March 14, 2019
GovConnects Education Series: Recruiting & Retaining a Skilled Workforce in Challenging Labor Markets

Low employment rates, skill shortages, limited numbers of cleared personnel, and multiple age demographics are just a few of the things impacting the workplace, leading to a revolving door among government contracting personnel. 

The March 20th Education Series will focus on strategies you can implement to strengthen your workforce, creating loyalty and stability within your business. Presenters will include  Lindsay Moore, HR Strategy Group, Lisa Palmer, Edwards Performance Solutions, and Ashlee Eggleston, Staffing Manager, Intelligenesis.

March 20, 2019 - Noon - 2PM
BTS Software Solutions
6200 Old Dobbin Lane, Suite 190
Columbia, MD 21045

Weekly Legislative Update

As the session nears crossover, the General Assembly is still weighing several pieces of legislation the Chamber has been actively advocating for or against. 

SB 280/HB 166 - Minimum Wage - Labor and Employment - Payment of Wages - Minimum Wage (Fight for Fifteen)

This week the Senate voted to move the Senate and House Bills to Third Reader. Several amendments (tiered regions; future increases based upon surrounding states' increases; earned income tax credit increase; expanding the definition of "small business" from 15 to 25 employees) were unsuccessful, largely along party lines.   

The Chamber has written a letter of support for HB 640, which has passed the House Judiciary Committee and moves on to the House Floor. The bill still needs to pass out of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. As a reminder, this law would provide employers in the State of Maryland another tool to protect the health and safety of their employees. Equally important is the fact that this bill is not a mandate but rather affords the employer the option to seek a peace order should they deem it necessary. The bill also provides employer a safeguard from any civil liability for failure to file a petition on behalf of an employee should an incident occur.

The Chamber has also written a letter of support for SB 665/HB 721, regarding Association Health Plans, which are group health plans that employer groups and associations offer to provide  health coverage for their members' employees.By allowing chambers of commerce and labor unions to create eligible Association Health Plans (AHPs) as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), small businesses, owners and their employees will have access to better plans for lower rates. They allow small employers to pool their employees to gain regulatory and economic advantages available to larger employers.Since the publishing of the U.S. DOL's final rule in June 2018, dozens of chambers of commerce across the country have begun offering AHP plans and thousands of businesses are saving 20%-45% on their health insurance premiums. A coalition of Maryland Chambers of Commerce are advocating to have this ability in Maryland.
Got Questions About the Legislative Process?

Our partners in the Maryland Chamber Federation at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce have put together a helpful "2019 Advocacy Handbook" to guide you through the steps of the legislative process and understand more about how the Chamber is working for you as the voice of business.


Strategic Alliance Partner
This has been a great week for our membership team. We are happy to welcome the following new members to the Chamber!
In honor of our 50th Anniversary Year, we will be recognizing some of our original members throughout the year in this section of the newsletter as well as some of our newest members!
  • The Columbia Orchestra - 14 Years
  • PCI Strategic Management - 9 Years
  • Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, LLP - 6 Years
  • Vaughn C Greene Funeral Services - 4 Years
  • Ourisman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram - 3 Years
  • Caring Transitions of Columbia - 2 Years
  • A-Safe Inc - 1 Year
  • Global Dynamics LLC - 1 Year
  • Walrus Oyster & Ale House - 1 Year
Penacity Celebrates New Location

Congratulations to Penacity, on the grand opening of their new location in Hanover! Our Director of Membership, Ronny Nadiv, and several of our amazing Chamber ambassadors were on hand for the official ribbon cutting. 
Maximum Fitness 24/7 Celebrates Grand Opening 

Congratulations to one of our newest members, Maximum Fitness 24/7, on the grand opening of their Jessup location! Chamber President Leonardo McClarty and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball were both on hand for the official ribbon cutting.

*With support from our  2019 Ribbon Cutting Partner, State Farm - Alexander Brown .
2019 Year of the Veteran Celebration and Resource Fair

This annual event has been developed to provide local veterans and their families the opportunity to meet with government agencies and non-profit organizations dedicated to proving services, support and jobs to veterans. 

April 8, 2019 - 4 - 8PM
Howard Community College
RCF Student Services Building, 4th Floor
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044

2019 Business Appreciation Week

Howard County businesses of all types and sizes are invited to take part in the 2019 Business Appreciation Week from April 22 - April 26! As a part of our ongoing mission to improve the resources available to our business community, each year teams of ambassadors from the Howard County Economic Development Authority, the Chamber, Government Officials and Elected Officials, including County Executive Ball.

The Business Monthly Celebration of the Howard County Chamber Issue

The Howard County Chamber and The Business Monthly are once again teaming up for our annual Celebration of the Chamber issue this June. The Chamber and our members will be featured along with our events, awards and special programs. The Business Monthly will be offering advertisements in the issue until May 1st. If you are interested, you can reach out to for more information.
Congratulations to our Vice President of Programs and Operations, Kristi Simon!

Congratulations to our very own Vice President, Programs & Operations, Kristi Simon, who has just been awarded a $750 scholarship to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Institute for the fourth year in a row!. Kristi will be able to use the scholarship for Institute curriculum tailored to association, chamber and other non-profit professionals.
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