A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.
1. Governor Hogan announces initial recovery plan performance report on American Rescue Plan Act Funding
On Tuesday, Governor Larry Hogan announced that the state submitted its first Recovery Plan Performance Report required by the Department of the Treasury following the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which directed $3.7 billion in federal aid to Maryland. In FY2021, the state allocated more than $610 million across seven allowable expenditure categories, including efforts improving public health, ameliorating negative economic impact and enhancing services to those communities hit the hardest by the pandemic. The report focuses on how the remainder of Maryland’s ARPA funds ($3.7 billion) will be allocated across those same seven categories.
“I am pleased to unveil this latest roadmap of Maryland’s investment of the $3.7 billion that the state is receiving from the federal government to help us recover from this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Governor Hogan. “We worked hard to push the White House and Congress to provide relief to the states, and now we are making sure that this relief is going directly to the people, the businesses, and the programs where it will do the most good.”
Read the full story here.
2. 10 reasons why the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act benefits all Americans
This year the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, along with 23,315 organizations, joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s initiative urging Congress to enact a fiscally and environmentally responsible infrastructure package that would invest trillions of dollars into our nation’s economy. America currently ranks 13th in the world when it comes to the overall quality of our infrastructure. This $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill, which has been passed by the Senate and is now up for consideration in the House, would create millions of jobs, improve our global competitiveness and quality of life. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of 10 ways this Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will benefit all Americans.
3. Maryland legislative redistricting panel announces hearings
In light of new data released by the Census Bureau, Maryland officials began their task of redrawing congressional and legislative boundaries to propose new district maps. On Tuesday, a Maryland commission on congressional and state legislative redistricting announced 12 public hearings, ten of which will be held in different parts of the state, and two will be virtual. The first hearing is on September 20, and the last is scheduled for November 18. The panel, which includes leading Democrats who control the General Assembly as well as two Republican legislative leaders, will be responsible for redrawing Maryland’s eight congressional districts.
Read the full story here.
4. SBA approves more targeted EIDL advance grants, disaster loans
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved about $258.5 billion in disaster loans, as of August 19, according to agency data. That is up from the $252.3 billion approved as of August 12. The increase in loan processing came after the SBA moved the EIDL Loan Program from its Office of Disaster Assistance to its Office of Capital Access for faster processing.
The SBA continues to change current program requirements to help more business owners. A recent change has been the suspension of a rule that requires small business contractors in its 8(a) Business Development Program to be physically located near potential project sites to bid for the work. The SBA has also recently announced they are opening up a second grant to those who have already received one under its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.
Read the full story here.
5. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s America Works Initiative helping businesses overcome workforce challenges
In response to the national worker shortage crisis, the U.S. Chamber launched its America Works Initiative to help workers and employers by closing the skills gap, growing our country’s workforce and keeping our economy strong. Some of the goals outlined in this initiative include:
To join the America Works Initiative, start by visiting their one-stop resources page 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.
Opportunity: The Maryland Delegation addresses the business community – The 2022 legislative session will undoubtedly bring new challenges for the Maryland business community. To help you stay up to date on critical policy issues and political developments in these highly uncertain times, we’ve created a forum for business leaders to hear directly from six members of our state’s Congressional Delegation, including, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and policy experts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Stay informed and join us on September 22 for Congressional Roundup.