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CEOs: Maryland Needs to Welcome Business to State

Two CEOs told Maryland Chamber of Commerce members the state needs to do more to attract business development.

Arne Sorenson, CEO of Bethesda-based Marriott International. File|Patch
Arne Sorenson, CEO of Bethesda-based Marriott International. File|Patch

Two Fortune 500 CEOs urged Maryland legislators Thursday to make the state a more friendly place to do business, warning it will soon lose development to Virignia and the District of Columbia.

Arne Sorenson, CEO of Bethesda-based Marriott International Inc., said Maryland hasn't been "deliberate" in its thinking about businesses, reports the Washington Business Journal.

"I think it's taken advantage of the fact that it's a great place to live," Sorenson said during the Maryland Chamber of Commerce CEO Spotlight.

Competition with Virginia and the District of Columbia will require Maryland to be more aware of its business climate, he said. 

"D.C. is embracing development in many respects in a way that it hasn't in the past. In the next decade, D.C.'s going to be much more competitive," Sorenson said. "I think Maryland is going to have to be much more thoughtful about saying, 'how are we doing for business and does business want to locate in our state.'"

Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. CEO Edward Walter agreed, noting that businesses find it much harder to obtain building permits in Maryland compared with Virginia.

"It's getting easier for people to go to other places, not harder,” Walter said in the business publication.

Bob Bobbers April 04, 2014 at 08:31 AM
You had me right up until that last sentence Maryellen. I am not a fan of O'Malley and I'll be glad to see him go. I'd like to see Heather Mizeur as governor next time around but its unlikely.
Maryellen Brady April 04, 2014 at 08:59 AM
Hearing some good things about Heather. Going to take a look but Gansler seems to be running strong and of course Brown's Ads are good.
Bob Bobbers April 04, 2014 at 09:26 AM
LT Governors usually don't far well in Maryland. That leaves us with Gansler. He strikes me as just another corrupt politician who is only interested in himself.
MoCoRes April 04, 2014 at 11:45 AM
Yes, Maryland arguably has good schools and jobs at the moment. But a quick trip around the Beltway will show you that Virginia and D.C. are progressing and developing. Do I think it's becasue of lax rules in those areas? Maybe but not entirely. I'm a Democrat and I gladly voted for O'Malley. But my biggest problem with progressives in Maryland and other places is they tend to be more interested in activism rather than governing. Should businesses be able to walk all over us and do whatever they want? No. But there needs to be a proper balance between attracting business and regulations. And I don't think Maryland has it right now. Regarding the next governor, I don't know Brown and Mizeur all that well. But I don't trust Gansler.

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