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

September 1, 2020

Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Training Moves to Virtual Platform

The new academic year is ready to begin, and for many school systems across Maryland, it will begin on a virtual platform. Virtual learning is not new, but the broad application of this format is still being refined by educators, students, and parents alike. Here at the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs, we have a lot to learn, too, as we move our Technical Training Classroom to the Zoom webinar platform. I work with a passionate team of men and women who are eager to share insights on the procurement process in order to help small businesses compete with confidence. Like many of you, they are learning new skills and adapting old ones. They want to make the online classroom a meaningful experience for what we anticipate will be a larger audience. Our live classroom was limited to 60 participants, but the virtual platform allows for up to 500 guests. Geography is no longer a barrier. I invite you to join us on September 22nd when we present "State Procurement 101." We're planning to bring our A game! (See next story for complete details.)

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary

For Your Business

TTC 2020 Classroom

Technical Training Classroom Returns

We are very happy to resume our Technical Training Classroom program this month. We are moving to the Zoom webinar virtual platform and are looking forward to welcoming up to 500 guests. Join us on Tuesday, September 22 @ 10 am for "State Procurement 101." This class is for small businesses that have little or no knowledge of the state procurement process. We'll focus on common procurement terminology, examine how the state contracting arena operates, and provide resources to help you determine if pursuing work in the public sector would be beneficial to your company. There is no cost to attend, but you must register in advance.

State Procurement 101


Work Sharing

Work Sharing - A Better Alternative to Layoffs

Maryland has had a Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program in place since 1984. Administered by the Department of Labor, the program is designed to avoid layoffs by preserving jobs for current employees and to assist businesses that have already undertaken layoffs to reopen and resume operations. It is a voluntary program. Employers who participate can retain employees by temporarily reducing the hours of work, within a range of 20% to 50%, The employees with reduced work hours receive partial unemployment insurance benefits to supplement lost wages. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, this program is growing in popularity and Governor Hogan recently announced that 223 businesses have been approved for the program. Work Sharing can mitigate the adverse effects of the current economic crisis and serve as a means of bringing most or all of a temporarily laid-off workforce back to the job, even if social-distancing measures, a decline in business, or other factors prevent operating at full staffing levels immediately. Employers must have a minimum of two employees of an affected unit in the Work Sharing plan in order to participate. Visit the Work Sharing web page for complete details. 

Work Sharing - A Layoff Aversion and Reopening Unemployment Insurance Program


Business Forecast

State's Procurement Forecast is Powerful Business Intelligence Tool

The State of Maryland’s Procurement Forecast for Fiscal Year 2021 is now available on the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs website.The database is populated with solicitations of $100,000 or greater expected to be advertised or awarded through June 30, 2021. It comprises both new and recurring items, including task orders issued under master contracts. Users can choose from six different options to focus their search. By downloading search results to Excel, expanded data is provided, such as the buyer’s name and contact information. It is a powerful business intelligence tool for small, minority, women, and veteran business owners as it provides insight on what is likely to be coming down the pipeline. Small businesses are also looking for contracting opportunities below $100,000. As a result, many state agencies also include information on projected contracts between $15,000 and $99,999. Projects with lower thresholds are a great entry point for firms looking to break into the state contracting arena. Use the link below to visit the Procurement Forecast Portal today.

Procurement Forecast Portal

Gerald Stinnett

Open for Business and Working from Home

Introducing Gerald Stinnett

I have been a resident of Howard County for over 25 years and most of my free time these days is spent with my son, who is entering his senior year of high school, explore colleges. We've been able to make live visits to several Maryland schools, and are taking virtual tours of those out-of-state. I am a tech guy, so I appreciate the way these schools have been able to utilize technology to make the virtual experience memorable. I serve on the communication ministry at New Psalmist Baptist Church as a camera operator and technical director, and I have an appreciation for how hard that task can be. Thanks to technology, I can effectively do my job from home, but I miss interacting with all of you. In my role as the MBE Compliance Manager of VLT Operations, I work with casino operators and small business owners. Much of my work involves collecting and reporting data, but I also help connect vendors with buyers at Maryland's six casinos. I really enjoy attending outreach events where I can talk with business owners face-to-face. It's very rewarding when I can facilitate the connection between a small business owner and a casino operator, and then see the business expand as a result of that relationship. I work very closely with colleagues at the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency and value the support they give to small, minority, women, and veteran business owners. In this time when everyone has to pivot, we are all doing our jobs differently. Operating in a pandemic takes a lot of ingenuity and resilience for businesses of all sizes and in every industry. We are all trying to navigate this new environment in the way that is best for us. For me, that means I've spent much more time at home and indoors this summer than in years' past. One thing I like about being home is spending more time in the kitchen. I actually do all the cooking for my wife and son. I'm using this time to sharpen my skills with some of the great tips I've learned from the chefs I've met at the casinos. I hope you're spending some of your time this summer doing something you enjoy as well.


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.

09/09/2020 - Developing Early Stage Financial Statements
09/09/2020 - Government Procurement Series #1 - Finding Federal Contracting Opportunities
09/10/2020 - Leaders in Diversity
09/11/2020 - Steps to Start Your Business
09/15/2020 - Government Procurement Series #2 - Finding Opportunities to Fill the Pipeline
09/16/2020 - Develop Your Business Plan
09/22/2020 - State Procurement 101
09/23/2020 - Government Procurement Series #3: How to Qualify Opportunities for Your Pipeline
09/29/2020 - Government Procurement Series #4 - How to Develop a Proposal Outline

Check out our full listing of small business events
online at

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 and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @goMDsmallbiz.

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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