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

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. 

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Small Biz Bulletin - November 2018

Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Customer Service Report

Governor Larry Hogan recently released the administration's second Customer Service Annual Report which details continued improvements in customer satisfaction and innovation within state agencies. Created in 2016, the Governor's Customer Service Initiative has continually driven improvements in service delivery and citizen experience. The overall satisfaction rating statewide increased from 81.7% to 87.7%. Here at the Governor's Coordinating Offices, we achieved a 93% satisfaction rating. The majority of these survey responses come from those of you who attend our outreach events. My team and I thank you for taking the time to complete the survey and promise to continuously work toward improving our outreach programs for your benefit.


Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary  

2018 Customer Service Annual Report

Pam Gregory Casual

Welcome Back Pam!

We are pleased to welcome Pamela Gregory as our new Chief of Staff. She has actually rejoined our team after spending the last two years with the Maryland Department of Transportation's Office of Minority Business Enterprise. In her new role, Pam will work with the Special Secretary to ensure that Maryland is open for business to the state's 580,000 small business, particularly those owned by women and minorities. She has over 20 years of government service, and excels at system and business process improvements proven to increase efficiency and enhance customer satisfaction. When you see Pam at one of our outreach events, please introduce yourself.



Partner with PTAC

Doing business in the government sector is challenging. Thankfully, the PTAC (formerly known as the Procurement Technical Assistance Center) is here to help position Maryland-based small businesses to compete in the government procurement process, particularly within the federal arena. If you have a product or service that has a reasonable expectation of being procured under a government contract or purchase order, there is no cost to connect to PTAC's services which include counseling, training, market research, help in locating subcontracting opportunities, and more . They have eight locations around the state and an amazing team of experienced counselors eager to help you.

Maryland PTAC

RSG October 2018 Citation Recipients

Governor 's Citations Awarded to Local Small Business Owners

Small business owners are the backbone of our economy and Governor Larry Hogan recently recognized three Baltimore-area firms for their personal and professional contributions. The Governor's Citations were awarded during the Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Connections workshop held at Horseshoe Casino. The Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs co-hosted the event with the Mayor's Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development. Nearly 150 small business owners and entrepreneurs joined in the celebration. Congratulations to April Richardson, founder of Food Opportunity, LLC, Ronald Curry, co-founder of Neo Technologies, and Kevin Barnes, founder of Harbor Designs and Manufacturing. 

Small Business Events

RSG 40th Anniversary

Frederick Community College Hosts Ready, Set, GROW! Workshop

Meet buyers and learn how to do business with state, county and local governments in the Frederick area at our next Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Connections Workshop. Join us on Thursday, November 15th at Frederick Community College to find out what buyers are looking for right now. Small, minority, women, and veteran business owners are invited to attend this free event. In addition to meeting buyers from over 23 different public and private purchasing units, you'll have the opportunity to connect with a variety of small business resource partners who can help your small business grow. Register today!

Ready, Set, GROW! Workshop

Mark Your Calendar

Most business development takes 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:

11/05/2018 - MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop
10/06/2018 - Eliot-Hine Middle School Modernization Project Outreach
10/06/2018 - Pricing and Profits
10/07/2018 - Women's Business Showcase and Brunch
10/08/2018 - Port Covington Vendor Open House
10/10/2018 - Business Over Breakfast
10/15/2018 - Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Connections Workshop
10/27/2018 - Networking to get Noticed
10/30/2018 - Surety Bonding 101

Check out our full range of small business events
online at

Maryland Flag w/ images

Wishing you a happy, healthy,
and safe 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 and women, to greater economic opportunities. Learn more by visiting our website at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter@goMDsmallbiz.

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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