Each year the Chamber of Commerce recognizes business leaders who exemplify corporate citizenship through their commitment to growing our regional economy, supporting philanthropic endeavors, and enhancing the quality of life in Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis.
The Chamber of Commerce celebrates the achievements of young women and men in our region as they begin their journey in their chosen career fields. Miss Maryland 2003, Marina Harrison, a graduate of the Anne Arundel County Public School system and a successful career individual exemplifies what can be achieved by young people.
An Advocate for Business
The Chamber of Commerce's approach to addressing the many opportunities and challenges in our region has earned it the respect and following of elected and appointed leadership at all levels of State, County, and City government.
Chamber members form working groups that seek to understand regional opportunities and challenges, develop solutions, and collaborately enjoin citizens and public officials in efforts that enhance the quality of our life for our citizens, employees, and businesses in Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis.
- The Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County's Great Give 2014 is March 21. Has your organization registered yet?
- Grand Opening - Heron's Weight Loss & Smart-Lipo Centers
- South River High School’s Conducts First Annual College/Career/Job Expo!
- Hospice of the Cheseapeake Announces 2014 Gala Sponsors
- UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center February 2014 Calendar of Events
- The Public Relations Society of America, Central Chesapeake chapter presents a special lunch program
Small Business Digest
Maryland grants residents access to two of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation, and, on average, it is the wealthiest of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In short, it offers ample opportunity for young families to settle down and raise their kids ... Read more!
BUSINESSWEEK - The agency is waiving its upfront, 2 percent loan-guarantee fee for those smaller loans and reduce a monthly guarantee fee paid by the lenders by 3/10 of a percent. The SBA didn’t announce an end date for waiving the fees. The changes mean small business owners borrowing $150,000 will no longer have to come up with $2,550 in upfront fees at the time the loan closes. That will help many of the Main Street retailers, service businesses, craft breweries, and car dealerships that apply for SBA-guaranteed loans ... Read more!
Chamber Advocacy Principles
Consistent with the vision, mission, and core values of the Chamber of Commerce, the Government Matters Committee formulates positions and advocates on City, County and State legislation that impacts businesses in the City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland.
The Chamber of Commerce is nonpartisan in its approach, and does not endorse or oppose legislation based upon political party philosophies or political party sponsorship. Nor does the Chamber of Commerce endorse or support candidates for public office. All elected and appointed officials are welcome to comment and provide information on legislative issues pending before the Government Matters Committee and the Chamber's leadership as they deliberate.
Source of Credible Information
Furthermore, it is our philosophy that chambers of commerce should be resources of credible information that support business concerns, not tainted by political ideology, partisanship, and electoral politics. Elected and appointed officials in all levels of government need to have confidence that chambers of commerce are pragmatic in their approach to issues of importance to businesses. They also need to know that chambers of commerce support a sound process more than ideologically driven motives when identifying workable solutions to problems facing businesses and the broader citizenry.
The leadership of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce believes that the Chamber's role as a business organization is to welcome and nurture a diverse membership from all political, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. In doing so, we serve as a forum where business people from these various backgrounds can come together and work on real solutions for the challenges that face businesses and the broader community they serve.
Chamber of Commerce positions on pending legislation before governing bodies are determined by the Legislative Committee of the Chamber of Commerce. Those positions reflect the Annual Legislative Agenda prepared by the committee and approved by the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Members of the 2013 Legislative Committee for the Chamber of Commerce
Chairperson: Linda Schuett, Linowes and Blocher
Andrew Bing, Kramer & Associates
Harry Blumenthal, Blumenthal, Delavan, & Williams
Walter Childs, Linowes and Blocher
Craig Distelhorst, National Institute for Conflict Resolution
Bradley Freedman, Freedman Capital Advisors
Brian Goff, Insurance Solutions
Bonnie Johansen, Constellation Energy
David Miles, The Drawing Board, Inc.
Geoff Mitchell, Geoffrey S. Mitchell, LLC
Hannah Powers, Alexander & Cleaver
Kevin Tracy, McNamee Hosea
Follow the links below to view Chamber of Commerce positions on legislation pending before the current session of the Maryland General Assembly, Anne Arundel County Council, and Annapolis City Council.
2013 Maryland General Assembly
Clicking on the link below will provide the viewer with the Chamber of Commerce positions on pending legislation in both the State Senate and the State House of Delegates during the 2013 Maryland General Assembly.
Below are links to pending legislation introduced or co-sponosred my members of the Anne Arundel County Delegation to the 2013 Maryland General Assembly.
2013 Anne Arundel County Council
Follow the links below to view legislation pending before the Anne Arundel County Council, and legislation which the Chamber of Commerce has taken a position on.
2013 Annapolis City Council
Follow the links below to view legislation pending before the Annapolis City Council, and legislation which the Chamber of Commerce has taken a position on.
U.S. Congress & Federal Legislation
The Chamber of Commerce follows certain legislation pending before the United States Congress that may affect businesses in Maryland. Follow the link below to view federal legislation which the Chamber of Commerce is following and has taken a position on.
Chamber Economic Development Initiatives
A balanced and equitable tax base is the hallmark of a resilient economy able to withstand fluctuations brought on by cyclical economic forces. It is also one of two primary goals of any well-planned and executed economic development effort. The second goal is to promote predictability and consistency in the relationship between business and government as each performs its responsibilities of meeting the needs and expectations of consumers and citizens. In order for businesses to succeed and prosper there must be a fair amount of predictability in the marketplace. Those in and out of government who pursue ideological crusades and impulsive agendas impacting the marketplace undermine that stability and predictability.
Issues of land-use, the environment, and government efficiency in areas where they interface with business have the potential of undermining marketplace stability and predictability if government chooses to act unilaterally without consulting those affected, and shows indifference to the economic impacts of its actions and decisions.
Our elected and appointed officials in government should take great care not to promote policies or legislation that will undermine the assessable tax base of our City, County, and State. Promoting legislation or policies that weaken or diminish the assessable tax base runs contrary to sound fiscal management.
The Chamber of Commerce counsels against regulations that exceed standards already set by a higher level of government and urges that economic impact analyses be performed before regulations are promulgated or legislation enacted. Where possible, regulatory processes should be streamlined so as to encourage new business development and promote the retention of current businesses that are planning for expansion.
Below are links to the Chamber's Economic Development Committee, Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation, and the Annapolis Economic Development Corporation:
Co-Chairmen: Rick Morgan, President/CEO of CommerceFirst Bank & Dick Franyo, Owner of Boatyard Bar & Grill
Chamber Workforce Development Initiatives
The pressures of rapidly changing technology and increased regional competition require an ongoing investment in the State’s, County’s, and City’s workforces. Public and private initiatives should partner to foster programs designed to supply a well-trained and available labor force for employers. Moderately priced housing and alternative transportation options from residential areas to places of employment are important initiatives and are addressed later in this document.
Adequate funding for workforce development programs in our vocational and secondary schools, public/private workforce development initiatives, and post secondary educational institutions is essential to meet the growing demands for a skilled and life-long learning workforce. The Chamber of Commerce supports incentives that allow workers with obsolete skills to be retrained for available jobs and programs that provide unemployed or underemployed citizens with advanced job skills that meet the County’s and City’s growing workforce demands.
The future success of our society and our economy rests with the children we are educating today in our public and private schools, community colleges and universities. These young people will become the future leaders, entrepreneurs, and skilled employees needed to maintain our competitiveness in an ever-changing world. Educational issues affecting the quality of secondary and post secondary graduates entering the workforce, and issues affecting the availability of teachers and educators in our public school systems, are paramount if we are to compete in an increasingly competitive economy. Those issues also extend to the importance of funding public education.
We need to prepare today’s students for meeting the needs of the immediate present while exploring new and innovative programs for future generations who will enter a workforce different from that to which we are accustomed. It is essential that standards exist to reliably assess student performance prior to graduation from high school and to provide for teacher accountability to ensure that students are adequately educated to succeed in the workplace of today and tomorrow.
Another important aspect of workforce development and workforce readiness is the availability of affordable housing for middle and lower income working families. The Chamber of Commerce is guided by the vision that in order to be a vibrant, attractive and economically prosperous community, Anne Arundel County must strive to create and maintain a diverse community of workers. This necessitates the creation and preservation of a housing market with a broad range of housing options for all income levels.
Below are links to the Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Committee, Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation, Anne Arundel Community College, and Anne Arundel County Public Schools:
Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Committee
Chamber Environmental Initiatives
The increasing degradation of the Chesapeake Bay has generated well-founded concerns over the environmental impact of past land development activities and future land development plans in jurisdictions bordering this important body of water. Some advocates supporting restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, and protection of its coastal land and wildlife habitats, defend their concerns with well documented scientific studies, while others are no growth advocates who mask their intentions with the cloak of environmentalism and diminish the credibility of well intended groups seeking solutions to the Bay’s present predicament.
The environmental stress on the Chesapeake Bay has its origins from use and misuse over many decades, and even centuries. Recently, the Bay’s health has focused on new development and redevelopment around the Bay and its tributaries, and on nitrogen content and discharge concerns. Business and industry have stepped forward to assist in this effort and are actively a part of the solution to improving the quality of the Chesapeake Bay and not the source of its stress. Our quality of life in Anne Arundel County is dependent upon a healthy Bay, and our ability to retain and attract new business to the area is dependent upon our quality of life.
Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed is everyone’s responsibility in Maryland and our home county of Anne Arundel. Businesses and residential communities have joint accountability in protecting the environmental health of our Bay. Failure to address the existing environmental stress on the Chesapeake Bay from past residential and agricultural development is ignoring a large contributor to the Chesapeake Bay’s unhealthy condition. Imposing excessive fees and restrictions on new development and redevelopment projects in an effort to restore the quality of the Bay, while ignoring past inequities, is engaging in a fruitless effort that will lead to disappointing results.
Below is a link to the Chamber of Commerce Environmental Committee:
Chairman: Susan Ford, Attorney - Council, Baradel, Kosmerl & Nolan, P.A.