Friday Five | July 14, 2023

A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.

1. Child care centers awarded $11.5M for capital projects

Governor Moore announced Tuesday that 67 child care centers in the state will receive the inaugural round of funding from the $11.5 million Child Care Capital Support Revolving Loan Fund. The fund, created last year by the General Assembly, grants no-interest loans to child care providers so they can invest in capital expenses, such as new construction and renovations.

Why it matters? Access to childcare is critical in getting Marylanders back to work. The lack of availability to quality care stands as an obstacle to our state’s business competitiveness.

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2. Dispensaries see over $10M in sales in first weekend of recreational cannabis

The state’s 100 dispensaries reported $10.4 million in sales from Friday, June 30 through Sunday, July 2, according to a report from the Maryland Cannabis Administration. Almost half of those sales, $4.5 million, occurred on July 1, the first day of recreational sales in Maryland. Part of the reason for the strong start is that the state required all medical cannabis establishments to convert their license to recreational, ensuring the large network of dispensaries for the first sales.

What’s ahead? The strong start to recreational cannabis in Maryland is promising, as it is hoped that new jobs and opportunities for the state’s business community will be made.

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3. Why the boomers retiring is bad news for workers

The ranks of retirees are growing much faster today than the number of new workers. As the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) ages, the workforce is becoming older than ever. And as they retire, they will push the worker-to-retiree ratio lower than ever. It is not that younger people are less willing to work, they simply make up a smaller share of the population. The aging of the population, growing number of retirees and declining birth rates lead to a shrinking workforce.

What’s at stake? Lower numbers of workers per retiree threaten the future of programs like Social Security and Medicare. As the share of working Americans shrinks, the funding will too. The growing number of retirees and aging workforce places burden on the medical industry while also hindering economic growth.

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4. Senators say adding flights to DCA could slow FAA bill

The senators from Maryland and Virginia, Chris Van Hollen, Ben Cardin, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, indicated Monday that they would oppose the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill if it adds long-distance flight slots to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), citing that the airport is at already capacity. Under a perimeter rule by Congress set in the 1960s, DCA is essentially a short-haul airport, mostly limited to flights within 1,250 miles.

Local impact: Extra flights at DCA will siphon customers from nearby regional airports like BWI Thurgood Marshall and Salisbury Regional Airport, which take visitors, dollars spent and investments away from communities. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce has recently joined The Coalition to Protect America’s Regional Airports to defend the critical role regional airports play in connecting communities, creating jobs and supporting local economies.

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5. Vegetable and Butcher to relocate headquarters here

Governor Moore yesterday announced that Vegetable and Butcher, a subscription-based food delivery service, is relocating its headquarters to Maryland. The company is moving from Washington, D.C. to a 32,000 square-foot industrial space in Upper Marlboro. Formed in 2016, Vegetable and Butcher delivers ready-to-eat meals to approximately 150 zip codes, and will create nearly 200 jobs.

The big picture: It is important that we continue to make Maryland more attractive and sustainable for both new and existing businesses so that our workforce, communities and local economy can thrive.

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Related | Vegetable and Butcher’s news is hot on the heels of last week’s Great Wolf Lodge opening in Cecil County, the company’s largest resort in North America that is slated to bring to the state 1,000 full and part-time jobs and $100 million in annual economic impact.





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