation for the time when vaccines are more widely available, many employers begin to develop policies to add to their company’s existing COVID-19 procedures. Hear from healthcare employers, who were first to receive the vaccine for distribution in their workforce as they address questions of how to implement vaccination programs.

Read more here.

 3. Guide to Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Loans

There are numerous local and national programs for businesses in need of emergency support, but understanding which options are relevant for your organization can be challenging. Click here to view the U.S. Chamber’s new Guide to Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Loans with the latest information and answers to FAQs about the changes that have been made to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Program as part of the end-of-year pandemic relief package Congress has passed.

Click here to view the U.S. Chamber’s summary of the extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the Pandemic Relief Package as it pertains to the eligibility of 501(c)(6) organizations.

 4. Comptroller Franchot Announces Forbearance for Business Tax Returns and Payments

On January 6, 2021, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced a 90-day forbearance for business tax returns and payments which will act as a zero-interest loan for Maryland businesses and provide immediate economic stimulus for Maryland businesses and workers.

The extension applies to business taxes administered by the Comptroller: sales and use, admissions and amusement, alcohol, tobacco, and motor fuel tax, as well as tire recycling fee and bay restoration fee returns and payments with due dates between January 1, 2021, and April 14, 2021.

In hopes of providing additional relief, Comptroller Franchot today sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig requesting the same forbearance period for federal monthly business tax payments.

For more information, please see the Comptroller’s official Tax Alert.

5. Upcoming Events

Promoting Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Webinar: Driving Business and Organization Impact through ERG Programs and Initiatives

Join the Maryland Chamber Foundation in partnership with BGE as we present the fourth installment of the webinar series promoting equity and inclusion in the workplace on January 12, 2021.

Establishing strong Employee Resource Programs (ERGs) is essential for an organization to work towards an inclusive company culture. In this webinar, you will have the opportunity to hear from Exelon CorporationBGE, and AT&T leaders as they share insights on how to utilize ERGs to drive business growth, align with your organizational mission, increase employee engagement while developing future leaders, as well as promoting inclusion in the workplace.

Learn more and Register Today


Meet the State 2021

On January 13, 2021, the Maryland General Assembly will convene for a legislative session that promises to be unlike any other in history. Legislative leaders have already announced their plans to execute their constitutional responsibilities for the full 90 days of session but doing so in a way that preserves public health will require a number of logistical and procedural adjustments. In addition, we know that the legislature will consider many policies and initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that will have a direct impact on Maryland’s job creators.

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s Meet the State event is the premier, early-session gathering of legislative and state government leaders. Being held virtually for the first time, the two-hour session will bring together policymakers and business representatives to discuss critically important public health and economic issues as we work to overcome the pandemic and remain on the road to recovery.

Learn more and Register Today

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


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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