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Keyword: economy

Citing Strong Fiscal Responsibility, All Three Major Ratings Agencies Affirmed Baltimore County’s Creditworthiness Despite Global Economic Challenges

Amid the unparalleled economic interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County today announced it has maintained triple-A bond ratings from all three major rating agencies, allowing the County to continue issuing bonds at the lowest possible interest rate—saving millions of dollars for County taxpayers.

This week Moody’s Investor Service, Fitch Ratings, and S&P Global Ratings each reaffirmed the County’s triple-A rating, making Baltimore County one of only 49 counties nationwide to receive the highest rating from all three agencies.

"Our ability to maintain top-tier financial ratings while we navigate this global pandemic speaks to our responsible fiscal management and resilient local economy,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “We have taken prudent steps to put Baltimore County on stronger fiscal footing, but we know more difficult decisions remain ahead in order to maintain our focus on meeting the basic needs and goals for our communities—without risking the County’s long-term fiscal health.”

In their reports, the rating agencies noted Baltimore County’s very strong management and diverse tax base. The ratings also incorporate financial policies and revenue enhancements that this Administration’s new management team is implementing.

Olszewski submitted his second budget on April 15, which was approved in bipartisan fashion by the County Council on May 29. The Administration’s FY21 budget made historic cuts while maintaining key investments in public education, public safety, and the County workforce, while also taking steps to support the County’s investment in the trust fund which supports retiree health care benefits—also known as Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).


Free July 1 Webinar Explores Regional Recovery Forecasts and Emerging Industries 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski has assembled a panel of economic thought leaders to discuss the changing regional business landscape in the wake of COVID-19 business shutdowns, and explore potential long-term shifts that may alter our local economy for years and decades to come.  

“Exploring Economic Impacts and Opportunities in the Baltimore Region” is the fifth session in the “Baltimore County Business Forum—COVID-19 and Beyond” webinar series.

Baltimore County Director of Economic and Workforce Development (DEWD) Director Will Anderson will moderate this 60-minute session, where an expert panel will discuss the pandemic’s impact on businesses, recovery forecast trends and the unique opportunities emerging in business sectors like technology, logistics, domestic manufacturing, retail distribution and others. 

“It’s important for government to partner with our business community to provide a data-informed analysis of where we are now and to offer insights into emerging trends and areas for potential economic expansion in the coming months and years,” said County Executive Olszewski, who will offer his perspective on the role of local government in supporting business resilience. 

Participate Live or Watch a Recording on the County Website 

The webinar will be presented live via Cisco Webex on Wednesday, July 1, at 1 p.m., and webinar access information is posted on the County website at baltimorecountybusiness.com. Recorded video of the completed webinar will be posted there shortly afterwards. People are invited to submit questions during the webinar via the live Webex questions feature, or in advance by emailing businesshelp@baltimorecountymd.gov.

Panelists include: 

  • Dr. Daraius Irani, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research at Towson University
  • Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski
  • Scott Phillips, Managing Director, Legal and Business Consulting Services, LLC
  • Tom Sadowski, Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at University System of Maryland
  • Michele Whelley, CEO of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore

Resources for Job Seekers and Businesses are Updated Regularly

The Department of Economic and Workforce Development (DEWD) provides a comprehensive overview of resources and assistance available to help affected individuals and businesses. This information is available on the Department’s website.


Non-Profit Provides Reliable Cars to Low-Wage Families

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz spent time with three hard-working parents as they accepted the keys to a better life by picking up their low-cost reliable cars from Vehicles for Change, a Halethorpe non-profit auto service shop and mechanic training center.

Mechanics in training work on car

Vehicles for Change refurbishes and provides donated cars to low-wage families so that they can get and keep good jobs and transport their children to sports, doctors’ appointments and extracurricular activities. In addition to refurbishing vehicles to sell to low-wage families, Vehicles for Change also trains low-income individuals and ex-offenders to become auto mechanics.

Vehicles for Change President Martin Schwartz and staff members presented the keys to refurbished vehicles to three car buyers today:

  • Aaron Davis, a single father of two who works at Ikea,
  • James Jones, a single father who was trained by Vehicles for Change and now works as a mechanic at Heritage Mile One Volkswagen in Owings Mills,
  • Wendy Peters, a single mother from Prince George’s County.

Local business people routinely tell me that they need employees with reliable transportation to keep their businesses running and growing,” said Kamenetz. “Vehicles for Change offers tremendous benefits to the thousands of families they have served, and also helps our local economy overall.”

Vehicles for Change is the largest program of its kind in the nation and has awarded more than 4,700 cars and improved some 16,450 lives in Maryland and Virginia since 1999. The non-profit auto center works with the public directly and also with sponsoring social services and job training agencies that provide a subsidy to help cover the client’s purchase cost.

 

 

According a recent survey conducted for Vehicles for Change:

  • 75% of their clients have gotten better jobs – increasing their income by an average of $7,000 per year.
  • Clients reduced their commute time by an average of 90 minutes.
  • 100% of their clients were using their car to take children to after-school activities.

People may get more information by contacting Vehicles for Change at 855-820-7990, or vehiclesforchange.org.

Photos from today’s event are available on the County website.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017