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National Safety Month


Did you know that June is National Safety Month? As many states move to reopen businesses affected during COVID-19, it's important to follow safety guidelines to keep your employees and customers safe. Take the time to review safety resources from the CDC when reopening your business. 

Learn more

Join the SBA team: Employment opportunities to support SBA's COVID-19 pandemic response


The SBA is hiring temporary employees to assist with disaster relief efforts during these unprecedented times. The positions include:

  • Call Center Customer Service Representative
  • Document Preparation/Legal Review/Loan Closings
  • Loan Processing/Credit Analysis/Mortgage Underwriting
  • Program Support

Apply today

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GSA Presents: Advancing Small Businesses During Unprecedented Times (Webinars)

Join GSA Administrator, Emily Murphy, to explore strategies to enable support of the federal opportunities within the COVID-19 pandemic environment during GSA's webinars hosted on June 8 and 10. Participants will learn about the most current federal requirements, how the federal business landscape has responded and how small businesses can engage. GSA will also address your questions around federal contracting.

Register | June 8

Register | June 10


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Beware of Scams and Fraud Schemes

The Office of Inspector General recognizes that we are facing unprecedented times and is alerting the public about potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration in response to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the largest financial assistance bill to date, includes provisions to help small businesses. Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these economically difficult times.  Be on the lookout for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing.

Learn more

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Federal Coronavirus Resources

State, local, and federal agencies are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Check out coronavirus.gov for updates from the White House's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force. Go to cdc.gov for detailed information about COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Learn more about the federal government's response

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Virtual Mentoring and Training 

Offices around the country may be closed to the Coronavirus pandemic, but SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers and other resource partners are providing free business mentoring and training by phone, email, and video.

Find an SBA resource partner near you

SBA District and Regional Office Webinars on Disaster Assistance  

SBA district and regional offices are offering webinars about Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

These webinars explain SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and how you can apply for disaster assistance. 

Sign up for SBA newsletters using your zip code to get updates

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Small Biz Bulletin

June 3, 2020

Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Rethink your Professional Network

In the last issue, I challenged you to rethink the theory behind your business as Maryland begins to reopen. I would like to continue on that theme and explore other areas where you should proactively rethink your current paradigm. Strong professional networks are critical to entrepreneurs. It may have taken a pandemic to remind us how important effective networks are to the bottom line. Relationships are built on mutual interests, yet when faced with a crisis, we prioritize working with people we know and trust. If you need to rebuild or expand your network, start now. Live events are scarce these days, so utilize social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter to follow and interact with like-minded entrepreneurs and keep track of what's happening in your specific industry. When events begin again, connect with professional organizations in your industry or community and get involved. Join a committee and attend events regularly. Networking is about meeting new people, so have your elevator pitch polished and remember to do more listening than talking when you meet someone for the first time. Time will strengthen a good relationship. You must make a genuine effort to stay in touch no matter how busy life becomes. Your professional network should include mentors, resource partners, service providers, and customers. That's why the health and strength of your professional network can be your single greatest advantage today, and for years to come. 

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary

For Your Business

Online Training

eMMA Vendor Training Videos

This one bears repeating! If you're interested in doing business with the State of Maryland, you must know how to navigate the eMMA platform with proficiency. eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA) is our online procurement portal that was launched in July, 2019. Many vendors are still learning to operate within this new procurement tool. Users who are not taking the time to learn the system properly may be submitting bids that cannot be accepted. Please take advantage of the online training and Help Desk videos to help you maintain your vendor profile and identify/pursue contracting opportunities. "Submitting Electronic Bids" is one of the most popular videos currently available. New videos are being added regularly, so bookmark this site and visit often.

eMMA Vendor Training and Support


Maryland flag with state house dome in background

Commercial Non-Discrimination Policy

We're glad Maryland has a policy prohibiting commercial non-discrimination. That means we won't enter into a contract with a business entity that has discriminated in the solicitation, selection, hiring, or commercial treatment of vendors, suppliers, subcontractors, or commercial customers on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, gender/sex, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or marital status. Harassment and retaliation are also prohibited. To learn more about this longstanding policy, use the link below to visit the State of Maryland's Commission on Civil Rights. 

Commercial Non-Discrimination Policy



Top Business Podcasts

For many entrepreneurs, shutting down is hard to do. They are always "on" and feel disconnected when not actively engaged in something. That's one of the reason podcasts have become a valued entrepreneurial tool. Who doesn't love multitasking! You can get all kinds of higher knowledge from a gentle voice while walking, cleaning, cooking, or staring into nothingness. Podcasts cover a broad, broad range of topics - business being among the most popular. There's a lot of information and experiences to share, and with everyone spending more time at home these days, new podcasts are launching everyday. If you don't already subscribe to any podcasts, you should give it a try. Your time is valuable, so do a little research and choose wisely. There's likely more than one podcast out there for you. You can search on your own or look through the list in the link provided below. 

Top Business Podcasts for 2020

Alison Tavik

Open for Business and Working from Home

Introducing Alison Tavik

My family moved to Maryland when I was in the second grade, and I will live here the rest of my life. I grew up in Western Maryland, attended school on the Eastern Shore, and raised my family in Central Maryland on property that has been in my husband's family for nearly 75 years. My career in communications started in the private sector, but it is here in public service where I met my most influential mentors and colleagues who I am happy to count among my dearest friends. As the Director of Communication and Outreach with the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs, I have the pleasure of working with people who genuinely value diversity and inclusion. Perfection is not a real thing, and we are continually working to improve our outreach and training programs so small business owners can compete with confidence in the state contracting arena. One thing I know for sure is the network of people engaged in this endeavor vastly outweighs those who just don't get it. I am inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit that drives someone to take incredible risk and I aspire to be more like them. I am a people person, so I miss having face-to-face conversations in the office and at events. While I do feel productive working from home during this unusual time in our history, on some days I am compelled to rebel against communicating through the keyboard. That's when I go "old school" and pick up the phone. 


Mark Your Calendar

In this new environment of social distancing, everyone is adapting. Today's seminars are webinars, Zoom meetings, Facebook Live events, Google Meets, and more. If you have a smart phone or a computer, you have what you need to tap into these valuable training and information sessions. Capacity can fill quickly, so sign up early when required to do so.

06/04/2020 - Expanding Global Opportunities for Women-Owned Businesses During COVID-19
06/04/2020 - Corporate Social Responsibility: How Your Values Add Value to Your Business
06/05/2020 - Successfully Managing Unplanned Changes (For Managers)
06/09/2020 - Simple Ways to Boost Your Productivity While Working Remotely
06/09/2020 - Protect Your Small Business From Cyber Threats
06/17/2020 - Hensel Phelps Small Business Webinar
06/17/2020 - Economic Inclusions & Virtual Global Business Opportunity Fair 
06/30/2020 - LinkedIn: Building Social Media Content
07/07/2020 - MBE Application Assistance Workshop

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

COVID-19 Business Resources

Roadmap to Recovery
It takes less than 10 minutes to complete the Census.

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.

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


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 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. 

Special Announcement on PPP

Expanded PPP provides opportunity in underserved communities


ATLANTA- SBA and Treasury just announced that $10 billion of Round 2 funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will be lent exclusively by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the nation.  CDFIs are positioned to deliver access to capital in our underserved communities.  As of May 23, 2020, CDFIs have approved over $7 billion ($3.2 billion in Round 2) in PPP loans. 


“Today we are witnessing further momentum coming off incredible community mobilization. We have engaged and received support from music influencers, the sports industry, faith-based communities and the small business communities across this nation.” says Ashley D. Bell, SBA Regional Administrator and Entrepreneurship Policy Advisor for the White House Opportunity & Revitalization Council.  “With this $10 billion in resources for our mission-based lenders and for technical assistance, we will be able to bring home the capital these communities desperately need.”


The Paycheck Protection Program was created by the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and provides forgivable loans to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep their employees on the payroll.  To date, more than 4.4 million loans have been approved for over $510 billion for small businesses across America. 

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.

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

Tips to manage risk and sustain your business in the time of Coronavirus

Tips to manage risk and sustain your business in the time of coronavirus.

The coronavirus has changed the small business landscape. We’ve included helpful information about cash liquidity and business planning, as well as keeping your employees and customers safe. Access this info.

Read COVID-19 article

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

Read here: https://bmorenews.com/2020/03/11/the-glover-report-carl-stokes-stands-for-black-businesses-in-baltimore/

January 2020

The Business Break

Your small business matters

Hello The Greater Baltimore Black,

This month, The Business Break is looking out for your business with tips on everything from avoiding some common pitfalls to low-cost promotional efforts:

Payroll: We want to help you avoid common payroll mistakes
Finances: Save yourself the headache and keep your business and personal finances separate
Promotions: Check out these suggestions on how to grow your business inexpensively

Scroll down to see what’s most relevant to you:

Payroll pitfalls

6 tips to avoid common payroll mistakes

You got into business because you enjoy what you do, not to do paperwork! But with a little prep and attention, you can avoid time-consuming (and possibly costly) payroll errors.

Don’t miss this list
Finances – Business insights

Keeping business and personal finances separate

There are a lot of advantages to being a small business owner. So, make sure you can take advantage of them by separating out your business finances.

Review insights

Promotions - Promotional efforts

Inexpensive ways to build a small business

You can do a lot to promote your business without spending a ton of money to get it done. We’ve compiled 8 great ideas for you so you can get out there without breaking the budget.

Get ideas 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: 

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.

Water Reclamation Feasibility Study

Weller Development Company, LLC (“Developer”) is seeking qualifications from consultants and engineers who have significant expertise in water reclamation facilities (“Respondent”).
Copyright © 2018 Weller Development Company, All rights reserved. 

Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c) 4 non-profit organization. 1325 Bedford Avenue, Suite 5941; Pikesville, MD 21282

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