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

Upcoming Meeting Topics:

January 2, 2019 - Sick and Safe Leave - Presenter is Janice Walker-Emeogo from The Dept. of Labor and Licensing

February 6, 2019 - Topic is Cost Effective Marketing for Small Businesses – Speaker to be announced

March 6, 2019 - Cash Management Strategies- Speakers confirmed: Robin Haynes- Operation Hope 2nd presenter is Timothy Smoot- MMG

April 3, 2019 - Fundraising for Non-profits – presenter to be announced

May 1, 2019 - possible Fundraiser revolving around the MD Legislative Session –Update on legislation directly related to Black owned Businesses and/or Community and Economic Development

June 5, 2019 - Open conversation with Darryl Barnes, New Chair of The MD Legislative Black Caucus

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:

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 - December 2018

Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Happy Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, and it is my privilege to share an invitation from Governor Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan to attend the Holiday Open House in Annapolis. All Marylanders will be welcomed to Government House on Saturday, December 8 from 1 - 4 PM. The event is free and no reservations are required. The First Family asks guests to consider bringing an unwrapped toy to be donated to those in need during this holiday season. The Maryland State Police will be collecting donations on behalf of Toys for Tots under a tent by the front gate. Government House chefs will prepare an assortment of holiday cookies and you'll enjoy beautiful decorations and live music performed by a variety of high school groups. I hope you are able to attend, and I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.


Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary  

RSG 40th Anniversary

Ready, Set, GROW! Rescheduled for December 7th in Frederick County

Snow cancelled our November date, but not the event. Come out and meet buyers with state, county and local governments in the Frederick area at our Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Connections Workshop on Friday, December 7th at Frederick Community College. Small, minority, women, and veteran business owners are invited to attend this free event. In addition to meeting buyers from over 20 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!


Tax Credit

Buy Maryland Cybersecurity Tax Credit

Maryland companies who purchase cybersecurity technologies and services from a qualified Maryland cybersecurity seller may be eligible for a tax credit of 50% of the net purchase.The program is designed to promote the cybersecurity industry in Maryland by helping small businesses purchase cybersecurity technologies and services to protect their business information. The tax credit must be claimed for the year in which the purchase is made, and tax credits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to funding availability. To be eligible for the tax credit, a company must have fewer than 50 employees in the state, and file an income tax return in Maryland. The program is administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce.


Maryland OPEN for Business


Small Business Regulatory Assistance

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation is home to the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance. This specialized unit helps Maryland business owners find timely and effective solutions to issues so they can go about running their companies. Their professional staff assists with compliance to and adoption of regulations, facilitates responsiveness of state government to small business needs, and serves as a central clearinghouse of information for business assistance programs and services. Maryland is OPEN for business. How can we help you?


Census Business Builder

Free Small Business Research Tool

The U.S. Census Bureau measures America's people, places, and economy. They provide a wealth of data that are essential resources to help businesses succeed and grow. Large corporations use this data regularly, and your small business can use it, too. Through a tool called the Census Business Builder, you can access a suite of services providing selected demographic and economic data that can be tailored to specific needs. Search tools and interactive menus make it easy to create interactive, customizable, printable and downloadable reports. This is one free resource all small businesses should learn to use.


Small Business Events

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:

12/04/2018 - MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop
12/06/2018 - Live! Casino & Hotel Minority Outreach Fair
12/07/2018 - Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Connections Workshop
12/08/2018 - Understanding How the new Tax Law Will Affect Your 2018 Taxes
12/11/2018 - The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business
12/12/2018 - Marketing + Manufacturing Summit

Check out our full range of small business events
online at

Snowman Happy Holidays

Wishing you a happy, healthy,
and safe Holiday Season!


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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