This Week: Workgroup on Pandemic Spending to Focus on Hospitality Industry

Representatives from the hotel, food, and craft beverage industries will share successes and shortcomings of relief programs.

The Comptroller’s Workgroup on Pandemic Spending will hold its eighth meeting on Tuesday, June 7, at 1:00 pm to continue its state and federal COVID-related spending review, focusing on the hospitality sector.

Kevin Atticks, executive director of the Brewers Association of Maryland and founder of Grow and Fortify, a statewide advocacy organization supporting value-added agricultural producers, will provide an overview of the pandemic’s impact on the craft beverage industry and the businesses that support them.

Julie Verratti, co-founder of Denizens Brewing Company, which has locations in Silver Spring and Riverdale Park, will deliver a first-hand perspective of the ups and downs of pandemic relief programs.

The Workgroup will then hear from Marshall Weston Jr., president & CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland. He’ll share the challenges restaurants across the state have faced and continue to encounter more than two years since the pandemic began.

Two representatives from the hotel industry — Onahlea Shimunek, general manager at Lord Baltimore Hotel, and Jeff Brainard, vice president of hospitality and sales with Southern Management Companies — will address the state and federal governments’ efforts to help save jobs and livelihoods.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Comptroller’s Workgroup on Pandemic Spending is an agency-led panel conducting a comprehensive review of state and federal COVID-related spending.

According to a press release:

During the past year, the Comptroller’s Workgroup on Pandemic Spending has heard from numerous state agencies and community organizations about the successes, failures and difficulties of pandemic-related programs. The workgroup, established by the Comptroller after the General Assembly provided funds in the FY 2022 budget for a review of pandemic-related spending that Franchot championed, is examining how funds have been expended, whether they went to intended recipients and populations most in need; disparities in distribution; and possible predatory fraud and pandemic profiteering.

Tuesday’s meeting is at 1:00 pm in the Assembly Room at the Louis L. Goldstein Treasury Building.

The meeting will also be streamed on the Comptroller’s YouTube channel.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

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