January 29, 2021
COVID Dominates News, Policy Landscape
The continued fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is still the top issue, in many ways, across the Annapolis policy world, and Maryland as a whole. The legislature seems to be fast-tracking its RELIEF efforts to deliver rapid assistance to businesses and workers. Meanwhile, counties continue to work to vaccinate priority residents – even as the distribution broadens to private providers with fewer such precautions.
Schools are looking toward the Governor’s strongly urged March 1 deadline to offer in-class instruction options – but the caseloads generally remain above the “triggers” set as safety indicators. The health, economic, and legal consequences of this devastating disease continue to occupy the headlines in Maryland and across America.

Over the years, dozens of seasoned executives and effective change agents have been asked why change is so hard. A great explanation came from Marc Varner, the global chief information security officer at YUM! Brands. He said, “Change is hard because, like water and electricity, people follow the path of least resistance.” People like comfort. They like predictability. They like to know what’s going on and what’s going to happen. This, in part, is what separates great leaders from everyone else. Read more...
Conduit Street Podcast Corner:

On the inaugural episode of Conduit Street Podcast #AfterDark, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson discuss the latest on the governor's stimulus package -- including competing fiscal analyses, timing, and a new, add-on proposal from Senate Democrats; recap some of the week's most intriguing bill hearings, and provide updates on broadband, funding for local health departments, COVID-19 liability protections, and criminal justice issues.
Listen to any Conduit Street Podcast Episode: www.mdcounties.org/Podcast
Counties In Action
Mayor Brandon Scott joins Governor Hogan and other Maryland leaders to promote acceptance of the COVID vaccine among Marylanders
Somerset celebrates a version of Maryland's official state cake!
Montgomery focuses on making county "cleaner and greener" in 2020 Year in Review video
Corporate Partner Corner

MACo’s Gold Corporate Partner, BGE, is offering Energizing Small Business Grants to businesses located within their service area.
Small businesses located within BGE’s service area can now apply for a BGE Energizing Small Business Grant of $20,000. This grant program is a multi-year commitment expected to run through at least 2023.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Maryland’s economy and are job creators, especially the historically underrepresented minority and women-owned businesses. These businesses deserve a boost to help their recovery from the pandemic’s far-reaching impacts,” said BGE’s senior vice president of Governmental and External Affairs, Rodney Oddoye.

BGE’s comprehensive efforts to support Marylanders during the COVID-19 pandemic have included an additional $1.5 million contribution to the Fuel Fund of Maryland, $1 million in funding to county-administered business pandemic relief funds, and extending flexible payment arrangement plans to help qualifying customers to maintain their electric and gas service. The Energizing Small Business Grants program and all nonprofit contributions are made using shareholder dollars and are not reflected in customer bills. Read more.
BGE - Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility with over 3,300 employees delivering power, safely and reliably, to approximately 1.2 million customers in central Maryland. @MyBGE

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