Welcome to the Bi-County Business Roundtable, a newsletter that provides information and news for our business community. The Bi-County Business Roundtable is an organization representing businesses throughout the state of Maryland. We are one of the largest roundtables in the state and surrounding Washington Metropolitan region. We have earned our well-deserved reputation as the “Voice of the voiceless and the go-to for small business.” It is our aggressive pursuit of a healthy economic climate for business and an improved quality of life for local residents. At the core of our mission is the goal of advancing the interests of small business and helping to create wealth for a vibrant climate in the state of Maryland.

Jones Introducing Package of Bills to Reduce Health and Financial Disparities in Communities of Color


House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) unveiled a package of bills Tuesday aimed at minimizing race-based socio-economic and health disparities.

“Our country had a moment of reckoning this summer when thousands of protesters, in every state, demanded that we address the racial inequality that continues to exist,” Jones said in a statement. “As the first Black speaker in Maryland history, I cannot waste this moment.” 

According to a news release, Jones’ Racial and Economic Justice Agenda is the first comprehensive legislative package of its kind and was crafted in partnership with dozens of federal, state and local leaders to address systemic racism in housing, banking, corporate management, health, government and business.

“It is exciting to see such a comprehensive legislative agenda addressing the need for policies to ensure economic empowerment and environmental justice for Black and Brown communities in Maryland” said Dr. Sherita Hill Golden, vice president and chief diversity officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “In order to achieve health equity, it is crucial for all of our citizens to have access to healthy and affordable food and housing, parks and green spaces for exercise, and economic opportunities that enhance access to healthcare.”  Read More

Hogan proposes $49.4 billion budget. Here's what businesses should know

Gov. Larry Hogan unveiled a budget for the next fiscal year on Wednesday that reduces spending by 2% in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic but invests billions of dollars into health, education and public safety while closing an $800 million structural gap.

The budget totals $49.4 billion in spending, down from $50.5 billion in the current fiscal year that began July 1 and reflecting the decline in state revenue caused by the pandemic. Spending from the state's general fund will total slightly more than $20 billion, up 7% from the current fiscal year.

Hogan, a Republican, provided an overview of his proposed spending plan during a news conference Tuesday where he declined to disclose basic details such as the total budget amount. He touted "record investments," which he credited to actions his administration took last year to minimize the impact of the pandemic — including a statewide spending freeze and restrictions on social gatherings.  Read More

Two PPP loans in the same round? Experts say it's possible.

Small businesses that never got a Paycheck Protection Program over the summer might be able to get two PPP loans in a row this time around — if they act fast, experts say.

That would mean getting a PPP loan, spending it and applying for a second PPP loan before the program expires. But while it's possible, experts agree it could be difficult.

"Based on the [interim final rules] now, it does appear that borrowers receiving their first round this time could be allowed to get a second draw as well (if they comply with the eligibility requirements and meet the deadline before the program closes, of course)," said Hannah Smolinski, founder and CEO at Clara CFO Group, in an email. "It would be tight, but if there is still money left in the program by mid-end of March, this may be an option for borrowers."

And that is a big "if." Congress appropriated $284.45 billion for the forgivable loan program this time around, and it's unclear if it will last. During the first PPP round in April, funds ran out in roughly two weeks, and Congress had to appropriate more, though that additional funding was not exhausted. Read More

Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Loans 
U.S. Chamber Coronavirus (Covid-19) Workplace Tips for Employees
CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), February 2020
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Resilience in a Box
Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

The Office of Governor Larry Hogan
Maryland Department of Health
Maryland Department of Commerce
Senator Ben Cardin Outlines The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES ACT

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Labor COVID-19 Control and Prevention
Department of Labor COVID-19 Control and Prevention (Spanish)
Montgomery County Response

PG County Response

Frederick County Response

Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c) 6 and 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. 1325 Bedford Avenue, Suite 5941; Pikesville, MD 21282-7510

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