COVID-19 Business News
Applications Accepted for Reopen MoCo Grant Program

Applications are now being accepted for the Reopen Montgomery Small Business Grant Program. The program provides reimbursement of up to $5,000 for expenses incurred by businesses' and nonprofits' in order to comply with state and county reopening requirements.

Eligibility mirrors the County’s Public Health Emergency Grant program. Grants will be awarded through a rolling lottery for reopening expenses incurred between March 16, 2020 and 30 days after the County’s Phase 3 reopening. Once an applicant has been selected in the lottery, the business owner will have 5 days to submit the required receipts.

Allowable expenses include, but not limited to the following:·
• Personal Protective Equipment
• Materials to create barriers, dividers, protected areas
• Contactless payment systems
• Cleaning supplies
• Signage
• Outdoor furniture
• Disposable food containers and utensils
• Upgrades to HVAC systems

Apply here. Members who have questions may contact Jane Redicker.
Council to Consider Reopening Changes Tomorrow

The County Health Officer has submitted to Council a new Executive Order making a number of changes to current reopening requirements and allowances. Among the changes are:

  • Adding establishments that provide massage, tanning, tattoo, waxing, threading, electrolysis, cryotherapy, facial and other skin services to the list of businesses that may open under "personal services" stipulations.

  • Prohibiting on site smoking at businesses selling cigars, hookah, and vape products.

  • Prohibiting food service establishments from serving/selling alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption after 10 p.m.

  • Requiring malls to remove tables, chairs, benches, or any other items which could encourage congregating from food courts and other indoor areas outside of retail stores.

Read the order here. Council will consider the order during its session scheduled for tomorrow.
GSSCC Urges Congress to Move on Phase 4 Relief

GSSCC joined chambers from across the State to urge Maryland representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives to address several concerns as they consider the newest COVID relief packages. Among the requests were:

  • A safe harbor that holds bad actors accountable but protects those employers who are working to follow public health guidance from needless and costly litigation;

  • Grants or forgivable loans to State Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds that would allow states like Maryland to avoid any significant UI tax increases for employers—who are already struggling with the economic and financial impacts of the pandemic—in future years;

  • Significantly streamline the process of forgiveness for PPP loans totaling $150,000 or less.

There are significant differences between the House and Senate bills, which are being negotiated now. The U.S. Chamber has prepared a helpful side-by-side comparison linked here.
GSSCC will continue to follow and report to members on the progress of the negotiations.
MoCo Council Actions
Jawando Proposes Expansion of Ban the Box Law

Last week, Councilmember Will Jawando proposed to expand the scope the County’s current Ban the Box law.  Jawando’s bill would make all employers subject to the law, which currently applies to those having 15 or more employees in the County. It would prohibit an employer from asking about a candidate’s criminal record or conducting a background check until after a conditional job offer has been extended. Current law allows these inquiries after the initial interview. The bill also would prevent inquiries about certain crimes altogether. Read a copy of the bill here.

A public hearing on this measure is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. on September 15, after Council returns from its August recess.
Look for Two Ballot Questions to Change How Montgomery County Assesses Property Taxes

Last week, the Council took action to place two questions on the upcoming General Election ballot that would change how Montgomery County collects property taxes. Currently the “Charter limit” requires an affirmative vote of all Councilmembers in order to levy a tax on real property that would produce total revenue that exceeds the total revenue produced by the tax on real property in the preceding fiscal year plus any increase in the Consumer Price Index.

The “Ficker Amendment,” which has gained enough signatures by petition to be placed on the ballot, would limit any increase in property tax to the rate of inflation. (When the board of elections determines that a proposed ballot question has obtained a sufficient number of signatures to appear on the ballot, the County governing body must, per State law, determine that it qualifies to be on the ballot. This action is not an endorsement of the proposal.)

Council discussed at length and approved placing an alternative question on the ballot that would prohibit the Council from adopting a tax rate on real property that exceeds the rate for the previous year, unless all current Councilmembers vote affirmatively for the increase.

Look for more details on these issues in coming months.
Events
The annual Chamber Cup Classic is Monday, September 21, at Argyle Country Club. There will be some differences as the Chamber and Argyle are taking extra precautions and measures to ensure the safety of all attendees, volunteers, and staff. But a wonderful day of golfing will still be had by all!

Check out the event page for foursome registrations, available sponsorship opportunities, and ways to get involved.
Although we can't meet in person, we will be continuing our annual tradition of holding a Joint Speed Networking Event with The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce - just virtually this year! Join us for a chance to network with business professionals and to win some door prizes! Double the chambers, double the connections.

Wednesday, August 19
4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Members Supporting Members - Webinar Opportunity

Do you have expertise on a subject that may benefit your fellow members? Webinar sponsorship opportunities are available for member businesses wanting to share their knowledge and experience to support fellow members.

Sponsor a webinar for just $100 and see your company name and logo on all event promotions, including the Chamber website, the GSSCC Weekly Update, and social media. The event page on our website will include a link to your site, and you'll get a list of all webinar attendees after the event. Contact Julie at jpawlikowski@gsscc.org for more information.
Latest News
New Companies are Joining GSSCC!
GSSCC welcomes these organizations that became Chamber members during June. Check out the services they offer.
Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department
Burton Brenner
1931 Seminary Rd.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 587-3400
Companies are Renewing Their Chamber Membership!
Thanks to these organizations for continuing to support the Chamber by renewing their membership during the past month. We're pleased to link readers to these businesses and the products and services they provide.
MEMBERS 15+ YEARS


MEMBERS 10+ YEARS
NEWER MEMBERS CONT.
Home 2 Suites by Hilton Silver Spring




GSSCC loves providing opportunities for members to stay connected and last week's Virtual Business After Hours was no exception. Thank you to everyone who attended and a big thank you goes to NIH Federal Credit Union for sponsoring the event!
* Happy 25 Years in Business to CQI Associates, a nationally recognized energy supply service and consulting firm and Chamber partner for the Energy Purchasing Co-Operative. See more here.

* A Wider Circle will be receiving a donation of 3,750 mattresses and needs volunteers to help get the mattresses into the warehouse. Contact volunteer@awidercircle.org if interested. Volunteers will be asked to wear masks and be socially distant for this engagement.

See your company's news here! Send us your news releases and news items by noon on Friday for publication in the following Monday's edition. Click here for guidelines on submitting Member News.
Does Your Business Need PPE?

As businesses re-open and employers are tasked with providing PPE for their returning employees, GSSCC has launched a “ Back to Business Products” page on our website for members looking to purchase PPE products, signage, and more. If your business is selling PPEs and you would like to be on this page, please complete this form and send it to Julie at jpawlikowski@gsscc.org.
Upcoming Committee/Network Meetings

  • Small Business Owners Network - Bi-Weekly Virtual Meeting - 12 noon on Thursday, August 6.

  • Membership Development Committee Virtual Meeting - 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 25.
OUR MISSION:
Working to enhance the economic prosperity of greater Silver Spring through robust promotion of
our member businesses and unrelenting advocacy
on their behalf.
Thank you to our 2019-2020 GSSCC Partners

Corporate Partners - Downtown Silver Spring; Lee Development Group; Montgomery College; Joseph W. McCartin Insurance;
Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center

  Business Partners - Andalman & Flynn, AFI Silver Theatre; Apex Home
Loans; Atlantech Online; Digital Industry; EagleBank; Eggspectation; Holy Cross Hospital; The Fillmore Silver Spring; Lerch, Early & Brewer Chtd.; Linowes and Blocher, LLP; Revere Bank; The Tower Companies (The Blairs); United Therapeutics Corporation; Washington Property Company.

  Partners - Adam Lowe Creative; Bell Flowers; EBA Ernest Bland Associates; HiTouch Business Services; Image360.
Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce
8601 Georgia Avenue Suite 203
301-565-3777
info@gsscc.org