Updated following the Small Business Summit held today by Gov. O'Malley. The summit yielded nothing new except to offer a token tax credit for hiring the unemployed and accelerated opportunities for small businesses to sink further in debt by taking on loans handed out by TARP banks to hire employees they can't afford or keep busy to justify the additional payroll expense.
We wrote and revised earlier today: Following Barack Obama's hollow and failed attempt to bolster confidence in fixing bleak employment numbers by offering little, saying less and doing nothing substantial last week, Obama's Little-me, Marty "Parrot" O'Malley will be offering the same advise to Maryland small business. A summit held today will have little participation--save a small band of small business owners invited to watch--O'Malley will do all the talking and the Greater Baltimore Committee, big business CEO's including, bankers, healthcare providers, tech and energy companies will gleefully applaud when O'Malley finishes each sentence. They would rather have O'Malley focus on anything other than their business practices. BGE executives must be ecstatic.
As was the case with Obama's photo-op summit, only proponents of big government were invited, eliminating those that would ultimately challenge or question the irrational exuberance of politicians that have little or non existent experience in the private sector.
Having mismanaged Maryland's economy and contributed to the slide with a tax and spend mentality, O'Malley did in typical Obama fashion, offer small business owners similar tips, as offered by his mentor, to hasten business out of Maryland, by using spastic and knee-jerk solutions to economic growth. The thrust of the proposed legislative priorities will be to borrow more, fall deeper in debt and hire as many employees as possible before the next election cycle to give the Obama liberal acolytes hope for re-election and to keep control of the congress.
O'Malley presented his dysfunctional suggestions at a co-hosted summit with the Greater Baltimore Committee today at 10:00AM. The Summit was held at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel. The governors PR office sent out the following release after the summit was concluded:
At Maryland’s first Small Business Summit today, Governor Martin O’Malley outlined an economic agenda focused on access to credit, job creation and the unemployment trust fund, initiatives that the Administration plans to champion in the upcoming General Assembly session. The Governor, who co-hosted today’s Summit with Greater Baltimore Committee President and CEO Donald C. Fry, called on Maryland’s business community to join in fighting for these proposals.
There it is, he wants small business to borrow more to hire the unemployed to save the unemployment trust fund and his place in the Obama administration or hopes for attaining a national spotlight.
“Small and family-owned businesses are the heart and soul of our State and the key to how we’re going to turn the corner from recession to recovery to prosperity,” said Governor O’Malley. “Representing nearly 98 percent of the State’s employers, strengthening our small business community will help us grow and strengthen our middle class, fuel innovation, and create jobs in Maryland.”
So, after unmercifully burdening small businesses with more fees, taxes and paperwork, O'Malley is begging owners to do more with less and to borrow money to pay those onerous fees and take whatever profit that is available to hire more staff and make the State look good for government benefit and cash flow. And, what happened to the States big business employers? That's right, State government is now the largest employer, having driven out of state, most large corporations to friendlier business climates.
“Most economic growth in our state will be generated from within, so this commitment to small business by Governor O’Malley is very welcomed,” said GBC President and CEO Donald C. Fry. “Small business is big business in Maryland and we must continue to support our small businesses and develop innovative solutions to help them grow.”
It's a shame O'Malley didn't understand that when he was Mayor of Baltimore and when transitioning into the governors mansion. Using the term 'economic growth' by anyone in government means that government welcomes increased revenue streams to allow for more government oversight and intervention. Small business, any business that cannot survive without government help probably should not be in business in the first place. If government wants to help they would do well by reducing taxes and fees, eliminating regressive rules and generally getting out of the way to allow market forces dictate how a business grows and prospers.
Governor O’Malley outlined three key initiatives as part of a broader economic agenda to help strengthen small business in Maryland and create jobs:
The gist of the initiatives will be to add another layer of government and therefore expanding a government workforce on the taxpayers dime.
- Streamline the loan approval process for small businesses and expand access to credit by creating the Maryland Small Business Credit Recovery Program, offering a loan guaranty on small business deals through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s current loan guaranty program - the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority Program (MIDFA).
Streamlining the loan process? Isn't that what caused the collapse of the housing market by giving anyone that asks for a loan to be put on a fast tracked approval process whether they were qualified or not.
Approved banks will be able to apply for up to a $50,000 MIDFA guaranty and a Rapid Response Program will be developed that will offer a 48-hour approval turnaround on loans needed up to a $250,000 guaranty. The initiative could leverage up to $64 million in new private sector lending for small businesses.
The only banks approved will be the same banks that received TARP money and jacked up interest rates on existing borrowers. In Obama's treasury, all contracts are living documents that are subject to change at the whim of a lender no matter how well credit ratings are maintained.
- Create jobs by establishing a Job Creation and Recovery Tax Credit, which would award businesses a $3,000 tax credit for every unemployed worker it hires. The initiative, which is proposed for one year with a $20 million cap, would boost job creation and take the pressure off the State’s Unemployment Trust Fund.
Actually, it is meant to take the pressure off O'Malley's sinking poll numbers. The tax credit is about the size of the increases in fees and taxes since O'Malley walked into office and the incentive will be revoked once the economic picture changes into positive growth.
- Introduce emergency legislation to address the rate increase for small businesses to the Unemployment Trust Fund.
The rate O'Malley increased in a knee-jerk reaction to declining employment numbers a while back.
Today’s Summit, which attracted more than 120 small business owners, brought together industry experts in banking, healthcare, technology and energy and featured panel discussions on the issues most impacting small businesses today, including access to credit and healthcare, the use of social media and Web sites in marketing and the costs associated with going green.
Here we go, borrow more for your struggling business to pay for increased costs of healthcare, pay vendors to make your company comply with phony green standards and get a Facebook page to grow your business enough to pay back the loans. Sound advise coming from someone that believes in Al Gore's made up global warming scam with doctored science and statistics.
The Summit comes on the heels of President Obama’s Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth held last week at the White House and is the latest effort by the O’Malley-Brown Administration to support and strengthen small business in Maryland. Last week, Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown launched MBE University, an initiative to support Maryland’s minority- and women-owned businesses and to highlight the state’s MBE program.
In other words, O'Malley is not an original thinker, he follows the lead of failed thinkers and fear-mongers.
Over the last several months, the Governor has aggressively pursued a strategy to strengthen small businesses, expand opportunity throughout Maryland, and fuel innovation, including hosting a number of small business roundtable discussions across the State; creating the Small Business Task Force; releasing a ten point strategy to strengthen small business in Maryland; and encouraging members of Maryland Congressional delegation to target TARP funds to expanding access to capital for small businesses.
O'Malley is fast tracking his delay to action by about two years and still doesn't get it. Here is a guy that has never worked or run a real private sector business in his life and he will be teaching small business owners how to blindly borrow money to hire staff. Loans from banks in the past have never been approved to increase staff, pay payroll taxes or other fees to government when sales or services could not justify the debt. Loans were generally made when equipment, supplies or buildings that needed upgrading were made to allow the company to grow naturally when sales and market share justified the loans. In today's economy expanding ones business with just new hires without increased sales is fool hardy and just bad business. Carrying a loan will only create further strain on an already beleaguered and over taxed small business.
On Wednesday, December 9, the Governor will join a panel of small business owners to host a live, online Small Business Town Hall at 3:15 p.m. from Baltimore’s tech entrepreneur Blue Sky Factory. Questions for the Town Hall discussion can be submitted by visiting www.choosemaryland.org.
The next question to be asked; how many of the small or even large employers invited to these summits or asked to speak survive solely on government contracts or sales?
Updated with changes and clarifications.