A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.
1. 2022 Maryland governor’s race: Who’s in, who’s out, who’s on the fence
With Maryland’s General Assembly session wrapped up, more candidates are coming out with news about joining the 2022 Maryland governor’s race while others are still deliberating or have taken themselves out of the running completely. Republican Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz is the latest to join the race by announcing her plans in a video posted in April on her campaign website. Also running is perennial Republican Robin Ficker of Montgomery county, who said a year ago that he would join the race. Seeking the Democratic nomination is Comptroller Peter Franchot of Montgomery County and former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, among other names.
Some of the candidates deciding not to run for Governor include Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford (R), Democratic Prince George’s county executive Angela Alsobrooks and Republican Harford County Executive Barry Glassman who decided to run for state comptroller. Finally, those who remain on the fence include former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez (D) of Montgomery County and author Wes Moore of Baltimore who after stepping down from a nonprofit organization that fights poverty said he’s “seriously considering serving the great people of this state by seeking to become the governor.”
To read more, click here.
2. SBA rolls out $100M grant program to help small businesses recover from COVID-19
The Small Business Administration is launching a $100 million grant program that aims to connect small businesses with SBA assistance and loan programs. The Community Navigator Pilot Program will offer grants of $1 million to $5 million to eligible organizations to serve as an informal connection to agency resources to help small businesses recover from the economic loss brought by the pandemic. Eligible organizations include state and local governments, economic development organizations, small business development centers, nonprofit colleges and universities, and Community Development Financial Institutions, among others. Applications are due by July 12 and will run for two years starting on September 1, 2021, until August 31, 2023.
To learn more about the program and to apply, click here.
3. Maryland Energy Administration awards over $500k to bolster energy resilience, sustainability
On Tuesday, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announced $566,000 in awards for eight organizations that will fund feasibility analysis, planning and design of microgrids bringing resilience and sustainability to Maryland communities, critical infrastructure, essential businesses and emergency services. Replacing the old utility grid with new systems has the added benefit of improving the integrity of the state’s energy landscape but can be costly. The MEA’s Resilient Maryland program addresses this challenge and helps organizations pay for planning deliverables such as detailed project feasibility analyses, preliminary engineering models and designs and financial analyses.
To view the list of FY21 awardees, click here.
4. Labor report shows slowdown in the state’s job growth and unemployment stays at 6.2%
Last week the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released preliminary data showing that Maryland’s economy added 3,800 jobs in April, compared to 13,000 added in March. The report also showed that the state’s unemployment rate remained at 6.2%, which does not include those who no longer are getting unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work. Federated partners the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce and the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, were interviewed by MarylandReporter.com on what they thought was the reason for the recent slowdown in job growth. Read what they had to say here.
5. Meet our Chairman of the Board of Directors Gracelyn McDermott
Last week, the Maryland Chamber Board of Directors confirmed new Chairman and Western Regional Chair Gracelyn McDermott, vice president, marketing, sales & business development at Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States. Read the full press release here. We sat down with Gracelyn to learn more about her career, her priorities for the Chamber and what drives her to succeed as a leader. Read more here.
WEBINAR | Architects of Opportunity: Maryland Chamber Foundation Teacher Externship Program – Join us on June 23 at 11 a.m. for a webinar discussion led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond as they explore how bridges are built between educators and Maryland businesses to help shape the workforce of the future.