November Small Biz Bulletin
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Small Biz Bulletin

November 2, 2021

Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

As a nation, we celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th every year to honor the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces. Historically, this day marks the recurring anniversary of Armistice Day, the cessation of hostilities on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, marking the official end of World War I in 1918. Today, we celebrate our veterans with reverence and gratitude. Military service and small business owners share a distinct relationship. Veterans are more likely to own a business than nonveterans, and they possess traits of high performing entrepreneurs such as independence, confidence in ability and skills, good decision-making in chaotic environments, and high self-efficacy. I want to thank Maryland's 385,000 veterans for their service. I also invite them to join in our celebration as we host two webinars for the veteran entrepreneurial community. We are eager to enroll more firms in Maryland's Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise Program and partnering with resource organizations like Project Opportunity can help to do just that. Please go out of your way to thank the veterans in your life.

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary


Veterans Day Celebration

We are joining the national celebration of Veteran’s Day by offering two webinars specifically designed for veteran entrepreneurs. We are eager to enroll more firms in the Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise Program (VSBE) and by partnering with resource organizations like Project Opportunity, we can help to do just that. Increasing the state’s VSBE vendor pool, currently below 500 firms, is one way to set higher goals on state-funded contracts and ultimately benefit more veteran entrepreneurs. There is no cost to attend, and advance registration is required for both events. 

  • Project Opportunity will be highlighted during the Small Biz Resource Connections webinar on Friday, November 5 at 10 am. This free entrepreneurship training program has been designed for veterans, by veterans. After an initial assessment, selected participants can participate in a multi-week boot camp. Over 250 veterans have successfully completed Project Opportunity since its launch in 2010. Spouses, including those with independent businesses, are welcome to attend.
    Small Biz Resource Connections Registration

  • Maryland's VSBE Program is the topic of our November Technical Training Classroom webinar on Tuesday, November 9 at 10 am. The two-hour session will examine the eligibility standards and 3-step certification process for Maryland’s veterans preference procurement program. Insights on how to navigate the state’s procurement processes and tactics for mining the procurement pipeline will also be covered. 
    Technical Training Classroom Registration

Vendor Survey

The Maryland Department of Legislative Services (DLS) is the nonpartisan staffing agency for the Maryland General Assembly. DLS is conducting an evaluation of the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program. The evaluation includes a survey of the broad vendor community to get feedback from certified MBEs and non-MBEs. Your participation is crucial to providing the Maryland General Assembly with a clear picture of how the program is function today and how it can be improved to address the needs of stakeholders. Your participation in the survey is completely confidential. Your name and the name of your business will not be used in any reporting, nor will your responses be reported in any way that can be traced back to you. Survey results will be maintained confidentially and will not be available to any third party. In general, DLS will report results from the survey in the aggregate. Depending on the extent of your experience with the MBE Program, the survey should take between 5 and 12 minutes to complete. We realize how important your time is, and greatly appreciate your participation. Please submit your response by November 15, 2021

MBE Study Survey

TTC 2020 Classroom

Technical Training Classroom

What are your rights and responsibilities when performing as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) on a state-funded contract? Competition is tough in the public sector and a critical key to success lies within understanding the rules. Join our webinar on November 23 at 10 am when we will take an in-depth look at the rules governing both MBE prime contractors and MBE subcontractors. There is no cost to attend, and advance registration is required. Reserve your seat today.

MBE Rights & Responsibilities

Karen Reyes

Meet Karen Reyes

We are pleased to welcome Karen Reyes to the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs. Karen will work with the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program. Her duties include data collection and performance analysis for agencies and departments participating in the MBE Program. In addition, she will provide policy support, promote best practices, facilitate training, and enforce regulations. Karen graduated from La Salle University in 2020 and is fluent in Spanish. A Maryland native, she currently resides in Baltimore County. Welcome Karen! 

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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. 


Happy Thanksgiving

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 and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @goMDsmallbiz.

USBC Mourns the Loss of Colin Powell

The World Lost a Trailblazer.

General and statesman Colin Powell's work was as a politician, diplomat and four-star general.

But to us and so many Americans, what he represented mattered most; honor, ingenuity, bravery and integrity.

We mourn the loss of our country's first African-American Secretary of State, first African-American national security adviser and first African-American chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

We also send condolences to his family and friends during this time.

Gen. Colin Powell, we salute you.

We salute your legacy.

We salute you for a life well lived.

[Photo credit: Stephen Voss/Redux Pictures via]

-Ron Busby, Sr.

President & CEO

U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

Maryland State Directory of New Hire


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
Phone: (888) 634-4737 | Fax: (888) 657-3534


State of Maryland Financial Resources & Services 

Department of Human Services Resources & Financial Assistance


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,, 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.

• You do not have to weather the tough times alone. DHS services include, financial, medical, and more. Learn more at

• 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

myDHR/myMDTHINK Consumer Portal

Marylanders can get information, apply for DHS programs and services, and check the status of applications online at

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 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 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  to speak to a dedicated OHEP specialist who will guide you through all your options for energy assistance. Learn more about energy assistance at
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 to file your application.

 Full PDF Download: State of Maryland Resources.pdf

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:

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:

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.

Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c) 6 and 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. 1325 Bedford Avenue, Suite 5941; Pikesville, MD 21282-7510

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