Last Chance to Register - Employment Law Workshop

Business owners and supervisors, nonprofit directors and managers, don't miss this opportunity to learn more about new employment laws passed this year, and what they mean for your business. Join GSSCC member employment law attorney Marc Engel, Lerch Early & Brewer, for a workshop from  8 a.m. to 10 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, December 13, at United Therapeutics offices. Click here   for more information and  to register by noon today. 
at GSSCC Holiday Business-After-Hours

Join GSSCC for holiday merriment, delicious food and drinks including a special GSSCC "Silver Bells Punch" and more, great end-of-the year networking, and maybe a bit of "Business-After-Hours" from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. this Wednesday, December 14, at  All Set Restaurant & Bar (8630 Fenton Street). Each attendee who adds his or her email to All Set's  list will receive a $5 gift card, good for a discount on a future meal, or redeemable for one of the special $5 happy hour cocktails.  Click here to register.

Council Committee Split on Bill to Further Increase Minimum Wage 

Newly-elected Council President Roger Berliner, along with Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Sidney Katz, urged their colleagues to delay action on further minimum wage increases beyond next year, until a study can be conducted to assess the real impact on businesses and the County government budget.  Last week, the Council's Health and Human Services Committee held a work session on Bill 12-16, which would extend the County minimum wage beyond the law enacted in 2013, and mandate further increases of 8.7% in 2018, 10% in 2019, 9% in 2020, and based on the CPI in future years. Councilmembers Berliner, Floreen, and Katz joined County Executive Leggett in emphasizing that they support increasing the minimum wage, but point out that Council has a full year to gather more information to determine how much how fast an increase employers and the County can stand.  Leggett, in a  memo to Council ,  urged, among other things, that Councilmembers consider both the impact on the County's businesses and on the fiscal impact on the County's budget.   Councilmember Craig Rice, who supported the last round of increases, opposes this bill based on data showing that "minimum wage increases generate the most harm for the least skilled [workers]." He is extremely concerned that these new increases could be most detrimental to our County's minority youth. 

While increasing the minimum wage might possibly help a small percentage of Montgomery County residents who work in the County (50% of the County's workforce comes from neighboring jurisdictions), the increase could also mean decreased benefits for the workforce at large, and fewer jobs for those who most need gainful employment, as employers struggle to deal with the higher overall costs. The bill's proponents seem to ignore this, as well as the fact that increasing the general minimum wage will spur collective bargaining negotiations for higher overall County employees' wages, adding to the cost of government and possibly leading to another tax increase. 

GSSCC and other business groups will be meeting with Leggett today to discuss how quickly information could be gathered about the impact on County government, and other matters. Members who would like more information should contact Jane Redicker.

* Congratulations to Shepherd's Table on the grand opening of the new Progress Place, constructed by Washington Property Company. County officials and countless supporters were on hand Saturday for the official ribbon cutting event.

* Kudos to Sandy Spring Bank for its annual "Season of Sharing," during which employees, clients, and community partners come together to help those in need. Read more here. Share or retweet any of the bank's Facebook  or Twitter posts with the "Season of Sharing" stamp, and the bank will donate ten meals to local food bank partners.  

See your company's news here! GSSCC is pleased to highlight news from our member companies in this section of the weekly e-news. Simply send us your information before close of business each Friday. 
Upcoming GSSCC Committee Meetings

* Economic Development Committee Meeting - 9 a.m. on Thursday, December 22 - TENTATIVE

About GSSCC Committee/Team Meetings:  All GSSCC members are welcome to participate in Chamber committees. Members are welcome to attend committee meetings to assess interest in joining a committee. Meetings are typically held in the GSSCC Conference Room. Advance RSVP is required and priority will be given to existing committee members when speakers are scheduled.

Montgomery County Police 3rd District officials have reported 67 thefts from autos in the downtown Silver Spring area since September 2016. The majority of these thefts are from unlocked vehicles. Members, please remember: Lock your cars, and tell your employees and customers to do the same.
  Thank you to our 2016-2017 GSSCC Partners
Corporate Partners - Downtown Silver Spring; Lee Development Group; Montgomery College; Statland & Katz Insurance, Inc.; Washington Adventist Hospital

Business Partners - AFI Silver Theatre; Apex Home Loans; Bud Miller Associates, Inc.; Digital Industry; Discovery Communications; EagleBank; 
The Fillmore Silver Spring; Holy Cross Hospital; Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd.; Linowes & Blocher LLP; M&T Bank; The Tower Companies (The Blairs); United Therapeutics Corp.; Washington Property Company.

Partners - Adam S. Lowe Photography; Atlantech Online; EBA Ernest Bland Associates; Elite Personnel; 
My Office Products; Signs By Tomorrow;
Social & Scientific Systems.

 Friends- Harvey Maisel/Maisel Hollins Development