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Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber holds 12th Annual Upcounty Business Breakfast Briefing

Twelve years ago, the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce established the Upcounty Business Breakfast Briefing which affords Chamber members and Upcounty Business Leaders an opportunity to discuss legislative issues with their elected officials.

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, the GGCC welcomed Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett; State Senators Cheryl Kagan, District 17; Nancy King, District 39; and Brian Feldman, District 15, as their guest speakers at its 12th Annual Upcounty Business Breakfast Briefing.

“It’s so important for businesses to work closely with our legislators. We are fortunate to have a great relationship with our County Executive and our State Senators,” said Marilyn Balcombe, GGCC President/CEO

The event was sponsored and hosted by Hughes Network Systems, LLC - An EchoStar Company and held at their location in Germantown.

Transportation, education and minimum wage were the forefront of conversations held.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett began his remarks reconfirming the County’s commitment to education and the goal to provide students with the educational means for success. He noted transportation continues to be a critical issue in this County – especially along the I-270 Corridor. Leggett stated that the County will continue its efforts and work with the State and the Federal Government to increase capacity on Interstate 270. And he mentioned that the County’s economic development efforts are now fully transitioned into a private sector, stating “we are expanding and growing”.

“We have to make sure we are supporting our non-profit sector” said State Senator Cheryl Kagan. When not in session, Kagan works with Community Ministries of Rockville, a nonprofit organization that provides help to vulnerable Montgomery County residents. She also encouraged businesses and constituents to know what District they are in and who represents them in the Senate, to have a voice. Lastly, she acknowledged the importance of the public-private partnership and stated Governor Hogan’s “Maryland open for business” is working. Kagan was selected to serve as the Senator on The Maryland Public-Private Partnership Marketing Corporation Board in 2016. This Board attracts businesses, increases jobs, and expands the State’s economy.

State Senator Nancy King is a member of the Commission on Innovation & Excellence in Education, known as the Kirwan Commission. The results of this commission will have a major impact on school funding from the State. One aspect of the commission is looking into early childhood education and the impact it has on the achievement gap. “We need to close the gap” she said. She added “is there a better way to educate our kids”. Additionally, King, as a Member of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, told Chamber members that the committee is looking at a state sales tax for online shopping.

State Senator Brian Feldman said that some of the issues he is working on include healthcare and transportation. He noted that businesses need to be aware of what is happening with healthcare on Capitol Hill, because it will affect them. Feldman is on a commission established to explore Maryland’s options to respond to a possible repeal of Obamacare.

The GGCC is active in providing business-to-business networking opportunities throughout the year: a collective voice in local, regional, and state legislative affairs, professional development opportunities and other services that enhance the business environment. Learn more about the GGCC’s Legislative Initiatives or view the 2015 Legislative Agenda.

Caption: Brian Feldman, State Senator- District 15; Marilyn Balcombe, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce President/CEO; Nancy King, State Senator - District 39; and Colette Releford, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce Board Chair at the Chamber’s Legislative Breakfast. The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce 12th Annual Upcounty Business Breakfast Briefing -- held at Hughes Network Systems in Germantown on Tuesday -- is a great opportunity for members to network over breakfast with their legislators.

Photo courtesy GGCC