Greater Baltimore Committee leaders issued a call during their 2013 Annual Meeting on May 8 for a stronger focus by the state’s elected leaders on policies that will improve Maryland’s competitiveness for economic growth and job creation.
“The GBC’s singular overarching policy focus, now and going forward, boils down to one word: competitiveness,” GBC President & CEO Donald C. Fry told more than 800 business leaders gathered in the Hyatt Regency Baltimore ballroom for the meeting.
GBC Chairman Brian C. Rogers, chairman and chief investment officer at T. Rowe Price Group, Inc., told GBC members that Maryland can, and should, do better when it comes to business growth and job creation.
Maryland has many significant strengths, including a well-educated and skilled workforce, major research and technology resources, and a high quality of life, said Rogers, “but our state’s perception among economic development professionals and many business leaders is that our state is, at best, middle of the pack when it comes to competitiveness.”
Fry detailed a new GBC initiative to develop a specific policy strategy agenda for improving Maryland’s business climate that is based on eight core pillars for economic growth and job creation outlined in the GBC report “Gaining a Competitive Edge.” The report, issued two years ago, was compiled from a year-long series of focus groups and feedback sessions in which business leaders and economic development experts from around the state participated.
This year, the GBC has been conducting a comprehensive region-wide information-gathering process to collect ideas from CEOs throughout the region on policies that are needed to strengthen Maryland’s business competitiveness.
Input for specific policy measures are being solicited from GBC committees, its board and Presidents’ Advisory Council, its county business advisory councils, and from economic development experts.
On June 12, the GBC will host a day-long conference of CEOs to begin distilling the core pillars into specific legislative public policy action items for business advocates to propose to lawmakers, said Fry.