March 15, 2018
Small Business Listening Session with Governor Hogan

Afternoons like today are exactly why we do what we do here at the Chamber! We are so glad we were able to get more than 20 of our members in a room with Governor Larry Hogan, Secretary of Labor, Licensing & Regulation, Kelly Schultz and County Executive Allan Kittleman for a listening session and frank talk about the challenges facing the small business community.

Chamber President Leonardo McClarty kicked things off by thanking the Governor, Secretary Schultz and the County Executive for taking the time to meet with our members. County Executive Kittleman explained that his administration has a very good relationship with the Governor's Office and that his administration has been great for Howard County saying "when people come to Maryland we can convince them to come to Howard County, but the Governor is the one who's been getting them to come to Maryland." 
Governor Hogan returned the sentiment saying that Howard County is one of the state's superstars. Governor Hogan explained a bit about his background as a 'small business guy and entrepreneur' and told the room that small business owners really are the reason for our success in Maryland.

Several Chamber members got the opportunity to ask the Governor about issues and policies ranging from the need for apprenticeships, to STEM, to tax credits and touching on some of the confusion associated with the new Maryland Healthy Working Families Law, also known as Mandatory Paid Sick Leave. The Governor talked at length about several different programs started by his administration including  EARN Maryland, a state-funded, competitive workforce development grant program,  Excel Maryland, an initiative to Grow Life Sciences and Cyber Startups, and the  Youth Pilot Apprenticeship Program which has seen success in two counties and will soon be state wide.
Lastly, the Governor talked about several pieces of legislation making their way through the House and Senate that are designed to help alleviate some of the financial stress for small business owners caused by the rapid implementation of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Law. You can find more information about some additional guidance on compliance with the law below.

Thank you to all of our wonderful small business members who were able to attend today's listening session and thank you to our hosts for the event,  VOR Technology and  OPS Consulting.
Additional Guidance on Compliance with the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act 

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act is just one of the topics that came up during this afternoon's Small Business Listening Session with the Governor. Kelly Schultz, Maryland's Secretary of Labor, Licensing & Regulation mentioned that some additional guidance had just been released to help business owners navigate the process of compliance with the new law. After receiving more than 2,000 emails from employers and employees with questions about the law, the most frequently asked questions have been put into a new FAQ document available at
Welcome Our New Director of Membership, Ronny Nadiv!

We are so excited to announce the addition of our newest Chamber team member, Ronny Nadiv! Ronny has already started attending a few events, but will make his official start in the office this coming Monday.

Ronny comes to us with more than 25 years of experience in business development, sales management, marketing, events management and fundraising. He has just moved back to the area from Florida where he was the Director of Membership for the Greater Fort Lauderdale G&L Chamber of Commerce, so he is the perfect person to take on the role of Director of Membership for us here in Howard County!

In addition to his ability to cultivate close relationships with business and community leaders, Ronny is also deeply committed to serving the community through volunteer work. He has received numerous awards for his volunteer work which has included fundraising for both the South Florida Leukemia Lymphoma Society of Fort Lauderdale and Opera Vivente in Baltimore. In his spare time, Ronny is a passionate opera singer, an avid traveler, and enjoys spending quality time with his close friends and family.
Celebrating the Life of Ed Waddell

We are so sorry to have to share that former Chamber Board of Directors Chair and longtime community supporter Ed Waddell has passed at the age of 68. Waddell was a tireless advocate for local businesses  and a mentor to many in Howard County's business community. His loss will be felt by many. You can read a full remembrance of Ed's life and many achievements here.

A Celebration of Ed Waddell's Life will be held Saturday, March 17th at 1 p.m. at Turf Valley Resort. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Howard Community College Educational Foundation, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044 or to The Strawbridge Shrine Association, 2200 St. Paul St. Baltimore, MD 21218.
GovConnects BizBreakfast - Inside State Contracting

Alison Tavik from the  Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs  will moderate a panel of representatives from  Maryland's Departments of General Services, Transportation, Information Technology and Budget and Management. 

March 20, 2018 - 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Hotel
7531 Montpelier Road
Laurel, MD 20723

Is Iceland on Your Bucket List?

We are shaking things up for our 2018 Chamber Trip and heading to the land of fire and ice, Iceland!!!

We're holding a FREE information session for the trip at Grotto Pizza later this month where we'll talk all about the Iceland trip including tours of geysers,  glaciers, volcanoes, swimming in geothermal heated pools, trekking across a mossy lava field, and even a drive over an icy glacier.

March 27, 2018 - 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Grotto Pizza
7075 Minstrel Way
Columbia, MD 21046

Women's History Month Spotlight

Last week, we celebrated Women's History Month and International Women's Day with our 2018 Women's Leadership Conference. This week, we wanted to take a moment to highlight one of our women-owned business members.

Incorporated in 2009, Custom Media Options is a women owned/MBE certified company serving the Maryland area. They specialize in creating one-of-a-kind targeted marketing strategies.  From concept to successful implementation-including graphic design, custom content writing, photography, social media, web development, advertising sales and magazine custom publishing-their years of experience and the mastery of the art of custom publishing and strategic marketing allow you to communicate with your targeted audience easily and effectively. Custom Media Options works with several local businesses in Howard County including; Howard County Chamber, Office of Aging and Independence, Association of Community Services, Office of Children and Families, Howard County Tourism and Promotion, Howard County Economic Development, and Howard County General Hospital, plus many more.
Recognizing that there is no shortage of talented women in Howard County, CMO launched Her Mind magazine in 2010. Now in its eighth year, the magazine has become both a "good read" and a beloved resource for women in Howard County offering readers insightful and inspiring stories about Howard County Women in business, philanthropy, community service, arts.... Written and designed by women for women.
7th Annual Power of the Purse

We are once again a proud drop off location for the Annual Power of the Purse! We will be collecting new, gently used, vintage and designer handbags for the Power of the Purse Sale and Silent Auction on June 11th benefiting Blossoms of Hope.

June 11, 2018 - 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Sub-Zero and Wolf Showroom by Fretz
9204 Berger Road
Columbia, MD 21044
Elkridge Branch Library Opening

Congratulations to the Howard County Library System on another beautiful grand opening! 

Chamber President Leonardo McClarty was happy to be a part of the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Elkridge Branch and DIY Education Center over the weekend. Guests got to get a look at the new Elkridge Branch that is more than double the size it was previously and now includes more study rooms, meeting rooms, a vending cafe and a business center.


We are so proud to welcome the following new Chamber members this week!
Happy Anniversary!!!

The following organizations joined the HCCC this week in history!
  • Century Corporation - 25 Years
  • Environmental Systems Associates Inc. - 25 Years
  • J M Gaske Inc - 25 Years
  • Association of Community Services - 24 Years
  • Atholton Holdings, Inc. - 24 Years
  • VW Brown Insurance Service - 24 Years
  • Adelberg, Rudow, Dorf & Hendler, LLC - 23 Years
  • DP Solutions - 22 Years
  • Jean Moon & Associates - 22 Years
  • Malvin, Riggins & Company - 22 Years
  • Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC - 22 Years
MCE Human Resource Strategy Seminar

Join the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, TriBridge Partners and HR Strategy Group for their Human Resource Strategy Seminar, catered for startups and small businesses. 

March 21, 2018 - Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship
9250 Bendix Road
Columbia, MD 21045

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

New Maryland Business Express Website

Inspired by Governor Larry Hogan's Regulatory Reform Commission recommendations, the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation has just unveiled Maryland Business Express, a new website that will make it easier for Maryland's small business owners to plan, start, manage and grow their businesses.

Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan Public Workshop #4

A fourth public workshop has been announced to discuss the Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan.

March 22, 2018 - 7 - 9 p.m.
Roger Carter Community Center
3000 Milltowne Drive
Ellicott City, MD
Congressman Elijah Cummings 2018 Annual Job Fair

Join Congressman Elijah Cummings for his 21st Annual Job Fair at Morgan State University

April 9, 2018 
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Morgan State University
Hill Field House
1700 E. Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21251

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 to join a Howard County Chamber of Commerce Committee today!   



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