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!

With an annual median household income of $71,122, Maryland is the richest state in America, 24/7 Wall St. said, citing U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) ... 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!

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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

Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation

Anne Arundel Community College

Anne Arundel County Public Schools