University of Maryland Launches Small Business Policy “Hack-A-Thon”

The University of Maryland and the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are launching a “Small Business Policy Hack-A-Thon.” The Hack-A-Thon will bring students and small business representatives together with the goal of creating policy proposals to tackle the economic challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. 
The event, which began yesterday with a virtual kickoff meeting, will take place over the next several weeks with teams working in specific policy focus areas: small minority- and women-owned businesses; workforce development; childcare for working families; supporting non-profits; and cultivating the small business support system. From Maryland Today:
Teams will spend the next several weeks researching and producing policy proposals and present them to a bipartisan group of legislators from the Maryland General Assembly in a virtual event on Oct. 21, potentially influencing what bills are considered in the annual 90-day session that begins in January. “With so much at stake, we can’t afford to work in silos,” said state Sen. Katie Fry Hester (D-Howard), who originally envisioned the concept. “I’m excited for this effort to engage with the community to come up with real solutions, and unleash the creativity and innovation that is possible when unlikely partners come together.”
The SBDC has offered support to more than 2,700 small businesses and 11,000 individuals since the beginning of the pandemic, by providing counseling, training, and securing new investments and disaster related funding. For more information on the Small Business Development Center Maryland, visit their website.