COVID-19 Business News
Hogan Announces Unemployment Insurance Tax Relief,
Commerce Department Business Loan Forgiveness 

For months, GSSCC has advocated at the state and federal levels for measures that would prevent sudden and substantial increases in unemployment insurance taxes for employers that had to layoff or furlough employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, Governor Hogan, last week, took a first step in providing this kind of relief.

The Executive Order maintains the same benefit ratio used to calculate an employer’s 2020 tax rate in the calculation of their tax rate for 2021. Therefore, an employer’s 2021 tax rate will be calculated based on their pre-pandemic experience by excluding the 2020 fiscal year and, instead using the last three fiscal years of 2017, 2018, and 2019. All chargeable benefits paid to former employees from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, will not impact employer tax rates for 2021. Find more details here.

Forgiveness of $75 Million in Emergency Loans

To provide additional economic relief, the governor directed the Department of Commerce to forgive the $75 million in emergency loans that the state provided to businesses during the first round of economic relief in March and convert them all to grants. The Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund provided $75 million in loans to businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 full- and part-time employees.
County to Implement Additional Restrictions

County Executive Marc Elrich has proposed increased restrictions for restaurants, retailers, sports, and social gatherings. The County Council will review and is expected to approve the order tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15. If approved, the restrictions will go into effect at 5 p.m. tomorrow evening. Among the new restrictions:

  • All indoor dining is suspended, except for health care facilities
  • Outdoor dining hours are restricted to 6 a.m. through 10 p.m.
  • Retail maximum capacity is changed to one person per 200 square feet of retail space not to exceed 150 persons.
  • Reducing indoor gatherings to no more than 10 and outdoor gatherings to no more than 25.

Read the full Executive Order here.
GSSCC Seeking Successful Business Pivot Stories!

Did you see SEEC's successful pivot story in last week's newsletter? Want your business featured? The Chamber would like to celebrate any member business that successfully adapted during the pandemic, be it with a new product, new business model, or the like. Share your successful business pivot stories with the Chamber by emailing Jane here.
December Events
The GSSCC cordially invites Chamber members to join us for GSSCC 101: Virtual Member Orientation. This virtual event is for new members or new representatives of member companies with a maximum of two per business.

This is the perfect event to learn how to make the most of your membership investment, connect with your fellow Chamber members, and meet the GSSCC staff, board members, and ambassadors.
Thursday, December 17
9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Connect MoCo Speed Networking

Join GSSCC and several other area chambers and networking organizations for a virtual joint speed networking event run by Connect MoCo. This is a great opportunity to grow your network and make new connections.

Thursday, December 17
5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Latest News
Save the Date: YPN Beach Party Thursday, January 28
Mark your calendars and start looking for your best Hawaiian shirt!

The Young Professionals Network will be hosting the annual Beach Party Business After Hours on Thursday, January 28, at 5 p.m.

Enjoy the beach without even leaving your house with this fun virtual networking opportunity!

Watch this space for upcoming details.
Virtual Procurement Fair Recordings Now Available
Last week, the Chamber joined the Montgomery County Office of Procurement and other area chambers for a Virtual Procurement Fair where members could learn about upcoming solicitations directly from County departments

You can view session recordings and download the presentations here.
New! Home for the Holidays with GSSCC Member Restaurants

Just because the holiday season might look a little different this year doesn’t mean you can’t have a delicious dinner or seasonal treats! Although restaurants will operate without indoor dining, you can still get great carryout or delivery from your favorite restaurants.

Check out the new "Home for the Holidays with GSSCC Member Restaurants" page for holiday specials and promotions!
Help support member businesses this holiday season! Check out these holiday promotions:

* All Set Restaurant & Bar: Oh What a Year! Holiday Dinner for four for $150. View the flyer here and place your order here. Choose Your Own Adventure dinner specials for two for $55. Details and order form here.

* Ellsworth Place: Offering a free “ELLS the Elf” gift with purchase when you spend $100 at a single or multiple store(s) at Ellsworth Place in one day. This promotion runs Monday, December 7, through Wednesday, December 23. Read here for promotion details.

* Hampton Inn by Hilton and Homewood Suites are offering a Holiday room rate for their Take the Elevator Home campaign. Available Sunday, December 20 through Sunday, December 27, enjoy $79 King and $89 two Queen at Hampton Inn by Hilton and rooms starting at $89 at Homewood Suites. Read more here.

* Nothing Bundt Cakes: Beginning Wednesday, December 9, the following flavors will be available for order: lemon, white chocolate raspberry, chocolate chocolate chip, red velvet, and peppermint chocolate chip. Place your order here.
* Congratulations to Clean Cuts & Cerebral Lounge on the recent launch of Clean Cuts Interactive. Read the news announcement here.

* Congratulations to The Urban Winery on its partnership with Tipsy Teacher, a teacher-owned online wine company that donates 15% of the proceeds of every order directly to underfunded and underappreciated teachers from Read here for more information.

* Lamar Advertising Company and FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency have announced a deal that allows potentially life-saving information carried on FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System to be displayed on Lamar's nationwide digital billboard network in areas threatened by severe weather and other public safety emergencies. Read the news release here.

* MissHeard Media has launched a Self-Care Kit that features a collection of products from small businesses that will encourage young women to practice self-care. Read the Source of the Spring article here.

* The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection's annual Gift Outside the Box campaign encourages residents to give in unique and meaningful ways to create deeper personal connections; minimize the environmental impact of gift giving; and support local businesses and organizations. Read here to learn more about the Gift Greener challenge.

* Join A Wider Circle on Wednesday, December 16, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for "Help Us Help Our Neighbors" virtual lunch event. The organization will share how it's been dealing with the pandemic as it continues to serve the vulnerable and will discuss the many ways businesses can get involved, often safely from a distance. Read here for more information.

* Silver Branch Brewing Co. now offers delivery on demand. Read here for more information. Silver Branch is also participating in a food drive to benefit Manna Food Center. Bring in three non-perishable food items to Silver Branch and receive 10% off beer. For more details, read here.

* Matchbox Restaurant is offering a Pizza It Forward deal. For every purchase of the new Italian-style cheese pizza, a pizza will be donated to someone in need. This deal runs through close of business on Thursday, December 24. Read for more information here.

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 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
Upcoming Committee/Network Meetings

* Economic Development Committee -Take 2 - 9 a.m. on Wednesday, December 16. Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson will provide an overview and answer questions about the new Subdivision Staging Policy. Committee members will receive a calendar invitation. Others interested in participating should email Jane Redicker.
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; 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; Image360.
Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce
8601 Georgia Avenue Suite 203