COVID-19 Business News
Council Approves Order to Limit Indoor Capacity to 25%, Gatherings to 25, Increased Enforcement Expected

The Montgomery County Council last week approved a revised Executive Order linked here that reduces capacity for indoor venues and gatherings and requires restaurants to collect patron data for contract tracing. The new order includes clarifications of the order proposed by the County Executive last week. Below are details:

Capacity to businesses, organizations, establishments, and facilities that may be open is limited to one patron per 200 sq. ft. of indoor space or 25% occupancy, whichever number is lower. This includes fitness centers, indoor food service establishments, museums and art galleries, personal services, retail establishments, and religious facilities. Capacity requirements include all staff in the formula.

Further, food service establishments: shall suspend the sale or provision of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption after 10 p.m.; may, to the extent permitted by law, continue to sell food and beverages that are promptly taken from the premises, i.e., on a carry-out, drive-through, or delivery basis; and must maintain a daily record of the following information for at least 30 days, to assist with contact tracing: date, time, and name and contact information for at least one person of each dine-in party.

GSSCC learned during a call on Friday, that Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Earl Stoddard and Health Officer Travis Gayles plan increased enforcement of these restrictions and are working to identify staff from other County agencies to expand enforcement capacity. They said they are also looking at penalties for non-compliance.

More State and County Grants to be Available

Primary Care Medical and Dental Grant - NEW
This new program will provide grants up to $60,000 for eligible independent primary care medical and general dentistry practices that have lost revenue and have incurred re-opening costs related to the COVID-19 health crisis. The ranking and review system for the grants will include consideration of whether the practice is serving patients from communities and neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 or if the practice. The program application and instructions will be posted on Wednesday, November 18. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 29. Find more information here.

Tourism Anchor Institution Grant Program - NEW
The Montgomery County Tourism Anchor Institution Grant Program will provide financial assistance to non-profit entities in Montgomery County that are tourist-oriented and have a mission that focuses on arts, culture, agriculture and/or recreation. There will be a limited application period during which applications and all required supporting documentation will be accepted. Look for details here.

Restaurant Relief Grant - NEW
This $8 million program is a result of Governor Hogan's new Maryland Strong Recovery Initiative earmarked for direct relief to restaurants (including caterers, food trucks, wineries, and breweries that directly provide food service, individual locally-owned franchised restaurants, and restaurants in hotels and in arts/entertainment/recreational facilities). The program will be administered by the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation and is expected to provide grants up to $10,000 to eligible food service providers. Montgomery County Council will vote on the program today. Watch this space for details.

ReOpen Montgomery Grants Still Available - APPLY HERE
Montgomery County is still accepting applications for grants of up to $5,000 to reimburse businesses for items purchased to comply with State and County reopening requirements to protect public health. A business does not have to have been closed to be eligible for a grant. Find details and the application here. Members with questions can contact jredicker@gsscc.org.

State Layoff Aversion Fund Accepting Applications - APPLY HERE
Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Labor have increased funding and opened applications for the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to support small businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs. The program will remain open through 30 days after the State of Emergency ends or until funding has been fully exhausted. Learn more here.

November Events
Are you missing Happy Hour with your coworkers? Then gather the office together for a tasty new virtual networking opportunity with the Chamber!

GSSCC is joining with Denizens Brewing Co. for a Fall Beer Tasting Virtual After Hours on Thursday, November 19.

Denizens co-founder and beer expert, Julie Verratti, will virtually walk attendees through three delicious beers: Born Bohemian Pilsner, Lowest Lord ESB, and Animal Hazy IPA. Attendees can visit Denizens' website to order and purchase the selected beer prior to the event.

Participants can order a 6-pack of each beer online whether they are planning to pickup or get it delivered. Delivery is available if located within the delivery boundary for "The Denizens Beermobile." Note: a $5 delivery fee applies and there is a $30 minimum for delivery.

Don't miss this opportunity to make new contacts, connect with fellow members, and enjoy delicious Denizens beer!

THIS WEEK!
Thursday, November 19
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Did you know that Montgomery County's "Data Montgomery" website has information that can help you grow your business. We're not just talking about opportunities to do business with the County. We're talking about information that can help you find business opportunities in the private sector.

Join us as Judy Stephenson, MoCo’s Small Business Navigator, leads a virtual walk through of Data Montgomery, and more, and unlocks the wealth of information that is yours for the taking. The last 30 minutes will be set aside to virtual networking in breakout rooms for those interested. The Greater Bethesda Chamber, the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber, and the Rockville Chamber are joining GSSCC in hosting this event.

THIS WEEK!
Friday, November 20
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Latest News
Businesses are renewing their membership with the Chamber!

To say thanks for "sticking with the Chamber" during these difficult times, President Jane Redicker and Director of Membership Courtney Jenkins have personally delivered GSSCC Proud Members stickers for members to display in their businesses.

Contact Courtney to schedule a visit from the Chamber or request a sticker be mailed to you.
GSSCC Joins Coalition to Stop Digital Tax

At the end of the 2020 Maryland legislative session, the General Assembly passed a bill that would create a gross receipts tax on revenues derived from digital advertising services in Maryland. The outcome was legislation that will increase costs for every single person and business that advertises services online—from the smallest mom-and-pop to the largest corporation. Governor Hogan promptly vetoed the bill. However, leadership of the General Assembly plans to override that veto and implement the tax.
If the General Assembly overrides the governor’s veto of HB 732 when it returns to Annapolis in January, the result will be increased costs for businesses at at time when they are hurting the most as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic burden of this legislation will ultimately be borne by all businesses that utilize online platforms (including Facebook and Google) to advertise their services and reach new customers. What is more, if the veto is overridden, Maryland would also have the notorious distinction of being the only state in the country to enact an online advertising tax.

Members can join the fight to uphold the Governor's veto here. Learn more here.
GSSCC YPN Launches New Spotlight Series

In the first installment of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network Spotlight Series, Jessica Wilson of CCI Health & Wellness Services shares why she joined YPN, her favorite YPN memory, and what she's been up to during the pandemic.

Watch the video here. Interested in joining the Young Professionals Network? Contact Julie at jpawlikowski@gsscc.org.
* Congratulations to Elite Personnel on being included in the Forbes 2020 Top 1% of America’s Best Professional Recruitment Firms for the fourth year! Read the news release here.

* The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection has launched its annual Gift Outside the Box campaign to 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 Docs in Progress for the virtual Community Stories Film Festival from Friday, November 20, to Sunday, November 22. The festival focuses on documentaries about the people, places, and events of Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Read here for more information.

* Join KID Museum on Thursday, December 3, for Fête for the Future, a free, virtual event featuring personal stories and inspirational insights from José Andrés, Yo-Yo Ma, and Pam Melroy. There will be maker activities, a silent auction, and a virtual Maker-tini bar. For registration and sponsorship information, read 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 jpawlikowski@gsscc.org.
Upcoming Committee/Network Meetings

* Economic Development Committee Virtual Meeting - 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 18. Topic - Presentation on proposed Business Improvement District to replace Urban District services in Silver Spring's central business district. Advance registration required here in order to receive log in credentials.

* Membership Development Committee Virtual Meeting - 9 a.m. on Tuesday, November 24.
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; 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
301-565-3777
info@gsscc.org