County Executive Wants To Give Montgomery Businesses Preference for Contracts

County Executive Marc Elrich plans to send legislation to the County Council giving preference to Montgomery County-based businesses when awarding contracts. The council will consider the legislation when it returns in September from a monthlong recess. Under the county executive’s proposal, Montgomery County businesses could receive up to 10 percentage points during the procurement process, giving them an advantage over businesses from other municipalities.  Elrich announced the legislation Monday afternoon during a news conference at the Silver Spring Library. He also discussed the expansion of other initiatives aimed at making the county more business friendly – one of his campaign promises from last year. (Bethesda)

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Retail Confectioners International Hosts 11th Annual Chocolate Boot Camp In Baltimore

Twenty-four people from across the country are in Baltimore for four days of intense classroom and hands-on lab sessions, and it’s all in the name of chocolate. When you think of boot camps, you probably think of push-ups and sit-ups. This boot camp, however, is all about chocolate. It’s the 11th annual Retail Confectioners International Chocolate Boot Camp. “There’s always that warm and fuzzy feeling you get with chocolate and candy,” Ashley Jackson, of Apple Tree Chocolate, said. “It’s also a lot of fun.” (WJZ-TV)

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Maryland Stadium Authority seeks $3.8M to update Oriole Park warehouse

Oriole Park at Camden Yards will be getting an upgrade, but fans probably won't notice. The Maryland Stadium Authority is seeking approval on Aug. 14 from the Maryland State Public Board of Works for $3.8 million in renovations for the stadium's Warehouse at Camden Yards. If approved, the money would be used to renovate what was once the B&O Warehouse that sits next to the iconic ballpark. The historic brick building is considered a part of 27-year-old Oriole Park, but isn't normally incorporated into the fan experience. It houses the Orioles' team offices as well as a few private tenants, Wolters Kluwers, a publishing company, the Stadium Authority and MASN, the Orioles TV network, among them. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Marriott to add all-inclusive resorts to its portfolio with Ritz-Carlton, other brands

Fresh off the heels of launching its home rental business nationwide, Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is targeting another segment of the leisure travel market: all-inclusive resorts.  The Bethesda hotel company has signed management deals for five all-inclusive resorts, including the first all-inclusive Ritz-Carlton property. The Ritz and three other Marriott-branded hotels will be built on a 220-acre site on Riviera Nayarit on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. The owner is Mexico City private equity firm Artha Capital.  Hotels in the the Mexico project are:  240-room The Ritz-Carlton resort (2023 anticipated opening) 400-room Westin Hotels resort (2023 anticipated opening) 300-room Autograph Collection resort (2025 anticipated opening) 500-room Marriott Hotels resort (2025 anticipated opening) (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Md. handgun permit restrictions for business owners eased

Business owners in Maryland who have permits to wear and carry a handgun apparently will be able to carry their weapons outside of business-related functions. The Maryland State Police began notifying permit holders of the change Monday, one attorney who represents permit applicants said. The decision to drop the restrictions on business owners eliminates a major complaint — and a large number of appeals — of some permit holders who worried the restrictions were confusing and could result in being jailed for carrying a weapon outside of what their permits allow. Ed Hershon, an attorney who has represented permit holders before the state Handgun Permit Review Board, (Daily Record)

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China fires biggest warning shot yet in trade war and now it’s up to Trump to decide how far to go

China has added its currency to the weapons it is willing to use in the trade war with the U.S., and it is now up to President Donald Trump to determine how much further the situation can escalate. China on Monday allowed its currency to slide below what has been a psychological red line—the key 7 yuan to the dollar level — for the first time since 2008. China also halted new purchases of U.S. agricultural products,according to state run media.  The Chinese picked two sore spots for Trump, who has protested the strong dollar and railed against other countries he says are weakening their own currencies for trade advantage. (CNBC)

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Black Rock Golf Course trying new things

Black Rock Golf Course is trying new events and tee-time discounts to attract new faces, including a younger audience. The Washington County-owned golf course is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. At the same time, retirements provided opportunities for new people and some restructuring within county government is opening up some resources to the golf operation, Public Works Director Andrew Eshleman said. The new “face” of the golf course is Interim Golf Director Ryan Crabtree. In addition to being a well-known local golfer, Crabtree earned a sports marketing degree at Shepherd University.  The golf course has increased its social media presence, using Facebook and Instagram, to publicize specials, Crabtree said. (Herald-Mail)

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Baltimore to host 2021 Association of Zoos & Aquariums convention

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums is headed to Baltimore for its 2021 conference. Visit Baltimore on Monday said that the annual convention, aimed at zoo and aquarium professionals, will be held Sept. 19-21, 2021, at the Baltimore Convention Center. The conference is expected to bring in 2,500 people, generating an estimated 5,870 hotel room nights and more than $3 million in economic impact, according to the tourism agency. As home to the National Aquarium and the Maryland Zoo — two of the greater Baltimore region's top tourist attractions — the city is "engrained" in the zoo and aquarium profession, AZA President Dan Ashe said in a statement. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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