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Howard details COVID-19 budget impact


Howard County released an overview of the COVID-19 impact on the operating budget. In the 12-minute video (available at ), Holly Sun, Howard County’s Budget Administrator walks through the revenue and expenditure impacts, notes fiscal actions already taken, and the challenges and risks ahead.

“we’re feeling the impact on both sides – revenues and expenditures, and we’re not alone in facing a much more challenging outlook than we could have anticipated at the beginning of this year,” said sun. “we know this is going to stress our finances, but we are working to minimize severe actions and ensure our core services are supported.”

in the past few weeks howard county has incurred nearly $4 million in costs related to covid-19 response, and that number is growing weekly. howard county is estimating a revenue loss of over $35 million in the current fiscal year, with major losses in income tax, recordation, and hotel tax.

a significant revenue impact is also anticipated for fy 2021. these revenue losses don’t qualify for any known federal aid, which usually only covers expenses related to emergencies. it is also not clear if there will be any state assistance, which normally reduces funds to counties during recessions.

sun also highlights challenges in neighboring jurisdictions, who are taking similar mitigation steps, including hiring freezes or cutbacks in capital projects. last week, the state of maryland reported a 15 percent revenue loss, $2.8 billion, a major contributor being a loss of income tax revenue. the national league of cities also emphasized that local governments that rely on

income taxes will experience and immediate and strong shock to their fiscal systems, while governments that rely on property taxes will have a more mid to longer-term impact.

the overall economic outlook for the united states has become more apparent in the past week – with unprecedented job loss. the economic impact depends on the duration of the covid-19 pandemic and the federal policy response. many economists are looking at a prolonged recovery pattern, with a 2-3-year gradual recovery like the great recession. sun concludes by emphasizing the significant uncertainties on the aggregate impact from this unprecedented pandemic and anticipating a longer period of fiscal stress potentially beyond fiscal year 2021.

Congressmen call for Small Business fast track


In a letter led by (NJ-03), 49 members of Congress joined to call on Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator, Jovita Carranza to make it easier for small businesses to access critical help through the CARES Act by issuing clear guidelines and procedures on how to apply for and get assistance.

乐彩论坛app老版官网下载“i’ve heard the deep concerns of small business owners across burlington and ocean counties who are days away of having to close their businesses and put people out of work because the help congress passed just isn’t getting to them,” said congressman kim. “this is absolutely unacceptable, and it is a problem that must be fixed. i stand with my colleagues to press the administration to make immediate changes in order to get relief to small businesses and small business owners across new jersey who deserve to hold on to their piece of the american dream.”

the letter addresses concerns expressed by small business owners across the country about the incredible amount of confusion and difficulty in accessing funds through the ppp and eidl. in response, the letter asks that the department of treasury and small business administration, “issue comprehensive standard operating procedure manuals for the ppp and enhanced eidl programs so small businesses, nonprofits and lenders know how they can quickly access or provide assistance.”

“the paycheck protection program (ppp) and the economic injury disaster loan program (eidl) were designed to provide immediate relief for small businesses, and while federal aid has begun to flow, we worry that the full scope of assistance appropriated and authorized under the

cares act will not reach many businesses quickly enough,” stated members in the letter.

乐彩论坛app老版官网下载“the economy is in critical condition, with some early indicators pointing to a large share of job loss coming from small businesses that may not be able to recover,” the letter continued. “to prevent further devastation of our small businesses, we ask you to provide transparency and to work efficiently to address outstanding questions and concerns.”

The complete letter is available at:


Amazon hires and announces 75,000 new jobs


乐彩论坛app老版官网下载Amazon announced more than 100,000 new employees have started working across its operations network, meeting the company’s original 100,000 jobs pledge. As demand continues to surge from people relying on Amazon’s services during this unprecedented time, particularly those who are most vulnerable to being out in public, the company announced it is adding 75,000 additional new roles across the country.

乐彩论坛app老版官网下载during the past four weeks, more than 1,500 new employees were hired in maryland, joining more than 7,000 full-time employees already working in amazon facilities across the state. the new hires in maryland fill a range of roles, including picking, packing and shipping customer orders and delivering packages from delivery stations to meet the needs of the covid-19 demand surge.

乐彩论坛app老版官网下载many were impacted by layoffs related to covid-19 and come from a variety of fields and life situations, including restaurant cooks, bartenders and servers, flight attendants, teachers, business owners, personal trainers, valet drivers, rideshare drivers, retirees, part-time workers whose jobs are now on hold, and people “who just wanted to help out.”

interested candidates can apply at www.amazon.com/jobsnow. jobs are available on a rolling basis and fill up quickly. we encourage people to sign up for text alerts for regular updates. us residents can text amazon to 77088 to receive automated messages about job openings near them. onboarding includes several covd-19 accommodations, including virtual new hire orientation sessions, providing training and information through online sessions.

the roles start with minimum pay of $17 per hour through the end of april, which is an increase of $2 per hour since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, and come with company benefits on day one, for full-time and some part-time positions.

Laurel Turns 150


乐彩论坛app老版官网下载The City of Laurel marks its 150th anniversary this year, with a full year of activities and special events to mark the occasion.

in january, mayor craig moe and the city council of laurel announced the celebration’s kickoff with a special presentation by the 150th anniversary committee.

“there are so many things to celebrate about laurel that we couldn’t have just one event,” said audrey barnes, the city of laurel’s communications director. “we have planned events that run through december 2020.”

乐彩论坛app老版官网下载some of those events have been put on hold until after the covid-19 outbreak subsides.

the overall theme is “laurel is 150: past, present, progress.”

the city’s annual main street festival and 4th of july festivities will be bigger and better than ever, barnes added, and laurel will hold an inaugural multicultural festival on sept. 26 to celebrate the city’s diversity.

“we will be holding a parade of nations featuring children in costume from their home countries and big celebrate laurel today events at emancipation park and mccullough field,” she explained.

a souvenir anniversary passport is also available at the laurel municipal center, which will allow visitors and celebrants to collect special stamps from the city’s yellow-vested anniversary ambassadors who will be providing visitor information at each event.

According to the Laurel Historical Society, the city’s geographic location has been inhabited for centuries, starting with the Native Americans who lived, fished and hunted along the banks of the Patuxent River.

english settlers began arriving in the late 18th century and harnessed the river for waterpower. the snowden family built their first gristmill along the river in 1811 and added a cotton mill by 1824. the b&o railroad began serving the community, then known as laurel factory, in 1835, and some of the original stone and brick millworker houses still stand, including one that now serves as the laurel museum.

like the nation itself, laurel was divided by the civil war and union troops occupied a camp located at laurel station to guard the rail line’s river crossing between washington, dc, and the northern states.

the maryland general assembly approved the town’s incorporation on april 4, 1870, and laurel factory became laurel in 1875.

“we used to be a commissioner form of government, but we are now a strong-mayor form of government with a mayor and city council,” said mayor craig moe, a change that occurred in 1890.

moe said he would be sharing some of the minutes from the original board of commissioners meetings at each month’s mayor and city council meeting throughout the year.

among the firsts that laurel can claim are the first public library, public high school and bank in prince george’s county, and it also claims the county’s oldest continuously operating fire department.

乐彩论坛app老版官网下载like any community, laurel has experienced growing pains and its experiences have not all been positive.

in 1972, alabama gov. george wallace was shot and paralyzed in the laurel shopping center parking lot during a campaign event. several 9/11 hijackers stayed at the nearby valencia motel prior to the terrorist attacks in 2001.

and the city’s history as a slaveholding community is remembered each year during the annual emancipation day parade, a well-known event that has celebrated the african american community’s history here for more than 100 years.

today, laurel’s population has grown to more than 25,000, with a thriving business community, an award-winning library and an active historic district.

New Book
Celebrating Laurel’s history has become a daily labor of love for three native sons who joined forces as the nonprofit Laurel History Boys in 2019.

“i’ve been writing the ‘history matters’ column in the laurel leader for 13 years,” said kevin leonard, president of the leonard group that provides historical re-search services to both federal government and private sector clients.

their group coalesced when leonard met rich friend, a graphic designer and creator of the lost laurel historic website, who introduced leonard to pete lewnes, a collector of laurel memorabilia.

“there’s more history in laurel than in any other small community in the state because of its location,” leonard said. “travelers needed somewhere to stay between baltimore and washington, dc, so [commerce] naturally grew around the stage coach stop, eventually spreading to the cotton mill and giving us our historic main street in the process.”

what’s more, he said, laurel residents seem to have a unique respect and hunger for that history. “we had no idea there was so much interest in local history, and we’re lucky to have tapped into that and have been able to help address it,” he said.

leonard, friend and lewnes have published a commemorative book, laurel at 150, that will be available at official celebration events throughout the year and can also be ordered online via the website.

for more information on laurel’s sesquicentennial celebration, visit .

By George Berkheimer | Senior Writer | The Business Monthly | April 2020 Issue

New economic activity measure available for Maryland counties

Following its inaugural release last year, the  (BEA) has again released economic activity data for every county in the nation. 
The gross domestic product (GDP) data represents the years 2015-18 and measures the market value of goods and services produced in each county. The BEA has previously compiled data for states and major metropolitan areas, and is now diving deeper to examine regional economic conditions, including the leading industries throughout Maryland. 
When researching average sector annual growth, the top five leading industries in the state included information, durable goods manufacturing, management of companies and enterprises, non-durable goods manufacturing, and utilities. With two manufacturing sectors helping lead Maryland’s growth in GDP, the industries totaled 13.3 percent of the state’s increase in 2015-18.
When measuring Maryland by GDP, five counties were named among the mid-Atlantic’s top growers, including Anne Arundel and Prince George’s in the “large county” category; and Howard, Cecil and St. Mary’s in the “medium” category. Cecil County  among the 20 counties in those categories ― an increase of more than 11 percent from 2017-18 alone ― with the BEA crediting utilities as the .
Looking at the state as a whole, Montgomery County, Baltimore County and Baltimore City lead the rankings, making up nearly 50 percent of the state’s GDP, totaling $202.3 million. For additional data on Maryland counties,  from the Maryland Department of Commerce at: .
Another release of county GDP data is slated for December 2020. For even more economic facts and figures, visit the  at

Howard to provide emergency response bonuses


Howard County Executive Calvin Ball signed an executive order allowing one-time discretionary bonus payments to personnel who must report to work to perform mission critical work. The order provides a $1,500 bonus to full-time on-site personnel and $600 to those who are intermittently on-site.

乐彩论坛app老版官网下载the order defines emergency personnel as firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, 911 operators, public works personnel, emergency management personnel, employees with training, skill, or expertise necessary to operate specialized equipment or to provide aid in a declared emergency, including for a catastrophic health emergency, and other employees who provide support functions in their agencies and whose work is not able to be performed through telework.

employees who are eligible for covid-19 response pay will be identified by department heads, with payments expected to go out on may 8.

HCC Business Training Center working with community


乐彩论坛app老版官网下载While access to our Howard Community College (HCC) campus is restricted to authorized employees only, it is fully-functioning and delivering courses remotely. In addition, its Business Training Center continues to work with business and government clients.

乐彩论坛app老版官网下载in most cases, it has been able to reschedule training for a later time or move instruction online to virtual classroom delivery platforms, and continues to meet the training and development needs of local businesses and organizations with a full range of custom training, professional development, coaching, organizational development and business consulting.

if your business or organization would like to use this time for training or professional development, contact sharrie hornak, our director of customized training, at shornak@howardcc.edu; for assistance with resources, information, contacts, advice, etc., email bob muir, director of client solutions, at rmuir2@howardcc.edu.


DCMC warns of “phishing event”


In January 2020, (DCMC) noticed suspicious activity within its payroll system. Upon investigation, hospital officials determined that a small number of employees had fallen victim to a phishing attack. By obtaining employees’ credentials in the phishing attack, the unauthorized third party was able to access employees’ payroll information and their email accounts.

the investigation determined on or around feb. 13, 2020, that certain dcmc employee accounts were accessed by an unknown actor for various periods of time between nov. 6, 2019 and jan. 30, 2020. as part of the investigation, officials determined that some of the email accounts contained data sheets with patient demographic information.

while not the same for all impacted patients, the patient information contained in the emails included: name, address, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license, military identification number, financial account information, treatment information/diagnosis, prescription information, provider name, medical record number/patient id, medicare/medicaid number, health insurance information, treatment cost information, and access credentials.

“upon learning of the potential exposure of personal information, dcmc immediately launched an investigation to determine the nature and scope of this event,” said dave lehr, chief information officer. “this included working with computer forensic investigators to determine the exact information impacted and identities of the individuals contained in the email accounts. we do not have any evidence that the particular emails with patient information were accessed, copied or re-disclosed. however, out of an abundance of caution, dcmc is providing written notice to all patients impacted by this incident.”

dcmc has notified federal law enforcement and is continuing to notify those who may be affected by this event as the investigation continues. it has established a dedicated assistance line for those seeking additional information regarding this incident: 833-943-1369.

dcmc is owned by luminis health, which also owns anne arundel medical center in annapolis as well as centers of care in bowie, crofton and laurel, among other suburban locations.

Congressional delegation gets $742M for hospitals, health care providers


the full maryland congressional delegation, including u.s. senators ben cardin and chris van hollen and congressmen steny h. hoyer, dutch ruppersberger, john p. sarbanes, andy harris, m.d., anthony g. brown, jamie b. raskin and david trone, announced the award of $742,225,306 for maryland hospitals and health care providers through the u.s. department of health and human services (hhs) public health and social services emergency fund (phssef). created through the cares act, this program was designed to enable health care providers to cover the costs of responding to covid-19.

“maryland’s hospitals and health care providers are taking extraordinary steps to protect public health and save lives,” said the delegation. “cost constraints and the need to operate within existing funding structures must not inhibit their ability to respond effectively. future distributions from this emergency fund must be allocated in a transparent manner, ensuring that all of maryland’s hospitals have the resources they need, including those in emerging hotspots such as the baltimore-washington corridor, and should recognize the essential role of other health care providers who treat vulnerable and low-income populations.”

乐彩论坛app老版官网下载approximately $400 million will be allocated to hospitals and $342 million to outpatient health care providers. these awards represent maryland’s share of the initial $30 billion awarded nationwide today. congress allocated a total of $100 billion for the program, the remainder of which will be disbursed at a later date.

through the cares act, maryland has also received $15.6 million for community health centers announced wednesday and $48 million to maryland local governments announced by the delegation last week. separately, the delegation has announced a total of $17.1 million in cdc funding through the coronavirus preparedness and response supplemental appropriations act to support the maryland health system.

HCGH accepting COVID-19 response donations


乐彩论坛app老版官网下载 is accepting donations to support their covid-19 response initiative.

(hcgh) has raised nearly $150,000, including in-kind food donations and sponsored meals, from more than 875 donors. twenty-three local restaurants have provided 13,344 meals to the hospital staff over 17 shifts.

乐彩论坛app老版官网下载“as we face one of the biggest health challenges in our history, providing meals to those working the front lines at howard county general hospital is a way to show our gratitude for all they’re doing,” said jennifer smith, vice president for howard hospital foundation. “it’s truly inspiring to see our community coming together.”

Care for Caregivers.乐彩论坛app老版官网下载 Through financial gifts from individuals and businesses, Howard Hospital Foundation is purchasing meals from local restaurants at approximately $9,000 per day for the hospital staff who are working around the clock to care for the community. The foundation cannot accept homemade food for infection control purposes. Donations can be made online at HCGH.org/give. For more information, email HCGH-Foundation@jhmi.edu.

Financial gifts. Donations supporting Howard County General Hospital’s work addressing the COVID-19 crisis can be made online at HCGH.org/give.

Personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies. Howard Hospital Foundation is accepting unused N95 face masks, surgical masks, safety goggles, face shields, disposable gowns, non-latex gloves, unopened bottles of hand sanitizer, unopened containers of disinfecting and bleach wipes and powered, air-purifying respirators (PAPR) to be used should shortages arise. Contact Howard Hospital Foundation Development Associate Diane Stulman at dstulma1@jhmi.edu or 410-913-7473 to coordinate delivery.

Hand-sewn cloth masks. Cotton fabric masks assembled following Johns Hopkins Medicine’s instructions can be used in non-patient care settings to contain coughs and remind people not to touch their faces. The masks are not medical grade and cannot be used by health care providers as protection from COVID-19 during patient-provider interactions. Finished masks can be dropped off in a bin at the Medical Arts Building at 11085 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, adjacent to the hospital.

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