Client Spotlight

Life Prep Early Learning Center, located in Patterson Park, is hosting open house tours on Friday evenings through December. Email to schedule a tour. They will also be offering Halloween gift bags on October 31 from 4-8pm.  Visit their website to learn more.

Wight Tea Co. is offering cozy care packages in collaboration with Homebody General. Choose your combination of teas, a mug, socks, nail polish, and/or scrunchie. Pre-order by October 15.
Wild Kombucha is launching their new Icaro Tea online in cans, available nationwide with free shipping through the Icaro website. Icaro Teas are made exclusively from ethically sourced loose-leaf teas and are certified Organic, Kosher, and Non-GMO. 1% of all sales will be donated to Living Classrooms for Arts Education in Baltimore City.
Off The Rox's monthly wine club includes four hand-selected natural wines, tasting notes, and pairing suggestions. October's theme is Greek wines. Also, curbside & delivery orders are now available. Download the Off The Rox app or visit their website. Use code ROXSAVE5 to save $5 on your order of $25 or more (curbside and delivery only).
Keller Professional Services is pleased to announce the addition of its founder and CEO, Debra Keller-Greene, to the Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Maryland Board of Directors. She joins a group of seven other new appointees. BBB’s mission to build an ethical marketplace aligns with the Keller Professional Services, Inc. vision to empower workplaces to provide critical support to their employees and communities. 

Resources and Opportunities

Webinars and Events
October 7 at 12 pm - Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch - The Grid at University of Maryland If you had 30 seconds or less to promote yourself or your business, how would you do? A successful elevator pitch is key to inspiring a potential investor to invest in you or your idea. Neil Davis is going to help make sure that your elevator pitch is unforgettable. 

October 10 Baltimore Children's Business Fair - Baltimore Business Lending is pleased to sponsor and volunteer for this event in which young entrepreneurs create a product or service, develop a brand, and build a marketing strategy. Our Director Bonnie Crockett and our Loan Officer Don Cutwright will be judging entries and presenting an award to one of the winners.

October 14 at 6:30 pm - Will My Business Idea Work? - Maryland Capital Enterprises - Explore the potential of your business idea. This session will focus on examining the feasibility of your business idea, exploring ways to market the product or service, and identifying resources to aid in starting your business, including basic outline of writing a business plan.

October 29 at 10 am - Grow Your Sales Team on a Shoestring Budget During COVID - Maryland Capital Enterprises - This is the class for you if you want to start with basic steps to get you on the path of more business coming in - you doing less of the small tasks and still having time to enjoy life.

Training Programs
Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program - A one-year fellowship for women entrepreneurs that includes virtual education, workshops, an online peer network, and a $5,000 grant. Eligible businesses are for-profit, in the early stages, and generate more than $75,000 in revenues.


Baltimore Business Lending is the small business division of Baltimore Community Lending, a 501(c)(3) CDFI. We provide capital to small businesses that are creditworthy, but may lack the equity or collateral necessary to qualify for traditional lending resources. 

Has Your Business Been Impacted by COVID-19?


Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) provides COVID-19 impacted businesses with resources to provide educationtraining, and business advising to small businesses that have experienced supply chain disruptionsstaffing challengesa decrease in gross receipts or customers, or a closure as a result of COVID-19. 

Sign up Today for a FREE Business Advisor

The Baltimore Metropolitan Womens Business Center provides business advisory services for businesses located in Baltimore City, Baltimore, Howard, Frederick, Carroll, and Harford counties.

Our Business Advisors specialize in Branding, Digital Marketing, Business Development, Talent Management (Human Resources/Hiring), Sales and Minority Business Certification/Business Licenses.

  1. Visit the Baltimore Metropoliltan Womens Business Center website - Click Here
  2. Click on the ADVISORY SERVICES Link
  3. Click on the GET STARTED link and you will be directed to the sign up page to register for a business advisor.

Follow the Baltimore Metropolitan Womens Business Center on Facebook and Instagram for business events and business resources.

Facebook ‌ Instagram ‌


About the Host Organization 

Morgan State University (MSU) is the premier public urban research university in Maryland known for its excellence in teaching, intensive research, effective public service, and community engagement. Morgan prepares diverse and competitive graduates for success in a global, interdependent society.

The Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management (GSBM), which began as Morgan’s Department of Commerce in 1944 is celebrating its 45th anniversary. All programs (undergrad, Masters and Ph.D.) in the GSBM are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AAACSB) International. The GSBM has more than fifty full-time faculty and an enrollment of approximately 1,500 graduate and undergraduate students. GSBM offers bachelor’s degrees in: Accounting, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Hospitality Management, Human Resources Management, Information Systems and Sciences, Marketing and Supply Chain Management; master’s degrees in Business Administration, Project Management, Public Accountancy, Hospitality Management, Business Administration On-line and Project Management On-line; and doctorate degrees in Business Administration, Marketing, Information Systems, and Accounting.

The Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center (EDAC) with the main focus of connecting budding and existing entrepreneurs to resources for venture management and growth. Founded in 1992, EDAC has a long and impressive history of providing a continuum of technical assistance and other support services primarily to underrepresented communities. EDAC has been supported by USDE Title III funds, banks and other private sources as well as program income from activities and mentor-protégé fees.

Women’s Business Ownership CARES ACT

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to provide Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) that are currently in SBA’s WBC Program with resources to provide education, training, and business advising to small businesses that have experienced supply chain disruptions, staffing challenges, a decrease in gross receipts or customers, or a closure as a result of COVID-19. Through the Baltimore Metropolitan Women Business Center, funding has been provided to engage business advisors to work with socially and economically disadvantaged women business owners who have been impacted by COVID-19.  

About the Women Business Center 

The Women’s Business Centers (WBC) program has grown and evolved to provide a variety of services to many entrepreneurs ranging from those interested in starting businesses to those looking to expand an existing business.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), through the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO), is responsible for the general management and oversight of the WBC program. The SBA issues an annual cooperative agreement to recipient organizations for the delivery of assistance to individuals and small businesses. The WBC program acts as a catalyst for providing in-depth, substantive, outcome-oriented business services, including training, counseling, and technical assistance, to women entrepreneurs and both nascent and established businesses, a representative number of whom are socially and economically disadvantaged. By providing training and counseling on a wide variety of topics through WBCs, the SBA meets the needs of the individual client in the local marketplace. 

SBA’s participation is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs or cosponsored programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least 2 weeks in advance. Contact Yvette Racks at 443.885.3663. Grants #SBAHQ20W0001 and SBAHQ20C0172

Miles & Stockbridge Black Business and Startup Initiative (

  • Miles & Stockbridge is offering a new initiative that will provide pro bono legal support to Black owned businesses in a range of areas, including review of corporate and other organization documents, review of commercial contracts, review of leases and lease negotiation support, assistance with web site policies, assistance with legal issues relating to loans and other financing.  
  • To qualify for assistance, businesses must meet the following criteria:
    • 50% of business owners are Black entrepreneurs
    • Fewer than 10 employees
    • Under $500,000 in annual revenue
    • Been in business for less than 5 years
  • To request assistance, businesses should email to request an intake. And for more info visit:

Financial Assistance Updates

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:


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. 

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Small Biz Bulletin

October 2, 2020

Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Expanding Opportunities 2020

I am pleased to announce the 2020 edition of the Expanding Opportunities magazine is now available online. Our theme is Year of the Woman. My office has been fortunate to partner with The Daily Record to produce this annual publication. Although we cannot meet at large events right now to give you a copy, I encourage you to visit the link below and read through it online. Governor Hogan discusses leadership during a pandemic in an insightful Q&A session, three successful women share their entrepreneurial journey, and I penned an article on the topic of supplier diversity. Throughout the publication you'll find public and private resources that support small, minority, women, and veteran business owners. I know many of you are facing challenges. As our economy continues to evolve during the pandemic, I encourage you to utilize these valuable resources.

Expanding Opportunities 2020

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary

For Your Business


Maryland Celebrates the Year of the Woman

We're celebrating 2020 as the Year of the Women in Maryland, and invite you to join us for a special webinar. If you are stuck in your comfort zone, but still find yourself wanting more for your business, your family, and yourself, international speaker, author, and local entrepreneur Dr. Jena Bell can help you break through abundance blockers and learn how to empower your own personal greatness and live in economic freedom. Join us for "Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Unlock Your Path to Purpose, Profit & Prosperity" on Thursday, October 5 beginning at 10 am. There is no cost to participate, and all entrepreneurs are welcome to attend. Participation will be limited to 500. You must register in advance to receive the entrance code for this exciting webinar. 

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs


Wome Business Owner Webinar

Prime Contracting in the Small Business Reserve Program

Our Technical Training Classroom webinar in October will highlight the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program. If you are a small business, you should be enrolled in the SBR Program. This race- and gender-neutral procurement program offers prime contracting opportunities on state-funded contracts. In this session, we will take an in-depth look at the statutes governing the program, the online certification process, and the pipeline for identifying SBR opportunities. Your instructor is Lisa Mitchell Sennaar, SBR Compliance Manager. Please join us on Tuesday, October 27 at 10 am. There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is required.

Prime Contracting in the Small Business Reserve Program


Online Learning

Use the Right Tools

If you're interested in doing business with the State of Maryland, you should be registered as a vendor in our online procurement tool - eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA). This platform was launched 14 months ago and it will evolve into a full online procure-to- pay system over the next few years. Learning something new is never easy, so the Office of State Procurement has built in some great tools. For instance, check out the library of Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) available to help. Each one has been individually crafted with step-by-step instructions and screen shots to walk you through the process. Responding to solicitations is one of the most important functions in eMMA. Here are two valuable QRGs to help you master this new skill.

Responding to Solicitations (IFB)
Responding to Solicitations (RFP)


Open for Business and Working from Home

Introducing Pamela Gregory

I have been a Maryland resident all my life, briefly relocating to the south for a few short years. I grew up in Baltimore City and currently reside on the Eastern Shore. I have settled easily into the slower pace on the shore, finding the best seafood spots, walking trails, and a church home at historic Bethel AME Church. The majority of my career in Maryland state government has been working with the small, minority business community either at the Department of Transportation or the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs (GOSBA). This pandemic sent the country off-kilter. Initially, my focus was to assure business owners that they would get through it and to listen as they expressed their fears. Now the focus is on evolving in this new environment to compete and win in the government contracting arena. GOSBA has information that you can add to your repertoire in support of that effort, because like so many of you, we have had to pivot. Our outreach program has gone virtual, and although I have never been a fan of public speaking, I have adapted to the Zoom, Google, and Microsoft meeting and webinar platforms quite easily. In the comfort of my home, it is a more relaxed environment so I can step to the podium with ease. My advice to anyone struggling to adjust to working from home is to create a space that is separate from your living space. Include those things in your home office that remind you of being “in the office,” and take every opportunity to meet virtually with your colleagues - it keeps you connected. It is also important to maintain a good work-life balance. For me, that means spending time with my son and his family in Baltimore County. I am inspired by my two granddaughters (one is in her last year of college and the other is serving her country in the Navy) who often remind me that attitude is everything. Know that you can, and you will succeed! If the GOSBA team can help you along the way, don't hesitate to reach out.

Put This on Your Calendar

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.

10/05/2020 - Access to CDFI Lending - Webinar Series
10/06/2020 - MBE Application Assistance Workshop
10/13/2020 - Old School Marketing, New School Results
10/15/2020 - Empowering Women Entrepreneurs
10/21/2020 - Business Plan Basics
10/27/2020 - Prime Contracting in the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program

Check out our full listing of small business events
online at

COVID-19 Business Resources

Roadmap to Recovery

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:

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:

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

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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