Friday Five | October 8, 2021

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


1. Maryland Chamber of Commerce announces Mary D. Kane as President & CEO 

On Wednesday, we announced our board of directors appointed Mary D. Kane as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. Kane has an extensive background in leading state, federal and global organizations, most recently at the U.S. State Department as Director of the National Museum of American Diplomacy. An attorney, she also served as Secretary of State in Maryland from 2003-2007 and as Executive Director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 2008-2011.

“I am honored and excited to lead the Maryland Chamber of Commerce at this critical time,” said Kane. “The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of our community, the need for strategic thinking and the courage to pivot when the need arises. With the support of the Chamber’s impressive Board, talented team of professionals and outstanding members, I look forward to strengthening the Chamber’s position as the leading voice for business in Maryland.”

Read our full press release here and coverage by the Baltimore Business Journal here.


2. U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen addresses CEOs and business leaders on debt limit

On Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned CEOs and business leaders that if Congress does not raise or suspend the debt limit by October 18th, the Treasury would not be able to pay the nation’s bills causing America to default for the first time in history. She also warned the Treasury’s insufficient cash balance would prevent Americans from receiving any form of federal government payment such as social security payments, Child Tax Credit payments and small business federal loans.

“Default would call into question the full faith and credit of the United States. Our country would likely face a financial crisis, causing interest rates to rise quickly and restricting access to credit. Our fragile recovery would be thrown into reverse and we would likely be in recession. Millions of jobs would be lost, and the pain would endure well past the resolution of the crisis,” Yellen said.

Read the full press release here.


3. Maryland’s flush finances have some officials pushing for more borrowing 

The billions of dollars expected to come from the federal pandemic aid have some state officials, including Treasurer Nancy Kopp, pushing for more borrowing to finance more road and school projects without violating state debt limits. The state closed its 2021 fiscal year with more than $2 billion in additional revenue and is currently under its cap amount of outstanding debt. Supporters claim the massive infusion of unexpected cash coupled with low-interest rates is the perfect scenario for more borrowing. Opponents, including Governor Larry Hogan, argue this record surplus should not be used towards big spending and instead should be used to leave our state in better shape for future generations. He recently announced a five-point budget framework investing in Marylanders by using the money towards major tax relief and increasing the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

Read the full story here.


4. Maryland to incentivize apprenticeships with new $3.2M program 

On Wednesday, Governor Hogan announced Maryland will invest $3.2 million in a new program, the Employer Incentive Plan (EIP), to incentivize businesses and nonprofits to take on new apprentices. This new initiative will help support the growth and future of Maryland’s already successful Registered Apprentice programs that have aided our state in becoming a national leader in workforce development. State officials claim apprenticeships are beneficial to both the job seeker and the employer; it allows the job seeker to get paid while developing necessary skills and enables the employer to grow their talent pipeline by cultivating a skilled workforce. This new program will allow small businesses to get reimbursed for 75% of an apprentice’s wage rate, up to $4,690 for a maximum of 30 hours per week. Funding will be disbursed on a first-come, first-serve basis to employers that meet eligibility criteria.

Read the full story here and for more information on the EIP click here.


5. Maryland redistricting commission plans to release draft maps next month 

Karl Aro, the chairman of the General Assembly’s Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission, said during a hearing on Tuesday that he hopes to have some draft proposals of maps made public next month. Aro plans on having draft proposals for the state’s eight congressional districts made public by Nov. 15 and plans on holding the last of 12 scheduled hearings on Nov. 18. Making the draft proposals public by mid-November will enable the commission to gather enough feedback to present before the legislature when it convenes in December to pick a new map.

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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