Friday Five | September 9, 2022

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

1. Md. gubernatorial candidates set to square off in debate

Maryland gubernatorial candidates Wes Moore and Dan Cox are scheduled for a live debate on Oct. 12 hosted by Maryland Public Television, giving voters a first look at their agenda priorities and views on important issues for Marylanders.

“I look forward to the opportunity this October to contrast my vision and values with Dan Cox’s far-right agenda,” Moore said in an email announcing the debate. “The stakes of this election could not be more clear.”

Cox responded: “I am glad Wes Moore has finally accepted an invitation to debate with me. I look forward to letting the voters of Maryland see the candidates live, in person and unfiltered.”

Read the full story here.

2. Lower job gains in August could aid Fed’s inflation fight

Last Friday, the federal government released a report showing America’s employers added a healthy number of jobs last month yet slowed their hiring enough to potentially help the Federal Reserve in its fight to reduce inflation. The economy gained 315,000 jobs in August, which is a solid figure for an economy that is dealing with challenges brought on by rising interest rates, high inflation and reduced consumer spending. The report also showed that the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, up from a half-century low of 3.5% which can be an encouraging sign that more Americans are starting to look for work.

“It’s a very positive report and still holds open the possibility for a soft landing,” said Ellen Gaske, an economist at PGIM Fixed Income, referring to the Fed’s goal of slowing the economy enough to cool inflation without going so far as to cause a recession.

Read the full story here.

3. Biden administration awards $1 billion for economic projects 

Last Friday, President Joe Biden and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the allocation of $1 billion worth of federal grants for manufacturing, clean energy, farming, biotech and other sectors that will be awarded to 21 regional partnerships. The winners were chosen from 529 initial applicants vying for grants that were part of last year’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Raimondo said she estimates the investments, which will be provided over five years of reimbursements for multiple states, will result in at least 100,000 jobs.

Read the full story here.

4. As union petition rise, feds unveil new resources for small businesses

On Wednesday, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in collaboration with the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, unveiled a new digital toolkit to help small business owners navigate the complexities of labor unions. The toolkit directs small business owners to resources to help answer questions about their rights and obligations as an employer. It also serves as a guide for small business owners who are new to union activity and offers a detailed breakdown subject by subject.

“Building strong teams and managing workforce issues are critical skillsets that small-business owners must continually develop as they start and grow resilient businesses, and the SBA remains committed to supporting them with relevant content and trainings,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman.

Read the full story here.

5. 6 priorities Baltimore needs to focus on to jumpstart its transit network, according to business leaders

Maryland will receive an influx of funding ($7.8 B) over the next five years from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to invest in its infrastructure and transit network. Two Baltimore-Washington business advocacy groups, the Greater Washington Partnership and the Greater Baltimore Committee, said Baltimore is not ready to capitalize on the funds headed their way.

Both groups partnered in late June to launch “Baltimore’s Transit Future,” a campaign to bring the city’s businesses, elected leaders and the general public together to form a long-term plan for expanding its bus and rail service. The campaign focuses on six strategic priorities they see as key to accelerating the transformation of Greater Baltimore’s transit network.

Read the full story here.

Maryland employers: Utilize open enrollment to attract talent

Join us on September 20 at 11 AM for our complimentary webinar 2023 Benefit Trends to Help Attract and Retain Talent that will show you how to take advantage of open enrollment to provide competitive benefits that retain and attract talent.


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