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Small Biz Bulletin

April 1, 2021

Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

I was recently invited to be part of a discussion on how to keep minority businesses resilient and competitive in today's environment. The topic is always relevant, and I was eager to share my perspective with an audience that was new to me. This virtual event was hosted by the National Governors Association and their guests were professionals engaged in workforce development programs. I shared information about how Maryland's socioeconomic programs support the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and how the continuity of these programs can help small businesses during tough economic times. I bragged about Governor Hogan's commitment to enhance the Small Business Reserve Program with Executive Order 01.01.2021.01, and praised my colleagues here in the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs for the education and training programs they provide every month with the Technical Training Classroom. Individually, each item is good on its own, but collectively they will keep Maryland's minority businesses resilient and competitive today, and for many years to come. 

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary

For Your Business

DollarSigns

$20 Million Relief Act Funding

Thanks to funding from the bipartisan RELIEF Act of 2021, Maryland is making $20 million available for small, minority, and women-owned businesses.

The Maryland Department of Commerce is administering a $10 million grant program which is currently accepting applications. The grant offers working capital to assist certain Maryland small businesses with disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Businesses that primarily sell goods or offer services that require collection of sales and use tax are not eligible for this program. This funding is intended to provide interim relief, complementing actions with banks, business interruption insurance, and other financial partners. The application process will close on April 6 at 11:59 pm. Commerce anticipates substantial interest in this program, so act quickly and apply now.
Maryland Small Business Covid-19 RELIEF Grant Program

An additional $10 million is being dispersed through the Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Business Account, also knowns as the Video Totter Terminal (VLT) Program. Funds from this program typically come from VLT proceeds. It is intended to impact targeted areas of need that have not always benefited from economic growth and provides funding when traditional sources would not. The $10 million RELIEF Act funds will be administered by the eight fund managers already designated to disperse funds in the VLT Program. Applications are available through the fund managers who are located in various regions of the stated. Each independent fund manager will determine the eligibility requirements for these funds. Use the link below to view the full list of fund managers.
Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Business Account COVID-19 RELIEF Program

 

Small Business

SBA to Increase Loan Limits for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is increasing the maximum amount small businesses and non-profit organizations can borrow through its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. This program provides low-interest emergency working capital in times of emergency. The pandemic has lasted beyond everyone's expectations, and the need for this assistance remains high. As a result, the SBA is raising the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from 6-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000. The new loan limits will begin the week of April 6, 2021. Learn how the new features of this program will roll out using the link below.  

SBA's EIDL Program

For Your Information

keyboard chairs webinar

Technical Training Classroom

Since moving our Technical Training Classroom to the Zoom platform in the fall, attendance has been off the charts. But we still have room for more! Join us on the fourth Tuesday of every month for free classes that have been thoughtfully curated for small, minority, women, and veteran business owners that want to improve their core competencies and gain an insightful understanding of the State's procurement process. Helping you compete with confidence is our goal. There is no cost to attend, but you must register in advance. Join us on April 27 for two great sessions.

Proposal Writing 1: Reading a Solicitation
Proposal Writing 2: Developing an Outline

Follow Us

 

We Want You

We continually share information curated specifically for small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses on our social media platforms. We'll inspire you with our #MotivationMonday series and connect you to a broad range of small business resource organizations. We also share information about loan programs and funding opportunities as well as small business events and training
programs. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

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Mark Your Calendar

In this environment of social distancing, today's seminars have become webinars, Zoom meetings, Facebook Live events, Google Meets, and more. If you have a smartphone or a computer, you have what you need to tap into these virtual training and information sessions. Capacity can fill quickly, so sign up early when required to do so.

04/06/2021 - The State of the Small Business - 2021 Economic & Labor Market Outlook
04/06/2021 - MBE Certification Application Assistance Webinar
04/07/2021 - Doing Business with Maryland Department of the Environment
04/07/2021 - Social Media Marketing
04/08/2021 - High Impact Pitches & Presentations: Speaking with Confidence and Authenticity
04/09/2021 - GovCon "Live Q&A" Café:  Teaming Agreements
04/13/2021 - Government Contract Cost Price Analysis: Level 1
04/15/2021 - Doing Business with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
04/16/2021 - PR 101 for Small Businesses
04/21/2021 - Can you Feel the Pulse of Your Business
04/27/2021 - Writing a Proposal 1 - Reading a Solicitation
04/27/2021 - Writing a Proposal 2 - Developing an Outline
04/29/2021 - QuickBooks Basics for Small Businesses


Check out our full listing of small business events online at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.

 

GoVAX

Maryland is OPEN for Business. As a coordinating office for Governor Larry Hogan, the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs connects small businesses, including those owned by minorities, women, and veterans to greater economic opportunities.  Learn more by visiting our website at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @goMDsmallbiz.

Maryland State Directory of New Hire


REPORTING ONLINE HELPS EVERYONE!

Report new hires

Employers must re-report returning employees as new hires.

All new and returning employees must be reported within 20 days of hire or returning to work.


New hire reporting helps children and families get the child support they need. 
It also helps detect fraud in the unemployment system. 

Reporting new hires online has many benefits:

  • Fast and secure online entry or upload
     
  • Reports are more accurate, reducing the need to resend reports later

     
  • It's FREE! No more paper, postage or other material costs!



The Maryland State Directory of New Hire is available to take your new hire reports via our website MD-newhire.com



www.mdnewhire.com
Phone: (888) 634-4737 | Fax: (888) 657-3534

 

u s small business administration
Baltimore Emerging Leaders 2021

HomeLight, a prop-tech company revolutionizing the real estate industry, is proud to announce their partnership with the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the largest and oldest minority professional real estate trade association in the United States. Through this partnership, they’ve created their very own Black Real Estate Agent Program, which focuses on providing financial and career support for aspiring Black real estate agents between the ages of18 and 25. The program’s goal is to increase the number of top-producing Black real estate agents by eliminating barriers to entering the field! 

We encourage members to spread the word about the program and application to aspiring agents in your communities. If you’re interested in learning more, you can find additional information here: https://www.homelight.com/black-agent-program

State of Maryland Financial Resources & Services 

Department of Human Services Resources & Financial Assistance

dhs.maryland.gov

DHSWebsite

The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) is the state’s primary social service provider. Our mission is to aggressively pursue opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide prevention services, and protect vulnerable children and adults.

DHSs website, https://dhs.maryland.gov/, hosts a wealth of information about the agency’s many services and programs, as well as additional resources, for Maryland families and individuals in need of assistance:

• DHS offers several financial assistance options to support individuals and families experiencing trying times. If eligible, you can receive cash assistance for rent, utilities, and many other emergency financial burdens.

https://dhs.maryland.gov/category/financial-assistance/.

• You do not have to weather the tough times alone. DHS services include, financial, medical, and more. Learn more at  https://dhs.maryland.gov/weathering-tough-times/.

• The Department of Human Services is providing updated information to Marylanders regarding our services, operations, and other important resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay informed by visiting our Coronavirus Covid-19 Resources web page at https://dhs.maryland.gov/coronavirus-covid-19-resources/.

myDHR/myMDTHINK Consumer Portal

Marylanders can get information, apply for DHS programs and services, and check the status of applications online at  mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/dashboardClient/#/home

SupplementalNutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, helps low-income households buy healthy food. Click here to download the Income Guidelines. Apply online: Go to https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.usPeople who have little or no money may qualify for SNAP benefits right away.
TemporaryCash Assistance (TCA) TCA provides temporary cash assistance to families with dependent children. TCA also prepares participants for independence through work programs. Click here to download the Income Guidelines. Apply online: Go to https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/ to file your application.
Officof Home Energy Assistance Programs (OHEP) OHEP offers help to Marylanders who are facing potential energy shut-offs or having difficulty paying their energy bills. You do not need a turn-off notice to qualify for assistance; eligibility for energy assistance is based on your income. Please also contact your Local Home Energy Program Office at https://dhs.maryland.gov/office-of-home-energy-programs/local-home-energy-program-office/  to speak to a dedicated OHEP specialist who will guide you through all your options for energy assistance. Learn more about energy assistance at  https://dhs.maryland.gov/office-of-home-energy-programs/
Emergency Cash Assistance to Families with Children (EAFC) EAFC provides cash assistance to families who have at least one child under the age of 21 living with them, and need emergency paying rent, utilities, or other urgent bills. Apply online: Go to https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/ to file your application.

 Full PDF Download: State of Maryland Resources.pdf

Has Your Business Been Impacted by COVID-19?

OUR PURPOSE


Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) provides COVID-19 impacted businesses with resources to provide educationtraining, and business advising to small businesses that have experienced supply chain disruptionsstaffing challengesa decrease in gross receipts or customers, or a closure as a result of COVID-19. 

Sign up Today for a FREE Business Advisor


The Baltimore Metropolitan Womens Business Center provides business advisory services for businesses located in Baltimore City, Baltimore, Howard, Frederick, Carroll, and Harford counties.


Our Business Advisors specialize in Branding, Digital Marketing, Business Development, Talent Management (Human Resources/Hiring), Sales and Minority Business Certification/Business Licenses.

  1. Visit the Baltimore Metropoliltan Womens Business Center website - Click Here
  2. Click on the ADVISORY SERVICES Link
  3. Click on the GET STARTED link and you will be directed to the sign up page to register for a business advisor.

Follow the Baltimore Metropolitan Womens Business Center on Facebook and Instagram for business events and business resources.

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ABOUT US

About the Host Organization 

Morgan State University (MSU) is the premier public urban research university in Maryland known for its excellence in teaching, intensive research, effective public service, and community engagement. Morgan prepares diverse and competitive graduates for success in a global, interdependent society.

The Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management (GSBM), which began as Morgan’s Department of Commerce in 1944 is celebrating its 45th anniversary. All programs (undergrad, Masters and Ph.D.) in the GSBM are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AAACSB) International. The GSBM has more than fifty full-time faculty and an enrollment of approximately 1,500 graduate and undergraduate students. GSBM offers bachelor’s degrees in: Accounting, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Hospitality Management, Human Resources Management, Information Systems and Sciences, Marketing and Supply Chain Management; master’s degrees in Business Administration, Project Management, Public Accountancy, Hospitality Management, Business Administration On-line and Project Management On-line; and doctorate degrees in Business Administration, Marketing, Information Systems, and Accounting.


The Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center (EDAC) with the main focus of connecting budding and existing entrepreneurs to resources for venture management and growth. Founded in 1992, EDAC has a long and impressive history of providing a continuum of technical assistance and other support services primarily to underrepresented communities. EDAC has been supported by USDE Title III funds, banks and other private sources as well as program income from activities and mentor-protégé fees.

Women’s Business Ownership CARES ACT

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to provide Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) that are currently in SBA’s WBC Program with resources to provide education, training, and business advising to small businesses that have experienced supply chain disruptions, staffing challenges, a decrease in gross receipts or customers, or a closure as a result of COVID-19. Through the Baltimore Metropolitan Women Business Center, funding has been provided to engage business advisors to work with socially and economically disadvantaged women business owners who have been impacted by COVID-19.  


About the Women Business Center 

The Women’s Business Centers (WBC) program has grown and evolved to provide a variety of services to many entrepreneurs ranging from those interested in starting businesses to those looking to expand an existing business.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), through the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO), is responsible for the general management and oversight of the WBC program. The SBA issues an annual cooperative agreement to recipient organizations for the delivery of assistance to individuals and small businesses. The WBC program acts as a catalyst for providing in-depth, substantive, outcome-oriented business services, including training, counseling, and technical assistance, to women entrepreneurs and both nascent and established businesses, a representative number of whom are socially and economically disadvantaged. By providing training and counseling on a wide variety of topics through WBCs, the SBA meets the needs of the individual client in the local marketplace. 


SBA’s participation is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs or cosponsored programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least 2 weeks in advance. Contact Yvette Racks at 443.885.3663. Grants #SBAHQ20W0001 and SBAHQ20C0172

Miles & Stockbridge Black Business and Startup Initiative (https://www.mslaw.com/black-business-start-up-initiative)

  • Miles & Stockbridge is offering a new initiative that will provide pro bono legal support to Black owned businesses in a range of areas, including review of corporate and other organization documents, review of commercial contracts, review of leases and lease negotiation support, assistance with web site policies, assistance with legal issues relating to loans and other financing.  
  • To qualify for assistance, businesses must meet the following criteria:
    • 50% of business owners are Black entrepreneurs
    • Fewer than 10 employees
    • Under $500,000 in annual revenue
    • Been in business for less than 5 years
  • To request assistance, businesses should email MilesBBI@mslaw.com to request an intake. And for more info visit:
    https://www.mslaw.com/black-business-start-up-initiative

Baltimore City Procurement Database- Interested in doing business in Baltimore? Click here to learn how you can be a city contractor. 


Anne Arundel County Procurement Database- Anne Arundel County has their new contractor database up and running. This database will be a resource to all the agencies when looking for small businesses for procurement opportunities. The Anne Arundel County eProcurement system will be known as P.O.R.T. (Procurement Operations Resource Technology). Click here to learn more. 


State of Maryland Procurement Database- EMMA is the new E Maryland Marketplace Advantage website for procurement opportunities. You can see contract opportunities and contact instructions to help you get connected to the right people. Click here to learn more


MDOT Certification- Ever consider doing business with the State of Maryland? If you have plans to grow, the certification process could open up new opportunities for new revenue. Click here to learn more.


Baltimore Demographics- Ever wonder where to find info on demographics in Baltimore? Click here to see this summary by the Census Bureau.


Maryland Wealth- Interested in seeing stats on Maryland's wealth and its tax revenue for each city and county? Click here to view the report from the Department of Legislative Services Office of Policy Analysis.


Connect with City Leadership- Want to attend a Board of Estimates meeting or Baltimore City Council meeting to hear from our elected officials? Check out the schedule at: http://www.baltimorecitycouncil.com/complete-calendar


U.S. Economy- Interested in how the U.S. economy is doing? Here is the most current information from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis: https://www.bea.gov/news/glance

LOANS AND GRANTS


Department of Treasury

Read more about the current process for qualifying for loans and grants from the Federal programs.


KIVA Loans 

KIVA has funding options for businesses. Click here to learn more. 


Short term commercial loans not based on credit...

If you have submitted an invoice for services and you are waiting to be paid, or if you have a purchase order to fill, but need funding to get started, learn more about WHC’s programs that can help.

 

JOBS


Jobs at the Small Business Administration 

The SBA has a variety of temporary jobs to assist with the COVID-19 response. Click here to learn more.  


Jobs in Baltimore

The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development has compiled job openings in the area. Click here to learn more.


Department of Labor

The Department of Labor has compiled some job opportunities. Click here to learn more. 


April 2020

The Business Break

Your small business matters

We understand there’s a lot facing your business during this challenging time. That’s why The Business Break offers tips on things that can help you stay in contact with your clients and keep moving your business forward. Scroll down to review our helpful resources:

Tech: There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to business technology – what’s right for you?
Social media: 10 tips on using social media to help promote your business.
Coronavirus: Learn about actions you can take to manage risk and sustain your business through the crisis.
Tech

Tools for managing your small business

From technology that helps protect vital business systems to tools that automate processes so you’re more efficient – it’s about finding the right fit for you. Get started now with this quick article.

Don’t miss these insights
Payroll - Business Break

10 tips on using social media to help promote your business

Right now, you still have to be able to conduct business without face-to-face interactions. When it comes to social media, it’s more important than ever to have a plan in place and make it work.

Learn more now
 

Starting a new business? Looking to grow?
We can get you on the right path. Check out our Learning & Insights resource center!

Maryland Sick and Safe Leave Information
-by Janice Walker-Emeogo

The law states that leave accrues at the rate of one hour for every thirty hours that an employee works. An employee is not entitled to accrue sick and safe leave during (1) a 2 week pay period in which the employee worked fewer than 24 total hours; (2) a 1 week pay period if the employee worked fewer than a combined total of 24 hours in the current and immediately preceding pay period; or (3) a pay period in which the employee is paid twice per month and worked fewer than 26 hours in the pay period. The leave hours provided for under the law are the minimum number of hours an employee is entitled to earn and accrue. An employer may provide more leave for its employees.

The Opportunity Zone program is a nationwide initia​tive ​administered by the U.S. Treasury created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job​s Act. The program provides federal tax incentives for investment in distressed communities over the next 10 years. Areas designated as Opportunity Zones will be able to reap the benefits of capital gains to help redevelop underserved communities.

Visit the website here
to learn more: 
https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/OpportunityZones.aspx


The GBBCC Business Development Committee is following the progress of this initiative to ensure black-owned businesses are engaged in this economic development initiative.  Please review the information below, and if you have any questions about opportunities in any of the Greater Baltimore Regions (Baltimore City, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard and Harford Counties), please send your questions to:  gbbchamber@gmail.com

The Opportunity Zone program is a nationwide initiative created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The program provides federal tax incentives for investment in distressed communities over the next 10 years. Areas designated as Opportunity Zones will be able to reap the benefits of capital gains to help redevelop underserved communities.

Of the 149 Census Tracts in Maryland designated as Opportunity Zones by the U.S. Treasury, 42 are in Baltimore City. For a list of Census Tracts in Baltimore City designated as Opportunity Zones, please click here. For a map of Opportunity Zones in Baltimore City, please click here.

For a map of all 149 Opportunity Zones, please visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/OpportunityZones.aspx.

For more information about Opportunity Zones, please visit Economic Innovation Group or the U.S. Treasury at https://www.cdfifund.gov/Pages/Opportunity-Zones.aspx.


Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization. 1325 Bedford Avenue, Suite 5941; Pikesville, MD 21282

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