Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses suffered immensely through reduced consumer demand or intense emergency-related regulatory requirements. Counties took the lead in mitigating these impacts, some through rapidly designing, funding, and implementing or augmenting small business grant and incentive programs.
At the MACo Summer Conference, a panel of county leaders shared best practices for offering and managing small business incentives and helping small businesses explore new opportunities while building resilience to navigate future shocks.
Delegate Jeff Ghrist led the conversation and moderated an informative Q&A at the “Pandemic Partnerships: Rebuilding Small Businesses” session.
Panel speakers included:
- Laurie Boyer Babb, CEcD, Director of Economic Development, Montgomery
County Economic Development Corporation
- Jonathan Horowitz, Business Leader, Department of Business Development, Washington County
- The Honorable Steuart Pittman, County Executive, Anne Arundel County
County Executive Steuart Pittman explained how Anne Arundel County supported local businesses with grant funding, workforce training, and creative solutions to cut through red tape.
Laurie Boyer Babb explained that county economic development agencies awarded more than $180 million to support local businesses in the Maryland Capital Region alone. She also shared state and local resources for counties to connect the small business community with economic opportunities in the public and private sectors.
Jonathan Horowitz described how Washington County helped local businesses keep their doors open during and post-pandemic, including a three-phase marketing and media strategy to draw visitors by increasing road trips, outdoor recreation, dining, shopping, and hotel stays.
The session was on August 18, 2022, at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland.
Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: