Friday Five | October 15, 2021

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

1. Biden signs bill raising U.S. debt limit, averting default 

Yesterday, President Joe Biden signed legislation raising the government’s debt limit to $28.9 trillion, averting a financial crisis and ensuring the U.S. Treasury has enough funds to pay the nation’s bills until December. The $480 billion increase in borrowing limit signed by Biden is expected to be exhausted by Dec. 3, forcing Congress to revisit the issue then but whether or not a bipartisan compromise will be reached is still unclear.

Read the full story here.

2. Elevated levels of unfilled job opening continue to threaten economic recovery 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were more than 10.4 million job openings at the end of August, a slight decrease from July’s record high of 10.9 million openings. BLS’s recent employment report showed businesses have added a total of 3.7 million jobs in 2021, yet in September only 194,000 workers that could fill those open jobs were added. The report also showed the quit rate (2.9) hit its all-time high in August, and job openings continue to be severely elevated because job takers are simply not keeping up with job openings.

Read the full story here and visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce America Works Initiative page to help solve some of your workforce challenges.

3. Hot crabs, hot politics but cooler weather as Tawes moves to fall 

Governor Larry Hogan with Maryland Chamber President & CEO Mary Kane (Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor)

The J. Millard Tawes Clam Bake and Crab Feast, hosted by the Crisfield Area Chamber of Commerce and typically held at the end of July, made its comeback this Wednesday after being delayed since 2020 because of COVID-19. The all-you-can-eat crab and clam bake originated as a fundraiser for the J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum, named after the former Maryland Governor. Today, the chamber of commerce uses the proceeds to fund projects that benefit their communities, attracting all eight potential 2022 Maryland Governor candidates and thousands of local residents and that took the opportunity to share their ideas about boosting the Eastern Shore economy.

Read the full story here.

4. SBA Administrator Guzman weighs in on EIDL changes, plans to streamline the process 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to face challenges in streamlining its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application process. During the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing conference on Wednesday, SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman stressed the agency is working relentlessly to address some of the issues being faced by small businesses and helping make COVID-19 disaster relief programs more accessible. She said the SBA is working with partners around the country to reach small business owners of any size and from any location, and is also helping them adopt digital tools and protection against potential cyber-attacks. Many of these programs are set to expire at the end of this year, leaving just a few months for small business owners to take advantage of the aid.

Read the full story here.

5. Maryland sets sail for its next industry cluster: blue tech 

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) announced last week their initiative to become one of the country’s three biggest hubs for “blue tech” innovation, an up-and-coming industry sector focused on the maritime and water industries. BlueTechMD is spearheaded by a consortium of companies, organizations and state agencies, including the University System of Maryland, aimed at attracting both climate technology investors and blue tech entrepreneurs to the state to grow Maryland’s climate technology footprint. Maryland could potentially emerge as a key player in the sector and address some of the state’s most pressing climate challenges, such as stormwater runoff and flooding.

Read the full story here.

Request a vaccine mobile unit at your business – The Maryland Dept. of Health will deploy mobile vaccination clinics for businesses interested in providing vaccinations to their employees and the community.



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