The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce honored Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson as the Legislator of the Year at its 2021 Annual Awards Broadcast on June 10. The Legislator of the Year Award recognizes elected officials who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to helping County businesses succeed and grow. Friedson represents county District 1, including Potomac, Bethesda and parts of the upcounty.
“Councilmember Friedson has been a tremendous champion for all businesses in our community – both before and during the pandemic – and has worked closely with our chamber on many pressing issues impacting the future of our economic growth,” said Georgette “Gigi” Godwin, president and CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to recognize him during our 2021 Annual Awards broadcast, and look forward to continuing our work together in the years to come.”
“This is a well-deserved distinction for Councilmember Friedson, who has routinely demonstrated his commitment to the Montgomery County business community throughout his years of public service,” said Antonio Franco, managing partner of PilieroMazza and chair of the chamber’s 2021 Annual Awards Selection Committee. “His support and commitment have been critical – particularly over the last year when businesses have needed more support than ever before.”
“Throughout the pandemic, Councilmember Friedson made his mark as the champion of economic recovery and his actions in support of businesses and all employers have shown that he is innovative, committed to economic growth and prosperity, and dedicated to our community,” said Dr. Anne Khademian, executive director of the Universities at Shady Grove. “With policymakers like Councilmember Friedson leading the way, I am optimistic about Montgomery County’s economic future.”
“I'm deeply humbled and extremely grateful to the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce for this recognition and for their strong partnership as we've tried to help County employers through one of the most challenging years in our history,” Councilmember Friedson said. “These businesses are our partners and their success is central to our ability to provide a high quality of life to our residents, support the most vulnerable in our community, and achieve our social and environmental goals.”
Friedson has worked extensively on legislative and government reform efforts to improve the County's business environment and has been recognized as “the economic and fiscal center of the Montgomery County Council.”
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Friedson led the creation of the County's Public Health Emergency Grant program to help struggling small businesses and nonprofits facing revenue losses; the Telework Assistance Program to help businesses purchase equipment needed to transition to telework; and the Reopen Montgomery program to help reimburse businesses for the costs of equipment to reopen with health and safety precautions in place.
He worked with his Council colleagues and the County Executive to create the Childcare Recovery Grant program to help restart the economy and was the co-lead sponsor of legislation to lower the County's annual Trader's License Fee to a flat rate of $15 charged to all retailers and restaurants.
He spearheaded landmark legislation to ensure all Council bills go through a thorough economic analysis to gauge potential impacts on businesses and taxpayers.
Friedson was named among Maryland's 2020 Election Day Winners after authoring an overwhelmingly successful ballot initiative to reform the County's 30-year-old property tax system that promotes the importance of economic growth.
Previous winners of the Legislator of the Year Award include Senator Ben Cardin, Montgomery County House Delegation Chair Del. Marc Korman, State Sen. Brian Feldman, and former Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen.
Learn more about Councilmember Friedson here.