Agenda Item 5C
May 2,2017
Action
MEMORANDUM
April 28, 2017
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
County Council
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative
Attome~
(~
Action:
Bill 8-17, Executive Branch - Business Services Center - Established
Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee recommendation (3-0):
approve
the Bill with amendments.
Bill 8-17, Executive Branch - Business Services Center - Established, sponsored by Lead
Sponsors Council President Berliner and Councilmember Riemer and Co-Sponsors
Councilmembers EIrich, Navarro, Katz and Rice, was introduced on April 4. A public hearing
was held on April 25 and a Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee
worksession was held on April 26.
Bill 8-17 would establish a Business Services Center in the Office ofthe County Executive
and define the duties of the Center. The County Attorney's Office found no legal issues with the
Bill. See ©5.
Background
The Business Services Center would be a dedicated office within County Government to
assist, inform, and advocate on behalf of businesses, including helping businesses interact with
County Government. It would provide dedicated constituent service for County businesses in the
Office of the Executive. The existing small business navigator would become part of the Center.
In addition to the existing duties of the small business navigator, the Center would:
(l)
(2)
provide constituent services for businesses operating in the County or planning to
operate in the County, including:
(A) communicating about new and revised County laws and regulations
affecting County businesses;
(B) public outreach;
(C) providing technical publications on County policies;
(D) operating workshops and conferences; and
(E) convening targeted business development events; and
serve as a point of contact for County businesses seeking to:
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(3)
(A) obtain a County contract; or
(B) comply with County requirements and regulations; and
advocate for County businesses with other State, County, and local government
agencies.
Public Hearing
All 5 speakers supported the Bill in concept. Ginanne Italiano, representing the Greater
Bethesda Chamber of Commerce (©12-l3), Marilyn Balcombe, representing the
GaithersburgiGennantown Chamber of Commerce (©14), Jane Redicker, Greater Silver Spring
Chamber of Commerce (© 15-16), and Ilaya Hopkins, Montgomery County Chamber of
Commerce (©17-18), each supported the Business Services Center as an important tool to
publicize new County laws and regulations affecting businesses and to enhance the work of the
small business navigator. The Chambers also made some suggestions for amendments to the Bill
in their written testimony. MCGEO President Gino Renne (©19) also supported the Bill as a
method of reinstituting the work of the fonner Department of Economic Development in
advocating for businesses operating in the County that has not been assumed by the private
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC).
At the hearing, Councilmember Leventhal referred to correspondence he recently
exchanged with MCEDC President and CEO David Petr concerning the ability ofMCEDC to serve
the business assistance role fonnerly perfonned by the Department of Economic Development. A
copy ofMr. Leventhal's correspondence is at ©20-23 and Mr. Petr's reply is at ©24-25.
PHED Worksession
Council President Berliner and Councilmember Navarro attended the meeting in addition
to the members of the PHED Committee. The Executive Branch was represented by Assistant
CAO Bonnie Kirkland and Assistant CAO Lily Qi. David Petr, President and CEO ofthe MCEDC
answered questions from the Committee. Council staff was represented by Robert Drummer,
Senior Legislative Attorney, 'and Gene Smith, Legislative Analyst. The Committee discussed the
amendments proposed by the Executive and the need for the functions that would be assigned to
the Group. Lead Sponsor Council President Berliner supported the Executive's proposed
amendments. The Committee also discussed whether communicating to businesses about new
laws and regulations should be done with current resources by the Public Infonnation Office and
how to fund the Group.
Mr.
Petr stated that MCEDC did not believe it should handle constituent
service for individual businesses.
The Committee recommended (3-0) to approve the Bill with the Executive's amendments
changing the name to the Business Solutions Group and modifying the description ofthe functions.
Discussion
2
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1.
What is the fiscal and economic impact of the Bill?
OMB estimated that the Bill would require the addition of 2 new Grade 25 Program
Manager II positions at an annual cost of $227,380. OMB also estimated an additional cost of
$70,000 each year for events and marketing. See ©7-8. Finance was unable to estimate the
potential increase in the number of businesses operating in the County due to the new Business
Services Center. See ©9-l
o.
2. The Executive's recommended amendments.
The Executive submitted a memorandum
generally supporting the Bill with some amendments. See ©26.
The Executive requested the following amendments (see ©ll):
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
change the name from Business Services Center to Business Solutions Group;
change "public outreach" to "outreach" in the list of duties on line 38;
change providing "technical publications" to "publications" in the list of duties on
line 39;
change "targeted business development events" to '"targeted business events" in the
list of duties on line 41;
delete the requirement for the Center to serve as a point of contact for businesses
seeking to "obtain a County contract or comply with County requirements and
regulations" on lines 43-44; and
change "advocate for County businesses" to "assist County businesses to interact"
on line 45.
f.
3. Should the Bill be enacted?
Providing constituent service for County based businesses is a core function for the County
government. Each County department and office that interacts with a business operating in the
County is charged with providing service to the business. Each of the tasks listed in the Bill for
the Center (or Group if the Committee agrees to change the name) is important and useful. The
question for the Council is whether these business constituent services can be fulfilled by each
individual department or office under our current structure or do we need a central organization to
provide a liaison between an individual department or office and a business.
The Council must weigh the cost to add 2 new Grade 25 positions along with other much
needed expenses as the Council deliberates on the FY18 operating budget and the County's 6-year
fiscal plan. Since labor and benefits costs for each employee tend to rise each year, one of the
most effective methods to control the growth of overall labor costs is to limit the number of new
positions created. Enactment of the Bill must be accompanied by an addition to the Executive's
operating budget or a corresponding reduction to be implemented.
1
Committee recommendation (3-0):
approve the Bill with the amendments requested by the
Executive.
The PHED Committee recommended a $300,000 reduction in the MCEDC budget that may be used to fund the
Group in FY18.
I
3
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This packet contains:
Bill 8-17
Legislative Request Report
County Attorney Bill Review Memo
Fiscal and Economic Impact Statement
Executive's Recommended Amendments
Testimony
Ginanne Italiano
Marilyn Ba1combe
Jane Redicker
Ilaya Hopkins
Gino Renne
Councilmember Leventhal Memoranda
David Petr Letter
Executive's Memorandum dated April 24
Circle
#
1
4
5
6
11
12
14
15
17
19
20
24
26
F:\LA W\BILLS\1708 Office OfSusiness Services\Action Memo.Docx
4
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Bill No.
8-17
Concerning: Executive
Branch
Business
[[Services
Center]]
Solutions Group - Established
Revised: April 26, 2017 Draft No. =...3_ _
Introduced:
April 4, 2017
Expires:
October 4, 2018
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date: ---=-.:N=on..:..::e=---_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsors: Council President Berliner and Councilmember Riemer
Co-Sponsors: Councilmembers Eirich, Navarro, Katz and Rice
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
establish a Business [[Services Center]] Solutions Group in the Office of the County
Executive;
define the duties ofthe [[Center]] Group; and
generally amend the laws governing the organization of the Executive Branch,
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 2, Administration
Section 2-25B
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL No. 8-17
1
Sec. 1. Section 2-25B is amended as follows:
2-25B. [Small Business Navigator] Business [[Services Center]] Solutions Group.
(a)
Definitions.
As used in this Section:
[[
Center]] Group
means the Business [[Services Center]] Solutions
2
3
4
5
Group.
Navigator
means the Small Business Navigator designated
Qy
the
6
7
Executive under subsection
f£).
Small business
means a privately owned business that meets the
8
9
10
11
requirements of Section IlB-65(a).
(b)
Establishmentof[Program]
[[Center]]
Group.
The Executive must create
and administer a [Small Business Assistance Program] Business
[[Services Center]] Solutions Group [with] that includes a Small Business
Navigator. [to help small businesses comply with County policies and
regulations] The [[Center]] Group must be part of the Office of the
County Executive.
(c)
Small Business Navigator.
The Executive must designate an employee as
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
the Small Business Navigator. Among other duties, the Navigator must:
(l)
advise the Executive, the Council, the Chief Administrative
Officer, County Department heads, the Planning Board, and any
other appropriate government agency, of any action needed to
assist small businesses to comply with County requirements and
regulations;
(2) promote communications between a small business and each
County department or agency that the small business must interact
with;
20
21
22
23
24
25
8
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BILL
No. 8-17
26
27
(3)
develop and maintain a database of infonnation necessary for a
small business to comply with County requirements and
regulations;
28
29
30
31
32
(4)
advise small businesses on how to comply with County
requirements and regulations; and
(5)
identify changes to regulations and requirements that would
improve turnaround, eliminate duplication, resolve conflicts in
authority, and eliminate unnecessary regulations and requirements.
33
34
(d)
Additional duties for the [[Office]] Group.
In addition to the duties ofthe
35
36
37
Small Business Navigator described in subsection
{£1
the [[Office]]
Group must:
ill
provide constituent services for businesses operating in the County
or planning to operate in the County, including:
38
39
.cAl
@
{g
communicating about new and revised County laws and
regulations affecting County businesses;
[[public]] outreach;
providing [[technical]] publications on County policies;
operating workshops and conferences; and
convening targeted business [[development]] events; and
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
.em
ill}
ill
serve as
~
point of contact for County businesses seeking
to[[~
.cAl
obtain
~
County contract; or
47
48
49
50
51
52
~
@]]
comply with County requirements and regulations; and
ill
[[
advocate
for]] assist County businesses to interact with other
State, County, and local government agencies.
Reports.
On or before September 15 of each year, the Executive must
report to the Council on the activities and recommendations of the
[Navigator] [[Center]] Group.
(0
f:\law\bills\1708 office of business services\bill3.docx
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 8-17
Executive Branch
-
Business Services Center
-
Established
DESCRIPTION:
Bill 8-17 would establish a Business Services Center in the Office of
the County Executive and defme the duties of the Center.
There is no central office in County government for a business to
receive constituent service.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
The Business Services Center would be a dedicated office within
County Government to assist, inform, and advocate on behalf of
businesses, including helping businesses interact with County
Government.
It
would provide dedicated constituent service for
County businesses in the Office ofthe Executive. The existing small
business navigator would become part of the Center.
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
Office of the County Executive
FISCAL IMPACT:
To be determined.
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
To be determined.
NIA
NIA
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
NIA
PENAL TIES:
NIA
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.. .
..
:
..
.
. .. .
.
:
.
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY ATTORNEY
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
Marc P. Hansen
COWJty
Attorney
MEMORANDUM
TO:
LilyQi
Assistant ChiefAdministrative Officer
Edward
B.
Lattner, Chief
Division of Government Operations
April 7,2017
Bill 8-17, Executive Branch - Business Services Center - Established
FROM:
f/3(j-­
DATE:
RE:
Bill 8-17 would establish a Business Services Center in the Office of the County
Executive and define the duties ofthe Center. The existing small business navigator would
become part of the Center.
,.
1:
"
I
see no legal issues. Because it is not a defined term, it might be helpful to describe the
"Office" identified
in
line 33
as
the "Office of the County Executive."
ebI
cc:
Bonnie Kirkland, Assistant CAO
Marc P. Hansen, County Attorney
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
17-013623
Bill 8-17 OCA review
tol
Monroe Street, Rockville, Maryland
20850-2580'
(240)
777-6735.
TTY
(240) 777-2545 • FAX
(240)
777-6705.
Edward.Lattnerllilmontgomerycountymd.gov
®
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ROCKVILLe, MARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
April 21. 2017
TO;
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Jennifer A. Hughes,
cUr, )ffice of Management and Budget
Alexandre
A. Espin· sa, Director. Department of
Financ~
FEfS for Bill 8-17,
Executive
Branch ..­
Business Services
Center - E1>iablished
Please find
attached
the
fiscal and economic
impact statements
for
the
above­
referenced
legislations.
JAH:fz
cc: Bonnie Kirkland, Assistant Chief Administrative
Officer
Lily Ql. Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Lisa Austin, Offices of
the
County Executive
Joy
Nunlli, Special Assistant to the County Executive
Patrick Lacefield, Director, Puhlic
Information
OHice
David Platt. Department ofFinance
Dennis Hetman, Department of Finance
Pofen Sa lem, Office of Management and Budget
Naecm Mia, Office of Management and Budget
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Fiscal Impact Statement
Council BillS-17
Executive Branch - Business Services Center - Established
1. Legislative Summary.
Bill 8-17 would establish a Business Services Center within the Office of the County
Executive and defIne the duties of the Center.
The Center would include the existing Small Business Navigator positon and would expand
sen'ices offered to the business community. The Center would assist, inform and advocate on
behalf of businesses, with a focus on providing constituent services to Montgomery County
businesses and
to
assist with their interactions with Montgomery County Government.
2. An estimate of changes
in
County revenues and expenditures regardless of whether the
revenues or expenditures are assumed in the recommended or approved budget.
Includes source of information, assunlptions, and methodologies used.
The Bill does not impact revenues but
will
impact expenditures. It is anticipated that up to
two additional
full~time
equivalent Program Manager II positions, Grade 25, would be
required to deliver the expanded scope of services as identified in BilI 8-17. The total cost
estimate of two staff positions is approximately $227,380 (each position is estimated
at
$109,190 for PC and $4,500 for OE). In addition, a budget of approximately $70,000 is
needed for events and marketing in order to Comply with the duties presented in the proposal
BilL The total annual expenditures are approximately $297,380.
3. Revenue and expenditure estimates covering at least the next 6 fiscal years.
There is no estimated change to County revenues. The total expenditures for the next six
fiscal years are estimated at approximately $1 .78M, including $1.36M for personnel cost
(=$227,380 x 6) and $420,000 for events and marketing (:;;;$70,000 x 6).
4. An actuarial analysis through the entire amortization period for each bill that would
affect retiree pension or group insurance costs.
Not applicable.
5.
An
estimate of expenditures related to County's information technology (IT) systems,
including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
Not applicable.
6. Later actions that may affect future revenue and expenditures
if
the
bill
authorizes
future spending.
Not applicable. The Bill does not authorize future spending.
7. An estimate of the staff time needed to implement the bill.
As indicated in #2, it is anticipated that up to
tVlO
full-time equivalent Program Manager
n
positions, Grade 25,
Vvill
be required to deliver the expanded scope ofservices as identified
in BillS-17 at an estimated cost ofapproximately $227.380.
8. An explanation of how the addition of new staff responsibilities would affect other
duties.
.
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The additional new staff is anticipated to be
fuUy
occupied with delivering the expanded
services to County busiriessesas required
by
the proposed
Bill.
9. An estimate of costs when an additional appropriation is needed.
Not Applicable.
10. A description of any variable that could affect revenue and cost estimates.
Ifthe
duties of this group are either significantly increased or decreased, the number of staff
members needed would be impacted.
11. Ranges of revenue or expenditures that are uncertain or difficult to project.
Costs for marketing and programming are dit1icult to project because the scope ofwhat \Yill
be
needed andlor provided depends on legislative activity and the needs of the business
community.
12.
If
a bill is likely to have no fiscal impact, why that is the case.
Not Applicable.
13. Other fIScal impacts or comments.
None.
14. The following contributed to and concurred with this analysis:
Judy Stephenson, Office of the County Executive
Lily Qi,
Office ofthe County Executive
Pofen Salem, Office of Management and Budget
.. Hughes, Direct
1anagement and Budget
1:&{
II-:r..._ _
~.
(j)
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill
8~17
Executive Branch - Business Services Center - .Established
Background:
This legislation would:
.. Establish a Business Services Center (Center) in the Office of the County
Executive;
and
.. Define
the
duties
of
fhe
Center.
The
Center would include the
small
business navigator and additional duties would
include:
.. Providing constituent services
for
businesses
operating
in
Montgomery County
(County)
or
planning to
opemte in the County;
• Serving as a point of contact
for the County
businesses wanting
to
obtain a
County contract or seeking to comply
'With
County requirements and regulations;
and
• Advocating
tl1f
County
bu.<;inesses with State,
County.
and
local
govemment
agencies in Montgomery
County.
1. .The sources of i':lformation, assumptions, and methodologies used.
The source of
information
is from the Statistics of U.S. Businesses, U.S. Census
Bureau (Census Bureau). 'Ihc Department
of Finance (Finance)
assumes
the focus
of
Bill 8-17 is
to
assist
small
businesses
both
,vithin the County and
those small
businesses
who
plan
to
operate in the County.
For
purposes ofthis economic
impact
statement, Finance assumes a small business employs less than twenty workers.
There are no methodologies used in the preparation of the economic impact
statement.
2. A description of any variable that could affect the economic impact estimates.
According to
the Census
Bureau, there were
18,962
firms with
less than 20
employees operating in the
County in
calendar year
2014,
the latest date that
data
are
available. Of those firms. there were 19,056 establishment.... that employed
72,919
with a
payroll
of$3.778 billion.
The
County's share
ofsmaU
businesses (flrms
and
establishments) was 20.6
percent oftota!
statewide small businesses v.1th employees
below 20, and 19.3 percent of total statewide employment.
'Ihe variables
that
could affect the economic impact
estimates
are
the
munber
of
small
businesses operating in the
COlUlty
and plan to operate
in
the County. employees in
those small businesses, and total employee's
annual income.
Page lof2
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill 8·17 Executive Branch - Business Services Center - It::'stablished
3. The Bill's positive or negative effect, if any on employment, spending, savings,
investment, i.ncomes, and property values in the County.
The establishment of
a
Business Services Center could
have a
positive impact on
the
County by increasing the number of small businesses, emplo}1nent
ill
small
businesses,
cmd incomes to both
bu.."inesscs
and employees. However, we do
not
have
specific data on how the creation of the Business Services Center might impact small
businesses in the County.
4.
If
a
BiU
is likely to have no economic impact, why is that the case?
Bill 8-17 could have an economic impact. Please
see
paragrapb 3.
5. The following contributed to or concurred with this analysis: David Platt,
Dennis
Hetman, Mary Casciotti. and Rob Hagedoom, Finance;
Director
Department of Finance
Alexandre Espi
05a,
Date }
Page 2
of2
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PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO BILL
8-17,
EXECUTIVE BRANCH - BUSINESS SERVICES CENTER
On lines 2, 4, and 10 and 11, in each instance, strike "Services Center" and substitute "Solutions
Group".
In lines 4,9, and 12, in each instance, strike "Center" and substitute "Group".
In lines 32 and 33, in each instance, strike "Office" and substitute "Group".
In line 38, strike "public".
In line 39, strike "technical".
In line 41, strike "development".
Strike beginning with the colon in line 42 through "(B)" in line 44.
In line 45, strike "advocate" and substitute "assist" and in the same line, after "businesses"
insert "interacting".
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THE GREATER BETHESDA
C
HAM
B E R
of
COM MER C E
Smart Business, Bright Future
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1204
Bethesda, MD 20814
T (301) 652-4900
F (301) 657-1973
staff@greaterbethesdachamber,org
TESTIMONY BY GII\lANNE M. ITALIANO
ON EXPEDITED BILL 8-17 EXECUTIVE BRANCH - BUSINESS SERVICES CENTER­
ESTABLISHED
BEFORE THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
APRIL 25,2017
Good afternoon. I am Ginanne Italiano testifying on behalf of The Greater Bethesda Chamber of
Commerce and our more than 600 members, the majority of whom are small businesses and potential
beneficiaries of the proposed Business Services Center.
I am testifying in support of Bill 8-17 which would establish a Business Services Center in the Office of
the County Executive. We believe the concept of the Business Services Center is excellent, especially
if
it takes on the roles of:
Communicator
to the general population and community at large about new and revised county
laws and regulations affecting businesses in the County;
Educator
to small businesses about laws and regulations through all means of communication,
workshops and conferences and partnering with local business organizations and chambers of
commerce within the County to their members and other businesses; and
Point of Expertise and Resource
for regulation and and new laws that will affect small business in
the County.
Over the past several years, it has become much more difficult for businesses to keep up with all of the
increases in taxes, fees, fines and new regulations. It is unreasonable for the County government to
expect local businesses to know what these changes are. When the County first passed the Bag Tax
several years ago, they launched an extensive and targeted communications campaign through various
means - everyone knew the bag tax was in effect in Montgomery County as soon as it started because
there had been a long-term communications strategy in advance of the effective date. Unfortunately, the
same cannot be said for the increases in minimum wage or ban the box or even sick leave. The new
Business Services Center, can be the conduit for this type of information, working collectively with all
appropriate government agencies, chambers of commerce and others to make sure everyone is aware - in
advance of new regulations taking effect - not after the fact.
BETHESDA
I
CABIN
JOH~
I
CHEVY CHASE
I
FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS
I
GARRETT PARK
I
GLEN ECHO
I
POTOM'AC
I
THE PIKE DISTRICT
I
ROCK SPRING
I
WESTBARD
@
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TESTIMONY ByiGINANNE M.ITALIANO
BILL 8-17 EXECUTIVE BRANCH - BUSINESS SERVICES CENTER - ESTABLISHED
APRIL 24,2017.
PAGE 2
..
We agree that the Small Business Navigator should be part of the Business Services Center and work
closely .with; all other agencies to keep up-to-date on proposed and new regulations that would affect
businesses.
We would like to work with you on the specific language of this legislation as it pertains to two areas in
the bill
ieg~ding
"additional duties for the Office." These include "convening targeted business
development events," and "advocate for County businesses with other State, County, and local
government agencies." We don't understand either the need for these roles and expected outcome.
We would like to thank Council President Berliner and other members of the County Council for their
sponsorship of this legislation and your consideration of my remarks today.
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~
Gaithersburg-Germantown
[iD]
Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
910 Clopper Road, Suite 20SN, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878 (301) 840-1400, Fax (301) 963-3918
Bill
8-17 -
Executive Branch - Business Services Center
Marilyn Balcombe
April
25, 2017
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Bi1lS-17, to establish a Business Services Center in
Montgomery County. The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber represents over 400 businesses, most
of whom are small businesses, and many of whom could use these services.
We often get questions from our chamber members about various laws and regulations impacting
their business. Depending on the issue, we refer them to the Small Business Navigator or refer them
to resources outside the County Government such as the Small Business Administration and the
Women's Business Center in Rockville. In addition to member calls, we get calls and walk-ins from a
variety of businesses with a range of questions on a very regular basis. Regardless of whether they are
members of the Chamber, we work with them and try to point them in the right direction. For some,
they just need a little help to get started, for others, they need some pretty significant hand holding.
The Business Services Center would be a great resource for all of these businesses.
For me, there are two critical components of this Bill. The first would be communicating new laws and
regulations affecting businesses, which would include providing technical publications on various
County policies. As we learned from the Sick and Safe Leave legislation, there needs to be a
comprehensive strategy for communicating changes in legislation to businesses, particularly small
businesses that do not have in-house Human Resource staff. The communication roll-out of the Sick
and Safe legislation was a disaster. I know that the Office of Civil Rights held a number of seminars on
the topic, but my guess is that the seminars reached a very small number of businesses in the County.
The other critical component would be to continue and enhance the Small Business Navigator role.
This needs to be done by coordinating rather than duplicating services. The Business Services Center
must have a strong working relationship with all the departments within County Government,
particularly Office of Procurement, Department of Permitting, various code enforcement agencies, as
well as MCEDC. My hope would be that the Business Services Center would also work directly with
local Chambers of Commerce to help our members navigate through County government. To be truly
effective, the Business Services Center must be more than a 311 service for businesses. It must help
businesses find the solutions they need to succeed.
Other than the importance of coordinating existing services, my only other concern about the Bill as
written is the inclusion of "public outreach". I don't understand what that would entail and I wouldn't
want to see the Business Center lose its business focus.
Thank you for your consideration and encourage you to support this Bill.
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SILVER
CHAMBER
OF
COMMERCE
GREATER
OUR MISSION:
SPRING
Working to enhance the economic prosperity of greater Silver Spring
through robust promotion of our member businesses and unrelenting
advocacy on their behalf.
Public Hearing - BillS-17 - Executive Branch-Business Services Center-Established
I','
Montgomery County Council- Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, represents more than 460 employers, mostly small
businesses, that provide more than 17,000 jobs in greater Silver Spring. We thank you for the
opportunity to comment on Bill 8-17, which would establish a Business Service Center in Montgomery
County.
It
is all too common for chamber members to reach out to us for assistance in navigating the laws and
regulations affecting their operations in Montgomery County. Often, we get questions about new laws,
where to get information, how to comply. This was the case with both the minimum wage bill, passed
in 2013, and the recent mandatory sick leave bill. Unfortunately, the County Office of Human Rights,
tasked with enforcing these laws, is simply not equipped to effectively communicate about them. Our
Chamber is also the "go to" source for business owners who run into problems trying to get their
locations open or expand existing operations. We typically hear from those experiencing problems
navigating the County's regulatory and pennitting system.
The establishment of the Small Business Navigator in the Office of the County Executive was a
welcome first step. But given the myriad new regulations and laws that affect business in Montgomery
County, additional resources are needed to assist, infonn, and navigate on behalf of businesses. That's
why we support the establishment of a broader Business Services Center, which we see as an important
expansion of the Navigator's responsibilities. Indeed, the duties of the Small Business Navigator,
defined in current law, mirror what we believe should be the primary responsibilities ofthe Business
Services Center.
For our members, the two most important elements of this bill are: 1) communicating about new
policies, laws, and regulations that affect business, and 2) increasing the capacity ofthe navigator role.
The responsibility for communicating about new and revised County laws, providing technical
publications, and holding workshops on new regulations should be moved from the Office of Human
Rights to the Business Services Center. As laws are enacted and updated, it will be important to push
this infonnation out to the business community in a timely manner. This can be accomplished through
mailings (electronic and paper) and in coordination with chambers of commerce, the County's new
business portal website, news releases, and in-person presentations, scheduled at locations throughout
the county that are convenient for small businesses to attend.
It
will also be important to have staff
promptly well-schooled on the new laws and available to answer questions directly, without requiring
businesses to go through the County's 311 operators.
The second, and likewise critical, role of the Business Services Center should be to enhance and
expand the Small Business Navigator function, by providing constituent-type services to County
businesses and to work on their behalf navigating the challenges of County government. The Center's
end goal should be finding solutions that reflect a culture of"YES! we will get your business up and
running." That is why it is important for the staff within the Business Services Center to have strong
working relationships with all County Government departments, but specifically the Office of
8601 Georgia Avenue, Suite 203, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
@
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Procurement, Department of Permitting, and various code enforcement agencies. We also see the
Business Services Center helping business to deal with some bi-county and state agencies and,
possibly, local utilities (Pepco, WSSC., etc.).
We do have a few concerns about the bill, as currently drafted. Specifically:
Public outreach - Use of the word "public" could imply that the Center would communicate with the
general public, which is not within the purview of what we believe to be its mission. We would suggest
replacing this language with "comprehensive communications with County businesses," as this can include
such things as maintaining an up-to-date web portal of infonnation for businesses, outreach about new
government regulations, and infonnation about County programs beneficial to businesses.
Operating workshops and conferences - Because of our concern about "mission creep," we suggest
specifYing that these workshops must be "to assist businesses in complying with new or existing County
regulations." This could include workshops conducted with specific County departments (e.g. Pennitting
Services) on how best to navigate the system and avoid delays.
Convening targeted business development events - We see "business development" as the mission of the
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC). The new Business Service Center
should complement, not duplicate the function ofMCEDC. Therefore, we suggest deleting this language
and keep the Center's focus on providing "constituent services."
Serving as a point of contact for businesses seeking to obtain a County contract - Likewise, we have
concerns about how this function relates to the Office of Procurement. While we recognize that the Business
Service Center might assist businesses who are facing challenges in the County's procurement process, we
do not see it as a primary point of contact for County procurement. Instead, we suggest "assisting County
businesses seeking to navigate the procurement process."
Advocate for County businesses - The use of the word "advocate" is correct as it relates
to
advocating for
businesses with County departments, bi-county agencies, state agencies;and public utilities. However, we
are concerned that its meaning may be misconstrued. While perhaps not a strong, consider replacing
"advocate for County businesses with other State ..." with "help and support County businesses as they
interact with other State..." This, we think would clarify the function.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this proposed legislation.
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THE VOICE OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY BUSINESS
Jim Young, Chairman
Dusty Rood, Chair-elect
Jerry Shapiro, Immediate Past Chair
Georgette "Gigi" Godwin, President
&.
CEO
Bill 8-17 Executive Branch - Business Services Center - Established
Public Hearing
April 25, 2017
SUPPORT with Amendments
To function most effectively; employers need to have a clear understanding ofthe rules, regulations, and
laws that impact them. This is important in a dynamic marketplace where business needs and
requirements change
as
they grow and policies are frequently updated and modified at the federal, state
and local level.
MCCC and its members appreciate the acknowledgement that the business community is an important
stakeholder in the overall success of our community and has unique needs when interfacing with the
County government. The focus of this new entity should be to
diss~minate
information to the business
community specific to interfacing with County government.
There are important ways this focused effort
will
support the business community:
Coordinate Federal, State and Local Policy
Montgomery County continues to be home to a robust federal government contracting industry
sector that is made up of myriad types of businesses. These businesses are focused first and
foremost on federal compliance to continue to operate. There are also State laws that are uniq!le to
Maryland
th~t
must be followed.
In
addition, at the local level, Montgomery· County and even
municipalities frequently enact their own laws that businesses must also adhere to.
An
entity inside
County government that monitors how these work together would be
a
tremendous asset.
Communicate Through Targeted Publications and Outreach
As County laws are enacted and updated, it is important to push this information out to the business
community. This can be through mailings (electronic and paper), website, press releases and in­
person presentations.
Offer Compliance Workshops
Where it makes sense on issues that impact a broad range of businesses, workshops to help·
businesses understand the laws and how to comply could also be run from this entity.
Maintain the Business Portal
As the new business. portal comes online, it
will
be important for it to be actively managed so that
the information is up-to-date and relevant for businesses starting, growing and evolving.
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
51 Monroe Street, Suite 1800 Rockville, MD 20850
301-738-0015
www.montgomerycountychamber.com
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We are concerned about possible areas of duplication or overlap, specifically with regard to
• 'targeted business development events'
.
• servi.Q.g as a point of contact for businesses seeking to obtain a County contract (Office of
Procurement), and
• the role of' advocate for County businesses.'
Specifically, we recommend striking the following language:
• Line 41 (E) convening 1k!:'getedbusiness development events
• Line 43 (A) obtain a County contract
• On Line 45, we recommend striking the existing language and sUbstituting "Provide insights,
information and analysis on issues relevant to employers in the County to inform policy at the
State, County and local government agencies."
To the greatest extent possible, the roles and responsibilities of this entity should be clearly delineated
and articulated.
The proposed legislation solidifies the presence of a point of contact within the Office ofthe County
Executive to support business success that, in
turn,
contributes in a multitude of ways to overall
community well-being, As a Chamber of Commerce whose mission is to accelerate the success of our
members, we look forward to working with the staff ofthis new entity to ensure that our MCCC
. members who have a need to interface with the County government are able to get the information they
need in a seamless and efficient manner that allows them to continue to operate in a competitive
marketplace .
.
~
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
51 Monroe Street, Suite 1800 Rockville, MD 20850
301-738-0015
www.montgomerycountychamber.com
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GINO
RENNE
PRESIDENT
NEL'IIN
R,~~I~Ot'IE
RECORDER
\V·~V·vV.i1CGi:().ORG
T.estimony of Gino Renne in support of Bill 8-17 - Establishing a
Business Services Center in the Office of the County Executive and
Creating Position of Small Business Navigator.
Two years ago, when the County chose to privatize the Office of Economic
M
o
Development, my members working at the agency expressed that one of their greatest
concerns upon privatization is that small businesses would not get the services they
needed out of the newly privatized agency.
Small businesses are vital to creating stable economies. Close to 95% of businesses in
o
M
Montgomery County can be characterized as small. Helping new and existing
businesses in Montgomery County navigate through regulations and licensing hurdles
will help our County's economy. When the Office of Economic Development and, more
specifically, the small business navigator were in place, new businesses had an ally.
With the establishment of the Montgomery.County Economic Development Corporation,
small businesses lost that direct connection to the County Government. That connection
N
o
o
needs to be restored.
5
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~
MCEDC is more of a marketing agency than a navigator. It can help bring in new
business to the County, but we worry that it is limited to what it can do to help retain
those businesses. And how can it help the really small businesses? Will it help the 2-10
employee mom-and-pop retailers or small service firms who don't need tax breaks or
other incentives to stay here but need to comply with new regulations or tax laws?
All businesses in Montgomery County need a strong advocate in the county government.
They need a point of contact to ensure they comply with County regulations and to help
them understand changes in County law. Our belief is that the creation of the Business
Services Center and the re-establishment of the position of a Small Business Navigator
under the Office of the County Executive as outlined in Bill 8-17 would take steps to
repair problems that may have been created since privatization. Local 1994 urges you to
support this legislation.
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
DATE:
Councilmembers
George Leventhal, Councilmember
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation
April 25, 2017
In
an attempt to better understand certain roles and responsibilities within the Montgomery
County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), and how these roles relate to tasks
previously done by the D,epartment of Economic Development, I transmitted the attached
memorandum to President and CEO David Petro This memorandum covered issues including the
types of referrals that should be made for local businesses experiencing financial difficulties,
advice regarding future land use decisions and the potential synergies between MCEDC,
WorkSource Montgomery and Visit Montgomery.
Mr.
Petr shared his response to my memorandum which is also attached. I believe
Mr.
Petr's
responses represent a good starting point for a more robust discussion about the M CEDC in the
April 26 Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee. Limited portions ofboth
memoranda have been redacted to respect the privacy of a local business dealing with a financial
hardship.
STELLA B. WERNER COUNCIL OFFICE BUILDING·
100 MARYLAND AVENUE· ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 20850
240r777-7900
TTY
240r777-7914
FAX
240r777-7989
WWW.MONTGOMERYCOUNTYMD.GOV
~
PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
TO:
David Petr, President and CEO - Montgomery County Economic
Development Corporation
George L. Leventhal, Councilmember
April 13, 2017
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation
FROM:
DATE:
SUBJECT:
As
a Councilmember, I am routinely approached by County small business owners who need
assistance identifying the various development and financial assistance programs that will enable
them to strategically grow their businesses in a financially prudent manner.
In
the past, I would
refer these constituents to the County's Department of Economic Development (DED).
While the launch of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC)
has served as a welcome benefit for the County, it is unclear whether some of the related
functions, which were formerly handled by DED, are now being provided by MCEDC. Please
provide me with a written explanation of the staffing and products and services provided to assist
County small businesses through MCEDC.
In
addition, below are some examples of situations
where I need specific information and recommendations on how to proceed.
As you know, part of a Councilmember's job is connecting County residents with the services
that they need. We need a clear and concise roadmap on appropriate service referrals to make
sure we are supporting our local small businesses.
STELLA B. WERNER COUNCIL OFFICE BUILDING·
J
100
MARYLAND AVENUE· ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
20850
240/777-7900
• TTY 240/777"7914 • FAX 240/777-7·989
WWW.MONTGOMERYCOUNTYMD.GOV
C
PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
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• After the closure of Safeway at the Briggs Chaney Shopping center, the area was in
desperate need of a new grocery store for area residents. Finding a new tenant for the
space was assigned to Jewru Bandeh, Director of the East County Regional Services
Center. While
Mr.
Bandeh was able to attract the new Global Food Store at Briggs
Chaney Shopping Center, this is not clear what role MCEDC played in marketing the
vacancy or what work was done to facilitate new businesses in this area Does MCEDC
have the proper personnel in place to provide outreach to potential tenants and new
, businesses both inside and outside Montgomery County? What targeted marketing
appeals are currently occurring and what is planned over the next twelve months?
• The Council is charged with making a multitude of land use decisions. We decide what
the future ofthe County will look like through the master plan and sector plan process
and take action on zoning text amendments when needed to expand or limit zoning
rules. All of these decisions have implications for current and future businesses in
Montgomery County. While we rely on the Planning Board and Planning Staff for their
recommendations and listen to community groups and residents through these processes,
an organized position from the business community is rarely presented. For example,
MCEDC was not present in the Council's discussion of the Westbard Sector Plan or the
Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. Does MCEDC have the staff with the necessary
experience to provide advice on how the land use decisions that the Council makes will
impact the business climate in Montgomery County? What role do you envision
MCEDC having in the master plan process going forward?
• I understand that MCEDC along with WorkSource Montgomery and Visit Montgomery
will be sharing space.
In
addition to the space sharing arrangement, what relationship
with each of these entities have to each other? What are the potential synergies that may
exist between MCEDC and these organizations?
• Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg
has
been in financial jeopardy for some time. Has
MCEDC made contact with the City of Gaithersburg's Department of Economic
Development regarding the mall's recent default and potential foreclosure? What role
will MCEDC play in making recommendations about potential options for the mall's
future?
• As
you may know, the Barnes and Noble, located at 4801 Bethesda Avenue in Bethesda,
recently announced plans to close at the end of this calendar year. The loss of this anchor
on Bethesda Row is an unexpected b,low to Bethesda residents who 'not only shop at the
store but use it as a community gathering place. What role
will
MCEDC play in helping
to identify a new tenant?
• Another situation which requires the attention of the MCEDC is the Burtonsville '
Crossing shopping center. The shopping center has languished for many years following
the rerouting of Route 29 in 2006. Afterwards, the shopping center's anchor tenant, Giant
Food, moved across the street to a new shopping center, but it held onto its lease at
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Burtonsville Crossing, thereby preventing any competing grocery store from moving
in.
Without a grocery store to anchor the shopping center, the other retail stores slowly
closed up shop, and now, only one or two non-rent paying tenants remain.
In
2014, the county's Department of Economic Development issued an RFQ to spur
redevelopment of the shopping center and to repurpose the adjacent park-and-ride lot owned by
the county. The EDENS development company, which owns the shopping center, was selected to
develop the parking lot; however, last month, the county sent a letter to the EDENS informing
them that they would not be moving forward with their development proposal for the site.
As a result, EDENS is now faced with two options: Either attempt to retenant the shopping
center with low-end retailers such as Dollar Store or sell the property to a developer who would
likely build townhomes. Neither of these outcomes are particularly ideal, but with engagement
from the MCEDC, I believe we can achieve a better result for the Burtonsville community.
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",OHT:1a ... e8T eaUltY" eCONO,"4IC
O£\lELOPHE~T
CORPORATIO~
April 24, 2017
The Honorable George Leventhal
Council Office Building
100 Maryland Avenue, 5th Floor
Rockville, MD 20850
Dear Councilmember Leventhal:
Thank you for inquiring about the functions of the new Montgomery County Economic Development
Corporation (MCEOC).
As you know, MCEOC was created to proactively address the long-term economic health of Montgomery
County. Transforming from a"government town" into asustainable and innovative ecosystem takes
discipline and focus, and MCEDC's board takes that mandate seriously.
MCEDC's board is differentiating the new organization from the former Department of Economic
Development, which suffered from being spread too thin as it attempted to respond to nearly every
business constituent's request. There were simply not enough resources at DED to address the needs of
thousands of businesses every year and simultaneously lay the groundwork for big, transformative
economic initiatives.
To avoid repeating that scenario, MCEDC is dedicating the next
18
months to two things:.1) We are
. bolstering Montgomery County's entrepreneurial infrastructure, which will produce new fast-growing
businesses, diversify our existing companies, and ultimately create a more prosperous economic
ecosystem. This infrastructure includes many things from raising new funds to cultivating talent; and 2) We
are reaching out to the target industries highlighted in the comprehensive economic strategy. This targeted
business outreach includes retention visits as well as recruitment leads in biohealth, IT/Cyber, financial
services, advanced manufacturing and corporate/regional headquarters.
However, this isn't to say that our neighborhood retail districts need to suffer. The county could empower
its existing Department of Housing and Community Affairs to address several ofthe small business/small
retail needs listed in your memo. For example, the department's Neighborhood Revitalization section
already works in local retail centers and central blJsiness districts. They've done outreach in Burtonsville,
Silver Spring, Glenmont, and Germantown, to name afew. This cornrnunity-centric "main-street" approach
to retail development, when combined with the existing
fa~ade
programs, CDBG funds, and an additional
financial commitment within the county's budget, would go a long way toward addressing neighborhood
issues like vacant storefronts or closing grocery stores.
.'1
1801 Rockville Pike. Suite 320. Rockville. MD 20852
I
301216.3832
I
thlnianor;:o.c:om
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April 24, 2017
Page 2
In terms of the master-plan process, MCEDC certainly has staffcapable of participating in meaningful land
use discussions. In the next 30 days, our Strategic Initiatives team plans to engage more fully with
MNCPPC staff and our board tci identify specific planning issues related to the business climate; and we
will implement an interagency communications strategy.
The Burtonsville park-and-ride project was initiated well before the IVICEDC was created, and poses several
market challenges. Having said that, if the County Executive asks MCEDC to participate in the repurposing
of the county-owned property, we certainly will engage in conversations with them. Similarly, MCEDC is
happy to consult on the Lakeforest Mall situation. To date, we have not been approached by our partners at
the City of Gaithersburg, or by the mall owners, but we can discuss reaching out to them with our board
members.
Finally, your question regarding synergies with WorkSource and Visit Montgomery is timely, with all three
entities now-sharing the same space. To date, we've joined forces with WorkSource to promote the
Summer RISE program, we've renewed the kitchen incubator discussions and we're beginning
conversations regarding cyber-specific talent needs. We've also held ajoint branding/marketing meeting
with Visit Montgomery, the Office of Ag .and the Food Council to promote locally made products. and we
continue to develop ideas for tourism as it relates to agriculture and artisan businesses. The creative
energy among the three groups is strong, and our personalities work well together.
We understand that the transition to an industry-led model of,economic development is challenging. We are
continually evaluating and redefining our approaches to things, and we appreciate your patience as we
move through the next 18 months. We always welcome your questions and comments as you fulfill your
role as a steward of the public's funds. We encourage you, and any interested parties, to attend our
monthIy board meetings, wh ich are held the second Monday of every month, from 9am-11 am.
Sincerely,
President
&
CEO
&t!:­
leOl
Rockville PIke. SuIte
320.
Rockville,
MD 20852
I
301.216.3832
I
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1 7 ° 76 •
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
ROCKVILLE. MARYLAND 20850
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
MEMORANDUM
Apri124,2017
TO:
Roger Berliner, President·
Montgomeryco~
FROM:
Isiah Leggett
.
County Executive
Bill 8-17, Executive Branch - Business Services Center
SUBJECT:
I am writing
to
express my general support for Council Bill 8-17 to establ ish a
Business Services Center with some amendments that we will be transmitting separately for the
PHED Committee work session.
Improving the experiences and perceptions of doing business in Montgomery
County, especially as it relates
to
interacting with the County government, has been a priority of
our work. It is reflected in a series of initiatives and moves such as pennit streamlining,
development ombudsman, and moving the position of Small Business Navigator into the Office
of the County Executive. Most recently, we have developed a new integrated business portal for
starting and growing businesses here, and a push for organization-wide improvements such as
digitalization of fonns and a culture of solutions across county departments.
We welcome the support for expanding our capacity to serve our growing
business community.
It
is my understanding that this bill intends to improve the County
government communication with and services for the business community by creating additional
positions that would focus on regulatory communication and outreach and better problem­
solving
in
collaboration with our departments, agencies arid economic development partners.
Creation of new positions, of course, should be considered in the context of the competing
budget priorities with which we are faced. Additionally, we have severa1 suggested technical and
clarifying amendments to the bill that will help it achieve its intended purposes.
Thank you for your efforts to improve Montgomery County's services to our
business community.
montgomerycountymd.gov/311
'0in·~r·
301-251-4850 TTY
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