Due to the long Independence Day weekend, we are sending this week’s issue of the Friday Five today (Thursday) instead of tomorrow. Next week, the Friday Five will take a brief break. Our regular schedule will resume Friday, July 17.
We wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July!
1. U.S. Senate votes to extend deadline for Paycheck Protection Program applications
This past Tuesday, June 30, the U.S. Senate voted–by unanimous consent–to extend the deadline for businesses to apply for aid under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The bill was passed just hours before the program was set to expire at midnight.
Under the legislation, the deadline for applying for PPP loans — which go to businesses with fewer than 500 employees — would be extended until August 8, an additional five weeks. There is more than $130 billion left in the PPP fund.
2. Governor Hogan announces $190 million in COVID-19 relief for small businesses, colleges and nonprofit organizations
On Tuesday, June 30, Governor Larry Hogan announced $190 million in relief to help small businesses, colleges and nonprofit organizations affected by COVID-19.
This amount includes $45 million that will go toward expanding the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund, which awards grants of up to $10,000 to businesses with 50 or fewer employees, and $5 million that will go toward the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority, which provides financing to businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs.
To learn more about the governor’s announcement, please see the press release here.
3. Advocating for employer liability protections & infrastructure upgrades
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce has been a consistent advocate for employer liability protections as our state’s economy has gone through a phased-in reopening. Employers who are adopting the appropriate protocols to protect their employees and businesses should not be harmed as a result of a virus they cannot control. This has been a central component in Chamber discussions with Maryland’s congressional delegation. In a recent response letter dated June 10, Sen. Cardin assured the Maryland Chamber that Maryland’s delegation is working diligently to address this issue. We also hosted a webinar on the topic with two representatives from the National Association of Manufacturers (see more on webinar below).
In addition, we continue to push for upgrading our aging infrastructure systems, including advancing small cell deployment and rural mobile broadband investment so Maryland businesses and residents have the telecommunications infrastructure necessary to support the increased demands of distance learning, telework, telemedicine and public safety.
To read more about our recommendations for how to prepare for the economy of the future, please see our ReNEW Maryland initiatives.
4. Maryland Chamber Foundation webinar series
This past Tuesday, June 30, the Maryland Chamber Foundation hosted another webinar, “Advocacy efforts & critical issues during the COVID-19 pandemic,” presented by the National Association of Manufacturers.
Starting in July, the Foundation will begin to host a brand-new series, “Promoting Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace.” Just like our COVID-19 webinar series, these webinars will be available to all Maryland Chamber members and members of the business community. They will feature business leaders from high-profile companies who are already doing their part to drive systemic change in their own organizations and communities, and who will share their best practices with us. Our first webinar will be moderated by Sandy Grace, vice president of governmental & external affairs at BGE, on Monday, July 20, at 11 a.m.
For more information on upcoming webinars, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 269-0642, ext. 1117.
5. Take the COVID-19 impact survey
Don’t forget to take a moment to complete our COVID-19 Impact Survey. We will use this survey data to support our ReNEW Maryland initiatives, which are intended to help put businesses and employees back to work.
Also, please share the survey with your membership and other business partners. Your responses will play a vital role in advancing the Chamber’s advocacy efforts at the federal level and help us better prepare for the 2021 state legislative session.
Member Spotlight series: United Way of Central Maryland
As part of our Member Spotlight series, Vice President of Membership and Development Whitney Harmel is interviewing members of the Chamber who have emerged as leaders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
For her ninth interview in the series, she interviewed Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of the United Way of Central Maryland, an organization that has been a lifeline for those in need since 1925. Over the past decade, the United Way has worked toward achieving family stability in the surrounding community through engagement and direct service in the areas of education, employment/workforce development, housing and health.
Through its COVID-19 Response Funding Collaborative of Greater Baltimore, United Way has raised almost $4.4 million dollars to support more than 120 individual nonprofits that have been strained by the impact of the pandemic.
Click here to view up-to-the-minute COVID-19 resources on the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 resources page.