Governor Martin O'Malley Outlines Economic Agenda to Strengthen Small Business, Create Jobs
Governor, Greater Baltimore Committee focus on job creation and access to credit for small business owners at Maryland's first Small Business Summit
BALTIMORE, MD (December 7, 2009) –At Maryland’s first Small Business Summit today, Governor Martin O’Malley outlined an economic agenda focused on access to credit, job creation and the unemployment trust fund, initiatives that the Administration plans to champion in the upcoming General Assembly session. The Governor, who co-hosted today’s Summit with Greater Baltimore Committee President and CEO Donald C. Fry, called on Maryland’s business community to join in fighting for these proposals.
“Small and family-owned businesses are the heart and soul of our State and the key to how we’re going to turn the corner from recession to recovery to prosperity,” said Governor O’Malley. “Representing nearly 98 percent of the State’s employers, strengthening our small business community will help us grow and strengthen our middle class, fuel innovation, and create jobs in Maryland.”
“Most economic growth in our state will be generated from within, so this commitment to small business by Governor O’Malley is very welcomed,” said GBC President and CEO Donald C. Fry. “Small business is big business in Maryland and we must continue to support our small businesses and develop innovative solutions to help them grow.”
Governor O’Malley outlined three key initiatives as part of a broader economic agenda to help strengthen small business in Maryland and create jobs:
- Streamline the loan approval process for small businesses and expand access to credit by creating the Maryland Small Business Credit Recovery Program, offering a loan guaranty on small business deals through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s current loan guaranty program - the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority Program (MIDFA).
Approved banks will be able to apply for up to a $50,000 MIDFA guaranty and a Rapid Response Program will be developed that will offer a 48-hour approval turnaround on loans needed up to a $250,000 guaranty. The initiative could leverage up to $64 million in new private sector lending for small businesses.
- Create jobs by establishing a Job Creation and Recovery Tax Credit, which would award businesses a $3,000 tax credit for every unemployed worker it hires. The initiative, which is proposed for one year with a $20 million cap, would boost job creation and take the pressure off the State’s Unemployment Trust Fund.
- Introduce emergency legislation to address the rate increase for small businesses to the Unemployment Trust Fund.
Today’s Summit, which attracted more than 120 small business owners, brought together industry experts in banking, healthcare, technology and energy and featured panel discussions on the issues most impacting small businesses today, including access to credit and healthcare, the use of social media and Web sites in marketing and the costs associated with going green.
The Summit comes on the heels of President Obama’s Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth held last week at the White House and is the latest effort by the O’Malley-Brown Administration to support and strengthen small business in Maryland. Last week, Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown launched MBE University, an initiative to support Maryland’s minority- and women-owned businesses and to highlight the state’s MBE program.
Over the last several months, the Governor has aggressively pursued a strategy to strengthen small businesses, expand opportunity throughout Maryland, and fuel innovation, including hosting a number of small business roundtable discussions across the State; creating the Small Business Task Force; releasing a ten point strategy to strengthen small business in Maryland; and encouraging members of Maryland Congressional delegation to target TARP funds to expanding access to capital for small businesses.
On Wednesday, December 9, the Governor will join a panel of small business owners to host a live, online Small Business Town Hall at 3:15 p.m. from Baltimore’s tech entrepreneur Blue Sky Factory. Questions for the Town Hall discussion can be submitted by visiting www.choosemaryland.org.