March 30, 2020
Join the Chamber to Re"ZOOM" Networking
 
Pour yourself a cup of coffee (or tea) and join the Chamber on Wednesday, April 1, at 8 a.m. for a Virtual Networking Breakfast via ZOOM. Reconnect remotely with your fellow members, learn how others are weathering the storm, share resources and support, and stay connected to the greater Silver Spring business community. Registration is required here
"Viral" Updates - News, Resources re COVID-19
BREAKING NEWS - Governor Issues Stay At Home Order

During a news conference this morning, i n response to the escalating coronavirus pandemic, Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order directing all Marylanders to stay at home 
effective 8 p.m. this evening. He said that no Maryland resident should leave home except for an urgent reason-to obtain food, medicine or medical attention, or to travel to an essential job.  The order also provides further guidance, details, and definitions for "essential" and "non-essential" businesses and supersedes all previous orders. Read the order   here.  In addition, the Governor's legal counsel provided more guidance for "non-essential" businesses previously offering pick-up service.

President Signs $2 Trillion  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

On Friday, March 27, President Trump signed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package that provides some $350 billion in support of small businesses. Most relevant is the  Paycheck Protection Program, providing 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses having fewer than 500 employees (including charitable organizations, sole proprietors, and independent contractors). Certain provisions allow these loans to be forgiven. A summary, provided by the U.S. Chamber, is here

GSSCC will host a webinar at 1 p.m. this Friday, with an expert from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to provide more details and answer questions about the CARES Act and what it makes available to small businesses.  Watch your email for details.

Montgomery County Working on Emergency Grant Fund

The Montgomery County Council is considering Expedited Bill 16-20, a $20 Million Public Health Emergency Grant Fund for businesses affected by COVID-19.  Here's what you need to know about the bill:
  • Through the grant program, local businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer full-time employees can apply for grants of up to $75,000.
  • Grant funding must be used for employee wages and benefits, taxes, debt, rent or other operating losses during the public health emergency. 
  • Local businesses and nonprofits can also receive mini-grants of up to $2,500. According to county officials, these mini-grants would help cover the costs associated with employee teleworking during the public health crisis.
  • In order to receive financial assistance, a local business must enter into a grant agreement with the county. The agreement must include conditions related to:
    • the county's right to audit the grantee's financial records
    • the grantee's reporting obligations to the director of the Department of Finance
    • the grantee's obligation to remit any improperly used or unused funds to the county
A virtual public hearing on this bill is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on March 31. Express your concerns and opinions by providing testimony either through email here , U.S. mail, or placing it in the drop-off box located in front of the doors of the Council Office Building next to the fish pond entrance (parking garage side of building). Call 240-777-7803 for additional information.
Join the YPN for a Virtual Happy Hour & Meeting!

Join the GSSCC Young Professionals Network on Thursday, April 2, at 4 p.m. for a Virtual Happy Hour and Meeting. Keep engaged with your professional community, swap teleworking horror stories, and enjoy a brew or two from your home. We'll discuss upcoming YPN events and volunteer efforts for the foreseeable future. Registration is required here
Members Open for Business....or Gift Card Purchase

We live in extraordinary times, as the challenges brought by the COVID- 19 pandemic alter the way we do business, indeed the way we live. And in these extraordinary times, we need to salute and support the businesses that work to protect the health of their employees, customers, and the community, and, at the same time, provide the goods and services that we all still require.
 
GSSCC has compiled a list of businesses that are still open for business - restaurants offering carry-out and delivery services, studios offering online exercise and fitness classes, hotels, retailers, and more. Now, more than ever, they need our support. Take advantage of their offerings, and pick up a gift card or two to share with a friend, or hold for a celebration when we are at the other end of these challenging times.

If your business is open and providing services but isn't on the list, please email Courtney at cjenkins@gsscc.org so she can add your information.  

NOTE:  This list is being regularly updated. Check back for changes.
As the COVID-19 pandemic develops, the Chamber continues to be committed to maintaining professional  connections,  expanding networks, and  providing support and value to our members. That is why it so  vital to share our members news with one another in this time of
distance and uncertainty. Please send us your news and announcements so we can all stay
engaged and connected. If your business is parenting with another member(s), please let us know so we can share!
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Shepherd's Table has partnered with Eggspectation and other local restaurants for a "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" initiative to purchase food that will be served to Shepherd's Table guests in their daily meal program. Anyone can make a donation online that will help pay for the ordered food. Read here for more information. 

Urban Winery  has created a Go Fund Me page in an effort to support its loyal, but temporarily laid-off staff during this time when its tasting room must remain closed. Read  here  for more. 

* Security Industry Association (SIA) and ASIS International have formed a new partnership to best aid in the COVID-19 recovery and rebuilding efforts of their diverse group of member professionals and member companies. Read the news release here.

Bell Flowers  has created fun in-home DIY flower kits that will help entertain your kids and maintain social distance. Bell Flowers will deliver all the flowers, greens, and a vase, right to your front door along with a link to a tutorial video. Order online here or call 301-588-1300.

Montgomery Community Media wrote an article on the work Interfaith Works is doing to help the homeless population during the pandemic. Read the article here.

* Docs in Progress has announced its 2020 Fellows and welcomed Angela Pinaglia as the Inaugural Fellow Facilitator. Congratulations! Read more here.   

* Arthur Murray Dance Center Silver Spring is offering a deal for new students: the first lesson is free! This offer is good until Wednesday, April 1. Read here for more information. 

* Eggspectation has a new gift card special, updated hours, and family style meals that will feed a family of four. For more information, read here

Gandhi Brigade Youth Media will start launching online programs gradually starting Monday, April 6, and is accepting submissions for the Youth Media Festival Competition until Friday, May 8. Read here for more updates. 

* Read here for an update on news and information from Montgomery College.
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GSSCC members are awesome!  We've been hearing stories about how our members are going above and beyond to support their employees and the community as we all struggle with managing through the COVID-19 pandemic. We'd love to share what you are doing for your employees, your customers, and the community.  Please email your stories to jpawlikowski@gsscc.org.
Upcoming Committee/Network Meetings

As the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust many businesses into a world of teleworking and social distancing, maintaining  professional connections becomes more important than ever. While GSSCC has put our in-person meetings and events on hold, we are working to provide our members opportunities to come together virtually.   All April meetings will either be rescheduled or held virtually via Zoom. 

Economic Development Committee - Discussion with Montgomery County Planning Board staff on update of the Silver Spring Master Plan  - TENTATIVELY  RESCHEDULED FOR 9 a.m. ON APRIL 22, will likely be virtual.

* Small Business Owners Peer Network   - 12 noon on Thursday, April 2 - Network will meet virtually. Contact jredicker@gsscc.org for details.

* Young Professionals Network - 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 2. Network will meet virtually. Contact jpawlikowski@gsscc.org for details.

* Non-Profit Team - 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14 - Team will meet virtually. Contact cjenkins@gsscc.org for details.
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.
 
To reach the Chamber staff, call 301-565-3777.
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