February 8, 2018
Howard County Chamber Advocating for Delayed Implementation of HB 1

Time is running out for our legislators to pass a bill that would delay implementation of the Mandatory Paid Sick Leave legislation, officially known as HB 1, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.

If no action is taken, HB 1 will belcome law this Sunday, February 11th, and businesses would be forced to comply immediately. But the legislation is unclear and confusing, and even regulators admit, rules to guide compliance with the law won't be ready until after the current session ends in April.

HB 1 was originally passed by the legislature in last year's session, but was vetoed by Governor Larry Hogan. The Chamber supported the Governor's decision to veto. But within the first week of the current legislative session, legislators voted to overturn Governor Hogan's veto, leaving business owners facing an incredibly short window to try and figure out how to comply.

In last week's edition of In The Loop, we wrote about a bill that was introduced to delay implementation of HB 1 until July 1st, and that bill has since passed a vote in the Maryland Senate. Now it is up to the House of Delegates to take up the bill and pass it in time to get it to Governor Hogan before the Sunday deadline.

We strongly urge you to contact your legislators in the House of Delegates today and ask them to take up the bill for delayed implementation. You can find contact information for each of the legislators representing Howard County in the House of Delegates below.

District 9
Delegate Robert L. Flanagan (R) -  bob.flanagan@house.state.md.us
Delegate Trent M. Kittleman (R) -  trent.kittleman@house.state.md.us
Delegate Warren E. Miller (R) -  warren.miller@house.state.md.us

District 12
Delegate Eric D. Ebersole (D) -  eric.ebersole@house.state.md.us
Delegate Terri L. Hill (D) -  terri.hill@house.state.md.us
Delegate Clarence K. Lam (D) -  clarence.lam@house.state.md.us

District 13
Delegate Vanessa E. Atterbeary (D) -  vanessa.atterbeary@house.state.md.us
Delegate Shane E. Pendergrass (D) -  shane.pendergrass@house.state.md.us
Delegate Frank S. Turner (D) -  frank.turner@house.state.md.us

County Council Narrowly Approves Updates to APFO

With a 3-2 vote earlier this week, the Howard County Council has approved updates to the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO), including amendments the Chamber fought against because we believe the changes will amount to an unnecessary moratorium on development in the county.
Senator Guzzone & Delegate Ebersole to Hold Public Hearing

What issues would you like to see the Maryland General Assembly take up during the 2018 legislative session? 

The Howard County Delegation is holding a public hearing for input on statewide issues that could be considered by the legislature during the current legislative session next Tuesday! 

February 13, 2018 - 7 p.m.
Banneker Room, George Howard Building
3430 Courthouse Drive
Ellicott City, MD 

Signup for testimony will begin at 6:15 p.m. and advance sign up is not available. For more information about the hearing, you can email the Howard County Delegation Administrator, Erinn Camp Mansour at hoc1@mlis.state.md.us.
Spotlight on Natalie Whylie & Allegra in Columbia

At the Chamber we are so proud of our members, and this month, in honor of Black History Month, we wanted to take a moment in each of our newsletters to shine the spotlight on one of our members! This week, we asked Allegra in Columbia Co-Owner Natalie Whylie to tell us a little about herself and her business.

"Allegra in Columbia, Md is an eight-year-old business that has established itself as "the small business source" for marketing communications. Our daily mission is to be an extension of our client's communications and marketing teams, and in the case of smaller organizations, the marketing arms and legs that implement the important tactics. We strive to help small organizations bring their marketing ideas to life.

Our business was born in 2009 in Annapolis, MD, where we merged an old-line printer with our new Allegra "small business focused" franchise. Our promise, then and now, was to fill the service and quality gaps between the "big box" stores and the high-end printers that charged a small fortune for small business sized orders.

Whether an organization's needs are more of the "traditional old school marketing," such as business cards, brochures and newsletters, or digitally driven like web sites, email campaigns, landing pages and, "pay per click" advertising, we can deliver. Allegra can design it, produce it and implement it.

As part of the Howard County community the owners of Allegra Columbia, Natalie and Whitfield Whylie, combine twenty plus years of business experience in Sales, Marketing and Operational roles with a wealth of local knowledge to bring this dynamic service business to life."

Tickets are now available for our annual
State of the County Address with Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman on  February 22nd at Turf Valley Resort! 

Tickets now available for our 2018 Women's Leadership Conference on March 8th at $150 for members and $165 for non-members!

2018 Annual Legacy Partners
2018 Annual Benefactor & Leader Partners
Commercial Energy Co-op Spring Enrollment is here!!!

Even though it doesn't quite feel like it outside yet, Spring is right around the corner and we are ready to launch the Spring Enrollment Campaign for our Commercial Energy Co-op partners, CQI Associates!

As part of the campaign, CQI is hosting a series of Webinars for anyone who wants to know more about the program or has questions about enrollment.  Webinars will be held February 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm, February 20, 2018 at 11:00 am and February 27, 2018 at 1:00 pm. To participate you must register in-advance for the above webinars. Simply go to the CQI Associates home page at   www.cqiassociates.com  and click on the date that you want to participate and follow the steps to RSVP.

If you are already enrolled in the program, but will be up for renewal this year, you have until March 2nd to submit the current Letter of Authorization to make sure you are locked in to the best available rates! You can also find out more about the program here.
Congratulations to AST I Trellis Learning Center!

Thank you to AST I Trellis Learning Center in Columbia for letting us help them celebrate their grand opening with a special ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday! 

You can find out more about AST I Trellis Learning Center here!
Agile Data Sites Celebrates in Silver Spring

Chamber President Leonardo McClarty was also on hand to help Agile Data Sites cut the ribbon at their Silver Spring location this morning! 

You can find out more about Agile Data Sites here!
Recommendations Released by Howard Community College based on Commission on the Future

Howard Community College has just released the recommendations from the 2017-2018 Commission on the Future. Chamber President Leonardo McClarty participated in the Commission, whose role was to help the college create a broader awareness of the needs that impact the workforce and the environment.

Grand Re-opening of East Columbia Branch Library

Join the Howard County Library System for the grand re-opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly renovated East Columbia Branch!

February 10, 2018 - 9:45 a.m. - 4 p.m.
6600 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD 21045
Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship Offering Relationship Marketing Program

During this month's MCE Marketing Matters program, we will be joined by Tim Simms of Influent Metrics and Dave Kile of Ease Technologies, to discuss accessible and affordable marketing strategies. During this 90-minute session learn: the do's and don'ts of establishing a meaningful rapport with your audience, both on and offline, analyze the growing value of relationships in business, and what principles to incorporate into your company's brand.

February 16, 2018 - Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship
9250 Bendix Road
Columbia, MD 21045

Read more
21st Annual Chocolate Ball

The Arc of Howard County is now accepting sponsorships and reservations for their annual Chocolate Ball.

March 10, 2018 - 7 p.m. - Midnight
Turf Valley Resort
Ellicott City, MD 21042

Read more
Volunteers Needed for HCPSS's Workforce Development Program

On March 23rd, more than 150 local high school students need your help! The students will be participating in practice job interviews as part of the Howard County School System's Workforce Development Program, Passport to the Future.

March 23, 2018 - 8 a.m. - Noon
Howard Community College
Duncan Hall/Kittleman Room

County Releases Comprehensive Assessment of Land Development Regulations

Earlier this week, County Executive Allan Kittleman announced the release of a comprehensive evaluation of the County's development regulations. The Development Regulations Assessment and Annotated Outline is now available for review on the Department of Planning and Zoning's project website  here There are also two public meetings planned where the results will be presented.

February 12, 2018
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
George Howard Building
3430 Court House Drive
Ellicotty City, MD 21043

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Oakland Mills High School, AHU-7 Auditorium
9410 Kilimajaro Road
Columbia, MD 21045

Export Management Bootcamp for Industry Professionals

The Center for Global Business at the University of Maryland is hosting its second annual Export Management Bootcamp for Industry Professionals. The two-day bootcamp is designed to help prepare professionals to export their products or services internationally.

April 20 & 21, 2018
University of Maryland BioPark
Building 2, Suite 100
801 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Join a Committee at the Howard County Chamber of Commerce

Interested in getting more involved with the Chamber? 

Sign up today for any of the following committees:
  • Ambassadors
  • GovConnects
  • Holiday Party
  • Legislative
  • Membership
  • Signature Events
  • YPN

Contact info@howardchamber.com to join a Howard County Chamber of Commerce Committee today!   



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