We hope all of our members are staying safe and healthy and as productive as possible during this time. In light of the health crisis, the content of our Friday 5 emails has shifted to feature the top five COVID-19 news items and resources of the week.
Today is Juneteenth, a day of remembrance
On June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers led by General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and enslaved African Americans were now free. Lincoln’s proclamation initially had little effect on the Texans because there was a limited number of Union forces in the South at the time. With the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and increased Union forces with the arrival of General Granger, the Union was finally strong enough to enforce the proclamation.
This day became known as Juneteenth and is celebrated nationally in commemoration of the official ending of slavery in the United States. The holiday, which name is derived from the combination of the words June and Nineteenth, is also known as Emancipation Day, Juneteenth Independence Day and Black Independence Day. Celebrations, especially in the South, typically include picnics, rodeos, and religious church ceremonies. Juneteenth ceremonies usually emphasize an educational and historical perspective to inform and remind young black children of the historical significance of the day.
As Juneteenth becomes more widely acknowledged, discussions have focused on recognizing the day as a national holiday to celebrate and acknowledge an important point of reflection in American history.
Acts of COVID kindness
As we all band together to get through these challenging days, the Maryland Chamber would like to highlight the good deeds being done in our communities by our members. Here is a great example of an act of “COVID kindness”:
Stanley Black & Decker has launched a comprehensive COVID-19 philanthropic outreach program to help its communities and employees combat the effects of the pandemic across the globe. The company’s Tools & Storage Headquarters are located in Towson, MD, so part of this program has been targeted to support relief and recovery efforts throughout Maryland.
In recent months, the company announced it is donating a total of $50,000 to Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland to ensure people have access to basic needs and food, an effort also supported by Governor Hogan and Maryland Unites. Additionally, the company donated $50,000 plus critical PPE to the University of Maryland Medical Center and Sinai Hospital to support frontline workers.
Stanley Black & Decker is also supporting its employees through an increased matching gift program where employee donations are matched 2-for-1 for the rest of the year. It also established an employee emergency relief fund, administered by an independent organization, to provide financial assistance for employees and their families who have been severely impacted by the pandemic.
During this unprecedented period, Stanley Black & Decker remains focused on its number-one priority of ensuring the safety and health of its employees, while at the same time continuing to serve customers, maintaining financial strength and doing its part to help communities and governments mitigate the effects of the virus.
To learn more about the company’s COVID-19 response efforts, visit: https://www.stanleyblackanddecker.com/covid-19
If you know of a Marylander or Maryland business or organization that is stepping up in the face of adversity to help others during the pandemic, please reach out to Kimberly Reach at email@example.com to share your story.
1. Lender registration opens for Main Street Lending Program
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded the Fed for “taking action” and “[continuing] the process of ensuring businesses of all sizes – including medium and large businesses – have access to the credit they need during this pandemic. This will help businesses keep workers employed and help the economy recover quicker.”On Monday, June 15, the Federal Reserve announced that lender registration had opened for the Main Street Lending Program. Lenders are encouraged to begin making loans immediately.
For more information about the Main Street Lending program, take a look at this guide from the U.S. Chamber.
2. Subscribe to the Manufacturers Marketplace
As the exclusive state association partner with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Maryland Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer a free lifetime subscription to the Manufacturers Marketplace. Manufacturers Marketplace connects manufacturers in the U.S. to help each other get what they need amid the COVID-19 crisis. This searchable database includes 140,000 manufacturers that can fill gaps in your supply chain to keep our country up and running.
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers announced this dynamic new tool more than a year ago. It enables companies to expand sales and strengthen supply chains, and manage their individual profiles. It has robust search features such as company certifications, equipment, processes and capacity.
Registration is free, quick and simple. Just follow these three steps:
This offer expires on June 30, 2020. After the deadline, it will cost money to join the Marketplace. Here are some of the current features and benefits:
3. Data centers legislation: A victory for the Maryland Chamber and the state
Did you know that the Maryland Chamber of Commerce played a pivotal role in getting the General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 397: bipartisan legislation that would provide a sales-and-use tax exemption for the sale of equipment used at a qualified data center? During the 2020 legislative session, MDCC established a coalition focused on data centers, a group of 60 business organizations and other interested stakeholders united in support of the legislation.
The coalition knew that, if the bill passed, it would level the playing field with neighboring states, attract data center business to Maryland, create jobs, provide a financial boost to local governments, and support the state as a leader in cyber innovation and investment. As a result, the coalition developed and implemented an aggressive grassroots advocacy campaign, and their hard work paid off. The Maryland General Assembly passed SB 397 nearly unanimously, and in May, Governor Hogan signed the bill into law.
Read our success story here.
4. COVID-19 webinar series
Over the next couple weeks, the Maryland Chamber Foundation will host two more webinars in its COVID-19 webinar series, with a special focus on economic resiliency.
Impact of COVID-19 on Maryland’s Economy, Presented by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Wednesday, June 24
11 AM to 12 PM (EDT)
Join us for a conversation with Andy Bauer, vice president and regional executive for the Baltimore branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Mr. Bauer will discuss the Federal Reserve’s recent and unprecedented actions and share his thoughts on the U.S. economy, including what the Richmond Fed learned through business outreach, and the key components to a successful recovery.
Maryland manufacturers: Policy priorities & recovery, presented by the National Association of Manufacturers
Tuesday, June 30
11 AM to 11:30 AM (EDT)
Join us for a conversation with Patrick Hedren, vice president and deputy general counsel, and Michael O’Brien, assistant vice president of advocacy, of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Mr. Hedren and Mr. O’Brien will help us understand the unprecedented climate of legal uncertainty across the business landscape, which has been created by governmental responses to the COVID-19 crisis. As the exclusive State Association Partner, we are pleased to partner with NAM on this webinar.
For more details on our COVID-19 Webinar Series, please visit our Events page. If you are unable to participate, please note that we provide links to full recordings of all of our COVID-19 webinars, available on our COVID-19 Chamber Resources page. 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.
Also, please take a moment to complete our COVID-19 Impact Survey here. We urge you to share the survey with your membership and other business partners. Having a robust number of responses will aid in advancing the Chamber’s advocacy efforts at the federal level and help us better prepare for the 2021 state legislative session.
5. Webinar series on equity and inclusion to launch next month
Next month, the Maryland Chamber Foundation will launch a webinar series—”Promoting Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace”—that will be available to all Maryland Chamber members and members of the business community. Starting in July 2020, the Foundation will host a one-hour webinar every other month for a year (six webinars). The series will showcase best practices for promoting equity and inclusion in the workplace, and will feature business leaders from high-profile companies who are already doing their part to drive systemic change in their own organizations and communities.
There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions at the end of each webinar; participants will also be provided with resource materials to take back to their respective workplaces so they can share what they learned with their colleagues. These materials will also be posted on our website for the general public.
While we acknowledge that the business community does not have all the answers, we are prepared to listen, learn and take the proactive steps necessary to create meaningful change in the workplace and beyond. Together, we can ensure that equality, diversity and criminal justice reform are at the forefront of our discussions on public policy. Stay tuned for more details.
Don’t Forget to Register for Talent Exchange
The Maryland Chamber has been pleased to help promote the rollout of Talent Exchange, a new technology developed in response to the massive wave of layoffs and job losses occurring in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Employers with impacted workers and companies that are hiring to meet COVID-related demand can sign up to join the Talent Exchange to connect individuals to jobs. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here: https://eightfold.ai/talent-exchange/.
Talent Exchange is free of cost and was recently made available to state chambers of commerce, whose leaders are sharing the resource with their members and others in their respective states. Talent Exchange was created by Eightfold.ai in partnership with The Food Industry Association (FMI) and supported by McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. To learn more, check out the webinar the Maryland Chamber Foundation hosted with Eightfold.ai just last week.
Facebook Live Event with Senator Cardin
Yesterday afternoon, Vice President of Government Affairs Ashley Duckman joined U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Jamon Phenix, Coalition Manager of the Page 30 Coalition, for a Facebook/YouTube Live conversation on relief for at-risk small businesses. You can watch a recording of the event here.
Member Spotlight Series
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 eighth interview in the series, she interviewed Michael Kiely, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of U.S. Government Affairs for UPS. Based in Washington, D.C., Mr. Kiely is responsible for leading the company’s legislative strategy and advocacy efforts as they pertain to the federal government and 50 state governments. Listen to the interview here to find out how UPS is continuing to operate safely and efficiently, despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus.
To listen to the other interviews in our Member Spotlight Series, please click the button below.
Click here to view up-to-the-minute COVID-19 resources on the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 resources page.