October 19, 2020,

Every business in Anne Arundel County, including the Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce has been impacted by the coronavirus. The State and County governments have been working to balance economic activity while ensuring public health. To do this, they have implemented various rules and regulation. Some of these have caused a significant operational challenges for many businesses, both large and small.

I wanted to give you a short update about the Chamber’s efforts to help our members navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 situation. Particularly as it relates to the County’s efforts to promulgate and enforce COVID-19 rules and regulations.

Last Thursday, Board Vice-Chair Steven Brown, Chamber Government Affairs representative Hannah Garagiola and myself met with Anne Arundel County Chief Administrative Officer, Matt Power and Director of Policy and Communications, Chris Trumbauer regarding the Chamber’s Position Paper concerning the County’s COVID-19 regulations. You can click HERE to see a copy of the Position Paper.

We had a frank discussion about the issues raised in the Chamber’s COVID Position Paper. Ultimately the conversation was productive, and we have a commitment from them to keep the lines of communication open. We were able to get some clarification on who was specifically going to be enforcing county guidelines i.e. in the City of Annapolis enforces City guidelines, County liquor board at liquor stores and restaurants with liquor licenses, County health department at other restaurants/food establishments and other businesses, and other times the police for individual issues.

Mr. Trumbauer and Mr. Power also sought input from us about how to better protect a business if a customer was not in compliance rather than simply citing the business. We also encouraged them to use some of the remaining funds from the CARES Act to help restaurants during the winter and we were pleased to hear they were already looking into this.

We explained that businesses need to get information about any changes and offered to assist them in getting information out to businesses and serve as a conduit as we all agreed that consistent education was not only best for businesses but also public health.

All in all, we believe we are clearly on their radar in terms on continued conversation surrounding COVID and any next steps they will be taking in response to the pandemic. We are going to keep the conversation going and they were appreciative that we reached out.

If you should have any questions about the Position Paper or concerns about the establishment and enforcement of current and future COVID-19 regulations, please feel free to contact me. In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates. Together we are,

Moving Forward,

Mark Kleinschmidt

President and CEO