Governor Martin O'Malley Outlines Strategy to Strengthen Small Business Community
Governor delivers 10 point strategy in an address before the Maryland Chamber of Commerce
CAMBRIDGE, MD (November 5, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley will address business leaders at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce Business Policy Conference tonight where he will outline the State’s efforts to strengthen Maryland’s small business community during these difficult economic times. The Governor’s remarks will come on the same day he addressed travel and hospitality professionals at the Maryland Travel and Tourism Summit.
“If we’re going to turn the corner from recovery to prosperity, we need all of you, and we must continue to recognize that our progress as a State depends on the prosperity of small businesses,” Governor O’Malley will say before the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. “If we want a strong, growing middle class, we must have strong family-owned businesses. And to have strong businesses, we must strive to improve public safety and public education and to expand opportunity to more people rather than fewer.”
The Governor’s remarks come as he releases the first in a series of economic web updates on the state of Maryland’s economy, outlining both statistical and anecdotal evidence of an economic recovery, including rising real estate sales, an unemployment rate consistently below the national average, and companies throughout Maryland that are hiring additional staff. Maryland remains one of only six states that continues to defend a Triple A Bond rating, and is home to America’s number one public school system and one of the most highly skilled workforces in the nation.
Governor O’Malley will outline a Ten Point Strategy today to strengthen small business in Maryland:
- Create Maryland’s first ever Commission for Small Business, built upon the positive momentum of the Small Business Task Force created in July, giving the small business community a permanent sear at the table.
- Expand assistance to Maryland businesses through the Health Insurance Partnership, fulfilling our capacity to serve 1,500 businesses and 10,000 Marylanders with access to quality, affordable health insurance through employment at a Maryland small business.
- Create one, uniform loan application for any small business applying for state financing and streamline the state’s permitting requirements to further reduce the red tape for Maryland small businesses.
- Match President Obama’s commitment to waive borrowing fees for SBA loans on the state level, including fees for the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority, which has financed 26 businesses since July of 2007, providing nearly $5 million in assistance and helping these businesses create and retain 400 jobs.
- Work with our Congressional delegation to secure greater capital from the federal government for our small businesses.
- Expand our efforts to advance Minority Business Enterprise, further enhancing the unprecedented efforts of the O’Malley-Brown Administration, which has set the highest MBE goal for state agencies in the nation, achieving 22% MBE participation across state government in FY09 and awarding $346 million to African American firms – a 30% increase from the previous year.
- Set aside a percentage of certain state contracts for small business through the Small Business Reserve Program, extending the program six more years, allowing Maryland small businesses to navigate the bidding process without being overwhelmed by the bidding power of large corporations.
- Through our Federal Facilities Task Force, work with the federal government to open up federal procurement and contracting opportunities for more Maryland businesses.
- Work with the business community to finds ways to do an even better job providing skills training and promoting career readiness in our schools, particularly as it relates to things like Career and Technology Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education.
- Work with the business community to find a sustainable solution to the unemployment insurance challenges facing Maryland small businesses.