2021 Capital Region Business Forum

Since 2015, the Capital Region Business Forum has brought the mayor and two governors together for a conversation on the top issues facing the region’s business community. This year’s Forum was held on September 9, featuring Muriel Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia; Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland; and Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia. The three leaders shared a stage for the first time in over a year speaking to about 200 business leaders who joined the Board of Trade, Prince George’s and Northern Virginia Chambers for one of our first large, in-person events of 2021. The conversation was moderated by Tony Pierce, Partner in Charge of the Washington Office at Akin Gump.

Tony opened the discussion by addressing the elephant in the room – the pandemic. While the audience and panel were enthusiastic about being back together, it was understood that there are still challenges to address and overcome for the region to fully recover. The three emphasized that over the last 19 months, navigating these common challenges together, has strengthened their relationship and each were optimistic about the future and the resilience of their economies.

“Our region is interconnected, obviously by jobs and business, but also by personal ties,” Bowser said. “The decisions that we make together will help us get over this pandemic.”

Other topics that were covered were the steps being taken to strengthen and rebuild small and minority businesses ensuring we come out of the pandemic with a diverse economy; the impacts of national labor shortages and the changing priorities of our workforce; the importance of workforce and talent development starting by getting children safely back to in-person school; and innovative improvements to transportation and infrastructure needs.

The leaders agreed that allocating time and resources to address each of these areas will be critical for the region’s business growth and comeback.

If you missed the event, watch the full recording here.