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Chamber Connections  
February 1, 2019
The Impacts of Raising Minimum Wage
Join the Chamber's Advocacy Efforts
Do you know the impacts that could result from raising the minimum wage to $15? Jobs will be lost, barriers to employment will be greater and Maryland will find itself at a regional disadvantage. 

Maryland can learn from the recent example of Seattle. City officials voted four years ago to increase minimum wage up to $15/hr. The goal was to improve the lives of low-income workers, but studies published by the National Bureau of Economic Research show that the hike had the opposite effect with many employers unable to afford the increased minimums. Businesses experiencing a significant raise in minimum wage have experienced:

Cut Payrolls
Delayed Hiring
Reduced Hours
Termination of Employees

One particular study by the University of Washington, commissioned by the City of Seattle, found that the costs to low-wage workers outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one.

In order to improve competitiveness and attract businesses, the cost of doing business in Maryland needs to be reasonable and remain on par with our neighboring states. But we are already much higher than all our neighboring states. Two of which (Virginia and Pennsylvania) remain at the $7.25/hr federal minimum wage.
*Graphic created by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce
Will You Stand With Us?
We Need You To Testify!

The bill to increase the minimum wage to $15/hr has been scheduled for a hearing next Friday, February 8th at 12:30pm in Annapolis .

Employees are the most important asset to any business. And those that can afford a higher minimum wage pay it, but for many small businesses there will be negative consequences that ultimately hurt their employees. If you own or run such a business please join us at the State House on February 8th and testify about these potential impacts.

*We need companies from all sectors to share how this increase would impact your business. If you are interested in testifying, please conact Raj Kudchadkar at Raj@CentralMarylandChamber.org .
Help Us Recognize Our Civil Servants!
Sponsors Needed for Spirit of Community Awards
Planning is now underway for the Central Maryland Chamber’s annual Spirit of Community Awards Gala , which will be held at Live! Event Center at Live! Casino & Hotel on Monday, March 25, 2019. As in past years, this year’s dinner will recognize public safety officers and educators who serve our region, as well as a military service member of the year from Fort Meade. We will again be honoring a Business Partner of the Year whose efforts benefit our local schools.

This is a truly feel-good evening, and past recipients have told us how much they enjoyed the caliber of the event and the recognition from the business community.  But we can’t do it without you this event is only possible through your support !   

We are only able to host this important community event strictly through sponsorship from the business community.

We encourage you to review the options below and find an appropriate level at which your business can participate. Sponsorships at the Silver, Gold, and Platinum level include advertising in the Program Book, while Table Hosts are recognized with table signage and the opportunity to sit with the nominees (specific requests accommodated on a first come, first served basis, with preference given to returning hosts).

Not able to sponsor or advertise? We still encourage you to attend – we feel certain once you’ve attended once you’ll never want to miss it! 
Networking Mixer
Sports Book at Laurel Park
Tuesday, February 12th | 5:00PM - 7:00PM  
Join us for our first Networking Mixer of 2019 at the  Sports Book at Laurel Park . Come see this beautiful new venue while reconnecting with colleagues and making new connections!

Members - FREE  | Non-Members $10

Please register by February 11th so that we can provide our host with an accurate count of attendees.
Maryland Business Commuter Tax Credit
Registration Now Open!
Registrations are now being accepted for the Maryland Commuter Tax Credit, designed to encourage businesses of all sizes to provide Commuter Benefits to their employees. 

This Maryland Commuter Tax Credit is available to any business entity that operates a trade or business in Maryland or is an organization exempt from taxation under §501 (c) (3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Businesses may claim this tax credit in an amount equal to 50% of the cost of providing qualified Commuter Benefits to their employees. Qualified Commuter Benefits include transit and transit parking passes or subsidies, vanpooling, carpooling. The Maryland Commuter Tax Credit many not exceed $100 per individual employee per month. There are a variety of options for Commuter Benefits that will fit your company needs and save you money.

Questions about the tax credit can be directed to 410-865-1100 or commuterchoice@mdot.state.md.us .
Get America Moving Again
What's Your Big Idea?
Through our partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we have been asked to invite you to participate in their Infrastructure Competition.

The U.S. Chamber is offering cash prizes totaling $25,000 to those who can come up with the best, most viable ideas for a long-term sustainable funding source for infrastructure. Your idea must be submitted by February 4, 2019 for consideration!
Adding Value to Your Membership
FREE Membership in the Maryland State Chamber!
Does your business have 10 or less full-time employees?

Is you business a member of the Central Maryland Chamber?

If so, you now get automatic membership in the Maryland State Chamber!

This new partnership was announced last week and comes at no additional cost to you; it is FREE for as long as you are a member of the CMC. This is tremendous value-added ($750 annually) to your current CMC membership.

Additional direct communications will be forthcoming to all CMC members with 10 or less employees. Please be on the lookout for these in the weeks to come! If you would like to opt-out of this program, simply click “unsubscribe” on the first email you receive from us on this new benefit.
Medical Cannabis Workshop
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
Wednesday, February 6th | 6:30PM - 8:30PM  
Join members of the MMCC Executive Staff as Joy Strand, Executive Director, and Will Tilburg, Director of Policy & Government Relations, explain the grower and processor application as well as the estimated time frame. 

Morgan State Campus
Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center
2201 Argonne Drive, 
Baltimore, MD 21218
February 6th, 2019
Event: 6:30 - 8:30 pm 

Free Parking in lot "Y" behind the arts center
Please RSVP NOW!
February Member Anniversaries!
50 Years
Poist Gas Company

35 Years
NAI The Michael Companies, Inc.

27 Years
CTS

23 Years
Fort George G. Meade- Garrison Command
Anne Arundel County Public Library
W.F Chesley Real Estate, Inc.

11 Years
The Dolben Company, Inc.
Prince George's Community College

9 Years
Law Offices of Kirk Halpin & Associates
Marathon Financial
Somerset Construction Company/
Arundel Preserve
7 Years
Live! Casino & Hotel
Mid Atlantic Systems

5 Years
Home Care Assistance of Annapolis
Talking Well Consulting

4 Years
Southern Management Corporation

2 Years
Success In Style
ZIPS Dry Cleaners- Harbor East

1 Year
A1N20
Kiddie Academy of Hanover
One Stone Consulting
Optimal Oasis
Sandler Training by Rhinodigm
Shape Your Body Fitness, LLC

Preventing Commercial Burglaries
Save Your Small Business from Financial Loss!
The Anne Arundel County Police Department (AACPD) is seeing commercial burglaries where there is front door glass breakage. Once entry is gained, the perpetrators go directly to the cash register and remove the daily bank left for the next day business. As you know the loss of several hundred dollars to a small business can be devastating as the business itself takes the direct loss. This is a very simple solution!! 

Hide the bank where the day manager can get to it at the open of the next day's business and not leave it in the register. AACPD recommends that businesses leave their cash register drawers open so that if a burglary occurs it is obvious that no monies are in the register. Do not close your register, even if it is empty. Empty cash registers are often pried open and destroyed. 

Please understand that these "hit and run" burglaries only take a matter of seconds and the cash bank is the target. Too many of our businesses are subjecting themselves to unnecessary exposure. Finally, if your business has a video or alarm system, please insure they are working properly!
Member and Regional Business News
Member Engagement!
Upcoming Events

Multi-Chamber Breakfast
Thursday, February 7

Networking Mixer
Tuesday, February 12

Membership 101
Thursday, February 21
Committee Meetings

Small Business Council
Tuesday, February 5th at 9:00am

Legislative Committee
Monday, February 11th at 4:00pm

Business Connections Network #3
Tuesday, February 12th at 8:30am
Have an Article or
News to Share?

Chamber members are encouraged to share news and information in the Chamber’s weekly newsletter. Newsworthy articles are included for FREE! Simply email info to: Info@CentralMarylandChamber.org .
Read and Share the New Business Guide!
Inclement Weather Policy

Because the Central Maryland Chamber serves members in several counties, the following inclement weather policy has been established:

If any one of the three county school systems (Anne Arundel, Howard, Prince George’s) closes due to inclement weather, all chamber activities for the day will be cancelled.

If any one of the three county school systems has a 2 hour delay, all chamber activities prior to noon will be cancelled.  

If any one of the three county school systems closes early due to weather, all chamber evening activities will be cancelled.
THANK YOU!
2018 Corporate Trustees
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