Greater Baltimore Black
        Chamber of Commerce
    (Information and membership portal)


For Immediate Release
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Contact: Stefanie Mavronis
o. 410-545-1935, c: 443-202-7051

Council President Announces Community Town Hall Dates

Baltimore Residents Encouraged To Weigh In On City Council’s Priorities Through 2020

BALTIMORE, MD (August 6, 2019) — Baltimore City Council President Brandon M. Scott will host nine community town halls between August 8 and September 5 to hear Baltimore residents’ reactions and feedback to his recently released Legislative and Policy Proposal, which outlines the work he intends the City Council to accomplish through 2020.   

“Baltimoreans deserve a government that’s accountable and that works for them,” said Council President Scott. “I’m excited to hear directly from residents about what they most want to see from the City Council moving forward.” 

The Council President announced his Legislative and Policy Proposal on July 31 at City Hall. You can read the full proposal on the Baltimore City Council website:

Council President Scott’s proposal includes four priority areas: transparency and accountability (Cleaning up city government), public safety and economic development (Safer, stronger communities), education and youth opportunity (Investing in youth, investing in our future), and equity (Bringing an equity framework to governance). 

“It’s important that our leaders hear from residents directly,” said Anthony Jones, Director of Community Relations for the Office of the City Council President. “And it’s even more important that it happens at the beginning of a process such as this one.”  

Beginning this Thursday, August 8, residents of Baltimore can offer feedback on the proposal for the City Council’s consideration at a series of community town halls. All town halls will be held from 6:30-8:00pm. Dates and locations are listed below.

Residents can RSVP for the town halls using the following form:

In addition to attending the community town halls, residents are encouraged to share their ideas and reactions by emailing and using the hashtag #BaltimoreCanBmore on social media.

Thursday, August 8

Cherry Hill Elementary
801 Bridgeview Road, Baltimore, MD 21225

Tuesday, August 13
Weinberg Y in Waverly
900 E 33rd St, Baltimore, MD 21218

Thursday, August 15 
Baltimore City Community College
2901 Liberty Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215

Tuesday, August 20 
Edgewood Lyndhurst Recreation Center
835 Allendale St, Baltimore, MD 21229

Thursday, August 22 
Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School
2200 Sinclair Ln, Baltimore, MD 21213

Tuesday, August 27 
Enoch Pratt Free Library - Southeast Anchor Branch
3601 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224
(Bilingual English-Spanish town hall)

Wednesday, August 28 
Online Virtual Forum
Details Forthcoming

Thursday, August 29
Mount Pleasant Church and Ministries
6000 Radecke Ave, Baltimore, MD 21206

Thursday, September 5
Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore
5700 Park Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215
(ID required for entry)

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.

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Small Biz Bulletin - August 2019

Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Maryland Economy Ranks in Top 10

Maryland was recently ranked as the 8th best economy in the U.S. by 24/7 Wall Street. Since day one, Governor Hogan has been focused on improving the statewide economy, and I think this is a great testament to the amazing work being accomplished by this administration. The ranking identified that Maryland's professional and business services sector accounts nearly 15 percent of our Gross Domestic Product, the typical Maryland household earns over $20,000 more than the typical U.S. household annually, and just 9.3% of the state population lives below the poverty line – the second lowest poverty rate nationwide.This is the real picture of the Maryland we know and love and I can't wait to see where we go in the next few years.


Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary

For Your Business


Attention eMMA Vendors - 
Register Your Product and Service Codes Today!

Maryland recently launched a new eProcurement platform called eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA). eMMA is the direct result of Governor Larry Hogan's 2016 Commission to Modernize State Procurement which is being led by Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford. All vendors, both those who completed the preliminary registration and those who are registering as a new vendor, must identify their product and service categories as part of their vendor profile. No old commodity codes were carried over from the former system. eMMA utilizes the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) system. Vendors can search by keyword or use the drop down menu. This is important as it impacts the types of solicitation notices you will receive from the system. Please read the eMMA Managing Vendor Profile Quick Reference Guide for instruction. 

eMMA - Registering on eMMA Quick Reference Guide
eMMA - Managing Vendor Profile Quick Reference Guide

AA Woman in Hard hat

Opportunity MDOT

The Maryland Department of Transportation has launched a first-of-its kind program to empower businesses throughout the state. Opportunity MDOT is designed to help connect small businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans with new opportunities related to the I-491 and I-270 Public-Private Partnership (P3) project. With an estimated investment of up to $11 billion, this P3 project strives to provide travelers with congestion relief. The Opportunity MDOT program will dynamically increase access to opportunity for minority and women works and business owners alike. 

Opportunity MDOT

Small Business Events


Ready, Set, GROW! Makes First Visit to Carroll County

Now is the time Our Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Connections workshop will be in Carroll County on August 20. This free business development event connects small, minority, women, and veteran business owners with buyers from both the state and local governments. You'll learn what they are looking for right now and what's in the pipeline. You'll also have the opportunity to connect with a variety of resource partners who can help your small business thrive. This half day event is being held in collaboration with Miller Resources for Entrepreneurs, a service of Carroll Community College. There is no cost to participate, but advance registration is required. See you in Carroll County! 

Ready, Set, GROW! Carroll County

Governor's Business Summit

Governor's Business Summit 2019

Maryland is open for business and workforce development is one of the most important issues affecting businesses of all sizes. Workforce is also the topic of the 2019 Governor's Business Summit being held on September 20 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Speakers will share innovative partnerships and approaches to diversify, attract, train, and develop your workforce. Find out what workers want, best practices on workforce development, and how to keep your workforce engaged. The event will include ample networking breaks and a Resource Hall featuring exhibitors who can assist with business registration, licensing, financing, and more. Seating is limited. Register today!

Governor's Business Summit 2019

Mark Your Calendar

Most training and business development programs take place outside the office. We maintain a robust calendar of events on our website. It's updated regularly, so be sure to check back often. Here are just a few upcoming events:

08/08/2019 - Procurement 101 (in Spanish)
08/12/2019 - Group Business Counseling for New Businesses
08/13/2019 - Business Plan Fundamentals
08/15/2019 - CyberSecurity Training Workshop
08/19/2019 - The Power Conference: Women Doing Business
08/20/2019 - SAM 101: Business Registration for Beginners (Webinar)
08/26/2019 - Tax Planning: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You
08/27/2019 - How to Conduct Free Marketing Research
08/27/2019 - MBE Rights & Responsibilities
09/03/2019 - MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop
09/05/2019 - Economic Equity Tour

Check out our full range of small business events
online at

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.

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:

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

For more information about Opportunity Zones, please visit Economic Innovation Group or the U.S. Treasury at






Release Date: November 1, 2018             Contact:, (202) 205-7023

Release Number: 18-66                           Follow us on TwitterFacebookBlogs Instagram


SBA and VA Join Forces to Advance Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Veterans; Launch Upcoming National Veterans Small Business Week


SBA Administrator McMahon and VA Secretary Wilkie sign a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a new entrepreneurship training program for Veterans


WASHINGTON— SBA Administrator Linda McMahon and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie today announced a new partnership dedicated to supporting Veteran small businesses.


Administrator McMahon and Secretary Wilkie signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies to collaborate and scale a new pilot program that will offer intensive management and leadership training for Veteran entrepreneurs. President Donald J. Trump recently showed his continued commitment to our nation’s small businesses and to Veterans by donating his second-quarter salary to the SBA. These donated funds will help the SBA with develop and launch the pilot program.


“Veteran businesses owners are critically important to our nation’s economy. In fact, one in 10 business owners is a Veteran, collectively employing nearly five million America workers,” SBA Administrator McMahon said. “The VA and the SBA are proud to join forces to shape and scale this new management and executive leadership program specifically designed for Veteran small business owners. Our agencies’ collaboration is so important as we work to ensure this pilot program is tailored to leverage the skillsets of our Veterans and provide them with the resources they need to take their companies to the next level.”


“By signing this MOU between the VA and the SBA, we are committing two federal agencies to advance, improve, and expand opportunities for transitioning Service members and Veterans to own their own businesses,” said Secretary Wilkie.


Additionally, the two leaders used the occasion to launch the upcoming National Veterans Small Business Week, Nov. 5-9. This year’s theme is “Our Veteran Business Community,” highlighting specific aspects of the Veteran business community, ranging from aspiring to current Veteran and military business owners, including organizations that provide entrepreneurial training.


“We dedicate this week in honor of the many accomplishments of Veteran, service member and military spouse small business owners nationwide. Across the country, SBA district offices and resource partners, as well as local organizations, will be hosting numerous events to spotlight the success of our nation’s 2.5 million Veteran-owned businesses. Entrepreneurship is not a solo mission. I’m proud to be a part of a network that serves the needs of our Veteran and military business owners,” Administrator McMahon concluded.


For more information about National Veterans Small Business Week, including events and ways to get involved, visit For more information on the resources available for veteran entrepreneurs, visit



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. 

SBA Logo

Tax Cuts and Regulatory Reforms are putting the Economy on the Right Track

BY: SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Michelle Christian

While working for his family’s cleaning business, Guy Berkebile mixed chemicals in his bathroom to create better household products. This industrious spirit led him to mortgage his house and withdraw his entire life savings to pursue a dream. In 1995, he opened Guy Chemical Company, Inc. in a 3,000 square-foot rental space with the cheapest equipment he could find.

To make loan payments during the lean years, Berkebile kept his day job and spent evenings and weekends mixing and packaging his products – even hosting slumber parties for his kids while pulling all-nighters. Through hard work and vision, Guy Chemical expanded into a global company, occupying 40,000 square feet in Somerset, Pennsylvania, to accommodate growing orders.

Now, Berkebile is taking advantage of capital freed-up by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to invest in new equipment, and is ready to expand to 70,000 square feet. He purchased a 20-person company in Vermont, grew staff from 130 to 161 employees, and increased annual worker bonuses by as much as 50 percent with raises all around thanks to a 30% increase in sales he attributes to tax cuts.

President Donald J. Trump had taxpayers like Guy Berkebile in mind when he called for and signed the tax law last year, cutting corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% for 2018 and lowering income tax at nearly all levels. Tax cuts allow 30 million small businesses to plan more effectively and reinvest in their companies by expanding, hiring more employees and raising wages. To put it plainly, Americans are seeing more money in their paychecks following the cuts, and more than six million American workers have seen bonuses as well. That’s money spent on Main Street and stimulating the economy, putting kids through school, paying bills, and finally getting heads above water.

It’s working. The American economy is booming with the number of job openings surpassing the number of job seekers for the first time on record, and September’s unemployment rate was at 3.7% - the sixth straight month at 4% or below. Smart, business-friendly decisions have brought manufacturer optimism to a near-record level in the 20-year history of the National Association of Manufacturers’ survey, and small business optimism stands at its third highest level on record since the National Federation of Independent Business began its survey 45 years ago.

The SBA is here for small businesses because we understand they create two of every three new jobs in our country and are a source of stability and pride for our communities. Locally-owned businesses hire local and are more active in our communities; from mentoring other entrepreneurs to sponsoring local teams and more. And, statistically, more locally-owned business earnings stay local to support everything from schools to infrastructure. I promise each and every one of you that our SBA team will continue to keep this Administration’s commitment to empower entrepreneurs.



As the Washington Post reported, we offered our own take on the State of the Union last night:

“Even before President Trump took to the lectern to deliver his first State of the Union speech, the rebuttal was well underway at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington.”

Our event – The Real State of Our Union – gathered academics and activists for a frank assessment of President Trump’s impact on African-American and immigrant communities. Watch a live recording of the event here.

Leaders of different generations, political parties, and faiths called upon us to build a coalition that stands for unity and justice. They reminded us that no matter the half-truths that the administration tells, we must be steadfast in our resistance.

While Trump rallied for a wall on the Mexican border and took credit for a low Black unemployment rate, our panelists called attention to critical civil rights concerns in 2018: rampant voter suppression, a corrupt criminal justice system, and attacks on immigrant communities.

Our best weapon against Trump’s divisive words and deeds? The vote. In a democracy, our vote is our currency. We must protect it with everything we have and use it at every turn.

Join the thousands who are fighting every day to make democracy work for everyone.




Thank you for standing up for justice and the strength of our union.

In solidarity,

President and CEO


Photo credit: Justin D. Knight

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