Reports & Studies




Tax Cuts and Regulatory Reforms are putting the Economy on the Right Track

While working for his family’s cleaning business, Guy Berkebile mixed chemicals in his bathroom to create better household products. This industrious spirit led him to mortgage his house and withdraw his entire life savings to pursue a dream. In 1995, he opened Guy Chemical Company, Inc. in a 3,000 square-foot rental space with the cheapest equipment he could find.

To make loan payments during the lean years, Berkebile kept his day job and spent evenings and weekends mixing and packaging his products – even hosting slumber parties for his kids while pulling all-nighters. Through hard work and vision, Guy Chemical expanded into a global company, occupying 40,000 square feet in Somerset, Pennsylvania, to accommodate growing orders.

Now, Berkebile is taking advantage of capital freed-up by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to invest in new equipment, and is ready to expand to 70,000 square feet. He purchased a 20-person company in Vermont, grew staff from 130 to 161 employees, and increased annual worker bonuses by as much as 50 percent with raises all around thanks to a 30% increase in sales he attributes to tax cuts.

President Donald J. Trump had taxpayers like Guy Berkebile in mind when he called for and signed the tax law last year, cutting corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% for 2018 and lowering income tax at nearly all levels. Tax cuts allow 30 million small businesses to plan more effectively and reinvest in their companies by expanding, hiring more employees and raising wages. To put it plainly, Americans are seeing more money in their paychecks following the cuts, and more than six million American workers have seen bonuses as well. That’s money spent on Main Street and stimulating the economy, putting kids through school, paying bills, and finally getting heads above water.

It’s working. The American economy is booming with the number of job openings surpassing the number of job seekers for the first time on record, and September’s unemployment rate was at 3.7% – the sixth straight month at 4% or below. Smart, business-friendly decisions have brought manufacturer optimism to a near-record level in the 20-year history of the National Association of Manufacturers’ survey, and small business optimism stands at its third highest level on record since the National Federation of Independent Business began its survey 45 years ago.

The SBA is here for small businesses because we understand they create two of every three new jobs in our country and are a source of stability and pride for our communities. Locally-owned businesses hire local and are more active in our communities; from mentoring other entrepreneurs to sponsoring local teams and more. And, statistically, more locally-owned business earnings stay local to support everything from schools to infrastructure. I promise each and every one of you that our SBA team will continue to keep this Administration’s commitment to empower entrepreneurs.


Maryland Approves New Standards for Computer Science Education

State Board Acts on Broad-Based Plan to Improve Technology Focus

BALTIMORE (October 5, 2018) – The Maryland State Board of Education has approved a new set of standards designed to further strengthen computer science education in Maryland. The new standards integrate technology education throughout each grade level, and are designed to be specific, measurable, and include performance expectations. The standards, starting in kindergarten and progressing through high school, align to the national K-12 Computer Science Standards approved by the Computer Science Teachers Association last year.

“Our administration is committed to ensuring that Maryland’s students have the necessary tools and skills to pursue their higher education goals and compete in an evolving job market,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “These new standards will provide a pathway to future opportunities by strengthening the vital computer skills needed for today’s 21st century workforce.”

The governor introduced legislation during the 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly to require new standards for computer science education, and signed an executive order last year which declared computer science education a priority in Maryland public schools. The governor also signed legislation providing more than $5 million in new funding for computer science education with a focus on closing the gender gap in schools across Maryland.

On Saturday, October 6, the Hogan administration will host the Governor’s Coding Challenge at Bowie State University in partnership with Girls Who Code, which aims to grow the number of women in computer science. The organization has more than 80 clubs in Maryland and served as the inspiration for the Hogan administration’s ACCESS (Achieving Computer Science Collaborations for Employing Students Statewide) Initiative, which seeks to inspire Maryland students at a younger age to pursue careers in computer science.

The new standards include learning concepts across the broad range of computer science, from computing systems to data and analysis to the impact of computing on culture. They are the result of input from representatives from 31 organizations including participants from 15 local school systems, six postsecondary institutions, and 10 local businesses and non-profit organizations.

“These standards move us that much closer to ensuring that students have a computer science instructional program aligned to the needs of tomorrow,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “The standards also help address the State’s need for a diverse and talented information technology (IT) workforce.”

According to the Maryland Department of Commerce, the economic areas currently in highest demand are Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Agribusiness, BioHealth and Life Sciences, Financial Services, Cybersecurity and Information Technology, and the Military and Federal Government.




Congratulations to Harford County’s Outstanding Women.

The Havre de Grace Office of Economic Development would like to congratulate the remarkable women honored at The Daily Record’s Top 100 Women event this week. A special congratulations is extended to Harford County Chamber of Commerce’s Angela Rose; Carolyn Evans, Esq., of Sengstacke & Evans, LLC; and Shawn Kros of The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region. We would also like to congratulate Vanessa Milio a past President & CEO of the Harford County Chamber of Commerce and honorary member of the Chamber. Milio is the proprietor of Taken Pop-Up Shop, which she will bring to Havre de Grace for the weekend of the Upper Bay Decoy Show and on First Friday May 4, setting up at Glyph Fine Press downtown.