Governor's Economic Update: November 12, 2009
Hi I’m Governor Martin O’Malley, and here is this week’s Economic Update. Last week we learned that the nation’s unemployment rate reached its highest level in 26 years – 10.2 percent.
While Maryland’s unemployment rate has remained consistently below the national average at 7.2 percent, we must continue to do all that we can to expand opportunity to more Marylanders – including our small business community, which employs more than 1.2 million people in our State.
Last week I announced a ten point strategy to strengthen our small business community. It includes waiving administrative loan fees for small businesses, working to secure greater access to capital and credit for our small business owners and streamlining the state’s small business loan application process.
Everywhere I go, small business owners tell me the biggest challenge they face in this economy is access to credit. Last week, I wrote to our congressional delegation to urge them to support efforts to use existing TARP funds to increase small business lending. TARP funds have been used to stabilize banks on Wall Street. Now our federal government must act to use TARP funds to help small businesses on Main Street.
Finally, as you know, recently we received word that Black and Decker, headquartered in Towson, will be merging with Stanley Works in a multi-billion deal. And this week, I spoke directly with John Lungren, the CEO of Stanley Works, who told me very directly, that he has "no thought or reason to move;" and in fact, Black & Decker’s power tool division would remain in Maryland, along with the jobs that the division supports.
These are challenging times, and we still have a ways to go before our recovery transitions into prosperity. But your state government continues to do all we can to engage our private sector, expand opportunity throughout Maryland, and strengthen the ranks of our middle class, including our family owned businesses. Thanks very much.