At the 2019 MACo Summer Conference Session, “Ensuring Small Businesses Excel” attendees learned about the potential opportunities small businesses have to access capital, improve workforce recruitment and training, reduce red tape, improve healthcare, navigate rising costs, and access tax credits.
Moderator Senator Katie Fry Hester kicked the panel off with opening remarks about the Senate’s bipartisan interim workgroup of stakeholders exploring the economic realities of small businesses in Maryland. Fry Hester shared personal anecdotes about small business owners that helped propel the stakeholders into action. She then turned it over to the panel to discuss the roles their organizations play in supporting small businesses and the particulars of what they would like to see addressed over the interim.
Mike O’Halloran, State Director of the Maryland and Delaware, NFIB gave an overview of the state of small business in Maryland and highlighted the ways county officials can help small businesses in their communities achieve success. The NFIB advocates on issues, such as taxes, healthcare, and regulations that affect small and independent businesses.
Paul Bardack, Executive Director of the Maryland Small Business Development Center (MDSBDC) highlighted the small business consulting, training, networking, and funding opportunities offered by MDSBDC. The organization helps the range of small businesses from start-up to those that are established and offers most of its classes at low to no cost.
On behalf of the Maryland Workforce Alliance, Len Lucchi talked about the top 5 ways county officials can help their small businesses with workforce shortages. The Maryland Workforce Alliance is an umbrella organization dedicated to promoting youth and registered apprenticeships in order to fill critical employment shortages.
Rounding out the panel Senator Mary Beth Carozza brought the panel back to where Senator Hester Fry started by discussing the issues the Senate’s interim workgroup plans to take up in a legislative package for the 2020 session. She stressed to audience members that they are looking to hear from members of the community and that people should reach out with ideas and concerns for helping small businesses.
The panel was moderated by Senator Katie Fry Hester and held on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.
Save The Dates:
- MACo Winter Conference – December 4-6, 2019 (theme and registration details coming soon!)
- MACo Summer Conference – August 19-22, 2020