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Small Biz Bulletin - November 2017


Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Maryland is OPEN for Business - and you can be a part of this growing movement by kicking off the holiday shopping season right in your own neighborhood. Saturday, November 25 is Small Business Saturday, a day when we're all encouraged to shop small and shop local. These brick-and-mortar businesses are the backbone of our economy and an important source of jobs within our communities. Much of the money spent at independent retailers stays local, and we all benefit from a healthy economy. Support the entrepreneurs that make your community vibrant and strong by shopping local on Saturday, November 25th.

#SMALLBIZSAT

Sincerely,

Jimmy Rhee

Special Secretary


For Your Business

Access to Capital 2

Small Business Financing

The Maryland Department of Commerce is home to a unique loan fund that provides financing to small businesses unable to obtain adequate financing on reasonable terms through traditional channels. The Maryland Small Business Financing Authority (MSDBFA) promotes the viability and expansion of all small businesses, including those owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs, with financing from $50,000 - $2 million for qualified borrowers. More than a simple term loan, the funds can be used for a variety of purchases such as lines of credit, equity investments, and surety bonds.

MARYLAND SMALL BUSINESS FINANCING AUTHORITY

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Sign up for Email Updates from SDAT

Maryland businesses are required to file an Annual Report and Personal Property Return with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) each year. This applies to ALL businesses and is a requirement for remaining "in good standing." Failure to submit the required information could result in penalties or even forfeiture of your business. SDAT does not mail annual reminder notices. To receive an electronic notice, sign up for email updates. We'll send a reminder message right to your email box so you'll always know when the deadline is approaching.

SDAT EMAIL UPDATES

Randall Nixon


Maryland's Business Ombudsman

Maryland is one of only a few states to staff a business ombudsman. Appointed by Governor Larry Hogan, Randall Nixon, Esq., has been serving in this position for the past year. A lifetime entrepreneur, Randall knows the struggles small business owners experience meeting payroll, finding their next client, or getting paid for work already performed. As an attorney, he seeks smart and lasting solutions to common problems. In his role as our Ombudsman, he serves as your advocate. He is focused on clearing roadblocks when dealing with state agencies and working diligently to ensure Governor Hogan's Customer Service Promise is utilized and achieved. Randall was recently a guest on AHA Business Radio. Listen to the podcast that aired on October 24 and you'll understand why he is a valuable advocate to the small business community. Reach out to Randall directly if he can be of assistance to your small business.

GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF THE BUSINESS OMBUDSMAN


Small Business Events

Most business development takes place outside the office. We maintain a robust calendar of events on our website. We update it daily, so be sure to check back often. Here are just a few upcoming events:

11/28/2017 - Technical Training Classroom:  MBE Forms
11/30/2017 - 15th Annual SMART PROC 2-Day Small Business Procurement Conference
12/05/2017 - How to Demonstrate Past Performance
12/07/2017 - Live Casino & Hotel Minority Outreach Fair
12/12/2017 - Ready, Set, GROW! Access to Capital Forum

Check out our full range of small business events online:
goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov


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Small Biz Bulletin - October 2017


Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

I am a voracious reader. I gravitate toward business-elated items, so you might find me with my head buried in the Wall Street Journal, the latest issue of the Economist, or possibly a 300-page study on capital markets. Reading is the quickest and most efficient way to invest in your own continuing education. I find great inspiration from reading, particularly about people who are different than me or those who have had a unique entrepreneurial journey. I don't know if reading makes me wiser, but I know it makes me happy. I also believe it makes me better at my job because it broadens my perspective so that I can serve Maryland's small business community more fully. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to read business publications or professional journals as part of your daily routine. Speaking from personal experience, it's a habit that continues to give dividends. In an extremely competitive marketplace, it is imperative that your business is positioned such that there is a tailwind propelling you. Gaining others' perspectives by reading could help you to sharpen your strategic position and leverage your competitive edge. 

Sincerely,
Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary 


For Your Business

Expanding Opportunities Magazine 2017

Maryland is OPEN for Business

The Hogan Administration has been focused on three key areas for the past three years: Growing the private sector, creating jobs, and turning our statewide economy around. The progress is undeniable with over 127,000 new jobs, and being ranked 10th in the nation for overall economic performance. We want to keep the momentum going and are celebrating small business community contributions in the 2017 edition of our Expanding Opportunities magazine. We publish this valuable resource guide every year in collaboration with The Daily Record. It includes feature stories on small businesses - just like yours - who share their secrets of success, and includes a Q&A with Lt. Governor Rutherford on the state's efforts to expand the Small Business Reserve Program. Check it out online.
2017 Expanding Opportunities Magazine

Yumi Hogan


Ready, Set, GROW! is Coming to Price George's County

Meet Maryland's First Lady, Yumi Hogan, and join our celebration of National Women's Small Business Month when we take the Ready, Set, GROW! procurement connection workshop to Prince George's County. Join us on October 24th for this great networking and business development event where you can meet buyers from state agencies and learn what they are buying today, as well as what is in the pipeline. If you're a small business owner who wants to do business with the state of Maryland, this event is for you. Register today.
Ready, Set, GROW! Registration

 

Time Money

SBA Launches Lender Match

Every small business owner knows that finding money takes time. A new program from the Small Business Administration (SBA) is helping borrowers find lenders in their community faster and easier through an upgraded online platform called Lender Match. This matchmaking tool brings entrepreneurs together with SBA lenders within their community. The SBA's lending programs are in place to increase access to capital within the small business community. Getting a loan isn't easy, so they offer lots of tools to help you select the right loan program and guidance on how to prepare for the loan application process.  
Lender Match


Small Business Events

Most business development takes place outside the office. We maintain a robust calendar of events on our website. We update it daily, so be sure to check back often. Here are just a few upcoming events:

10/26/2017 - Business Boost Conference
10/28/2017 - Small Business Expo
10/31/2017 - Government Contracting Basics
11/08/2017 - NASA Tech Day
11/13/2017 - Business Opportunities & Entrepreneurial Training Summit
11/28/2017 - Technical Training Classroom:  Procurement 101
11/28/2017 - Technical Training Classroom:  MBE Forms

Check out our full range of small business events
online at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.

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Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs?  
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Small Biz Bulletin - September 2017


Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Small businesses have a unique opportunity to weigh-in on the development of federal regulations which directly impact them. The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public input to identify which of its regulations have become obsolete, unnecessary, ineffective, or burdensome to small businesses. The process of changing existing rules and regulations is quite elaborate and this kind of opportunity does not come along every day. I strongly encourage you to be part of the process by thoroughly reviewing the RFI and submitting a formal comment by the deadline of Monday, October 16, 2017

Request for Information - Reducing Unnecessary Regulation

Sincerely,


Jimmy Rhee

Special Secretary 


For Your Business

Big Register Now Button

Lt. Governor Rutherford Keynotes Ready, Set, GROW!

Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford will be the keynote speaker of the next Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Connections Workshop held on Thursday, September 21 in Silver Spring. This event travels across the state connecting small businesses with buyers from state agencies who share what they are looking for right now and what's in the pipeline. You'll also meet resource partners and organizations that can help your small business thrive. Join us for this free networking and business development event.

 

eMaryland Marketplace lgog

Mastering eMaryland Marketplace

The state's online bid board is managed by the Department of General Services (DGS). All vendors interested in doing business with the state of Maryland should be registered in eMaryland Marketplace. Email notifications are sent to registered vendors when a new solicitation is posted that matches your products and services. In order to optimize the system to work for you, it's important that your profile is up-to-date at all times and that the commodity codes you entered are a perfect match. The DGS website offers instruction guides on topics such as Updating Organization Information, Adding, Deleting, Updating Users, Understanding Commodity Serivce Codes, Identifying Bid Opportunities, Submitting a Bid, and more. Bookmark this page because it's a valuable tool to first time users as well as long-term vendors.
eMaryland Marketplace User Links

 

SBA National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month

Recent national weather events are a great reminder for small businesses to be prepared for everything and anything! September is National Preparedness Month. Preparing your business for a disaster is much more than mapping out a fire escape route, particularly when it comes to meeting the unique challenges of natural disasters. Visit the Small Business Administration's website for tips on planning, implementing, and improving your company's disaster preparedness plan so you can keep your focus on the day-to-day needs of your business.
Preparing for Emergencies


Small Business Events

Most business development takes place outside the office. We maintain a robust calendar of events on our website. We update it daily, so be sure to check back often. Here are just a few of the upcoming events:

09/23/2017 - The Entrepreneur Launchpad: Tools to Build Your Small Business
09/25/2017 - Technical Training Classroom: Anatomy of a Bid
09/25/2017 - Technical Training Classroom: MBE Certification
10/06/2017 - Maryland Manufacturing Day
10/18/2017 - Meet the Primes

Check out our full range of small business events
online at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.

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Small Biz Bulletin - September 2017


Jimmy Rhee

Knowledge is Power

The ability to make good business decisions is contingent upon the information you are able to access. We make decisions based on two primary principles: logic and emotions. Logic is all about what we know; emotions are all about how we feel. Research tells us over and over again that the best decisions are logical ones based on facts, hard data, and research. Yet our human nature makes it nearly impossible for us to remove our feelings from the decision-making equation. My advice is to stack the deck on the side of logic. You can do this by making time to stay informed. Read articles and blogs, view postcasts, and attend professional meetings. These are all great sources of information that fill your head with relevant facts and resources within your industry. Knowledge truly is power, and your ability to process information can help improve your judgment when making important decisions about your business.

Sincerely,
Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary 


For Your Business

Business owner standing on pie chart

Procurement Forecast

What does the state of Maryland plan to buy this fiscal year? Find out on the Procurement Forecast tab of the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs' website. This powerful business development tool contains more than 1,300 possible opportunities across 70 state agencies/ departments. It's a searchable database of both new and recurring purchases of $100,000 or more, and it offers multiple search options. To get the golden nugget of information - the buyer's name and contact information - you must download the results into an Excel spreadsheet. We are thankful to Lisa Sanford, our MBE Compliance Manager, for creating this useful tool. Prior to FY2016, these forecasts were not compiled into a database, so searching for specific opportunities was not possible. Today, the Procurement Forecast page is one of the most visited on our website. Check it out.


Technology 2

CATS+ Master Contract

If you work in the technology industry, it's important to understand how the state buys IT services. The Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT)is the primary procurement unit for IT purchases statewide. They manage a master contract called CATS+ (Consulting and Technical Services, Plus) which enables state agencies to buy IT consulting and technical services in a timely and economical manner by identifying master contractors then issuing task orders that meet a specific need. Only firms vetted and named as a CATS+ master contractor may bid as a prime contractor on these offerings. Task orders may include a subcontracting goal for minorities and/or veterans. Firms interested in subcontracting work can check the list of CATS+ master contactors and make sales calls to those firms that operate within the same functional area(s). The website also has a useful link to task orders so you can see what's being purchased through this master contract. We think the FAQ page is also a helpful tool for understanding how the state of Maryland buys IT services.


Hands holding seedling, Ready, Set, GROW! logo

Ready, Set, GROW! Comes to Baltimore County

If you're interested in contracting opportunities with state agencies/departments, join us in Baltimore County on Thursday, August 24 for our Ready, Set, GROW procurement connections workshop. We'll present an overview of the procurement process as well as our small, minority, women, and veteran procurement programs. You'll meet buyers from the Department of General Services, the Department of Health, the State HIghway Administration, and the Department of Natural Resources during our networking period. You also can meet with a variety of small business resource organizations that want to help you succeed. Advance registration is required. CLICK HERE for complete details and to register today.

SAVE THE DATE for Ready, Set, GROW! Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with special guest Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford on Thursday, September 21, 2017. Registration will open in early September. 
Subscribe to our news and notifications using the STAY CONNECTED box at the bottom of our home page to receive notices of all our Ready, Set, GROW! events. 


2017 Governor's Summer Internship Program

Congratulations Yamilex!

Yamilex Pena (center) is a talented student in the Global Studies Program at Loyola University. She participated in Governor Hogan's summer intership program, working directly with the business ombudsman. She and her student colleagues wrapped up their internships by presenting a policy analysis and recommendations to the governor and lieutenant governor earlier this month. Quite frankly, they knocked it out of the park. Congratulations Yamilex!


As a coordinating office of the Hogan Administration, the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs connects the small business community to greater economic opportunities. Maryland is home to 580,000 small businesses, 70 percent of which are owned by minorities and women. We connect all small businesses to resources that build core competencies, provide access to capital, and develop an insightful understanding of their competitive markets so they can compete with confidence in both the public and private sectors. Learn more by visiting our website at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.govconnect with us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter at goMDsmallbiz.

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Small Biz Bulletin - July 2017


Jimmy Rhee

What's in a Name?

The Governor's Office of Minority Affairs has always served the business community, but too few knew it. Senator Barbara Robinson, a well-known small business advocate, put forth legislation to change our name during the 2017 Session of the Maryland General Assembly. The bill passed and Governor Hogan signed it into law. We are now aptly named theGovernor's Office of Small, Minority and Women Business AffairsAs a coordinating office of the Hogan Administration, the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs connects the small business community to greater economic opportunities. Maryland is home to 580,000 small businesses, 70 percent of which are owned by women and minorities. We empower all small businesses by providing access to resources that build core competencies, provide access to capital, and develop an insightful understanding of their competitive markets, so they can compete with confidence in both the public and private sectors. Adapting to our expanded role and aligning the statewide resources will take some time, so be patient as we make this transition. Some people say change is difficult. That may be true, but I say change is inevitable. We're excited about what lies ahead and our role in Changing Maryland for the Better. 

Sincerely,
Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary 


For Your Business

Your Voice Matters

Governor Larry Hogan has directed the Committee on Paid Leave, established by Executive Order 01.01.2017.08, to collect data from employers and workers throughout Maryland to better understand access to paid leave policies, and how this benefit is best met by a fair and flexible statewide leave policy. Over the next months, the committee would like to meet with both employers and workers. The goal is to listen to all concerns and opportunities as they draft a final report for a common sense policy that meets the needs of employees without being a burden on small business owners. Please go online to answer one question and complete the outreach questionnaire if you are interested in being contacted by the committee.  

Your Voice Counts

Outline of Maryland filled in with flag pattern

Market Data to Help Start or Grow a Small Business

If you're looking for FREE market data to help you start or grow your small business, the U.S.Census Bureau has a great tool. Census Business Builder: Small Business Editionprovides easy access to information about potential customers and similar businesses. The data are presented in a map-based interface that is accessed in four simple steps. It is the first U.S. Census Bureau data tool released on the cloud. It produces a fully interactive, customizable, printable, and downloadable report. Tutorials and FAQs are available to assist in putting your report together. 


Free Small Business Tax Tools From the IRS

Small business owners have 24/7 access to a new tool from the IRS. Small Business Taxes: The Virtual Workshop was designed for new business owners, but can be helpful to any entrepreneur who wants to have a better understanding of how to meet federal tax obligations. There are a total of nine lessons. The first three are for everyone, no matter what kind of business or the number of employees. You can select and view lessons in any sequence, view outlines or complete lessons, and access links to reference materials. Check it out today.

Woman Entrepreneur Working at Laptop

Training glass board with inspirational words

Amp Up Your Small Business

Want to gain a greater insight into the various aspects of doing business with the state of Maryland? Join the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs for our next Technical Training Class on Tuesday, July 25 at the Governor's Coordinating Offices in Crownsville. Amp Up Your Small Business is an interactive 2-hour class designed specifically for small businesses. We'll start with the basics then move into advanced topics on state procurement practices. We'll also cover the state's small, minority, and veteran-owned business programs. Bring a pen and paper to take lots of notes. We'll allow plenty of time for a Q&A session with your instructor and our MBE Compliance Manager, Lisa Sanford. She developed this class specifically to provide a solid baseline of knowledge for entrepreneurs who are trying to determine if the state of Maryland would be a good customer.


Small Business Events

Most business development takes place outside the office. We maintain a robust calendar of events on our website. It's updated daily, so check back often. Here are just a few of the upcoming events:

7/25/2017 - Amp Up Your Small Business

7/27/2017 - Prequalification Overview with Baltimore County 

8/1/2017 - MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop

8/8/2017 - Piranha Tank Live - Baltimore 2017

Check out our full range of small business events and resources at 
goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.


Governor's Office of Minority Affairs
Small Business Bulletin - April 2017
Message from the Secretary

The 2017 session of the Maryland General Assembly has come to a close and on April 18, Governor Larry Hogan signed Senate Bill 4 into legislation. This bill reauthorizes the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program through 2022. It received overwhelming bi-partisan support in
both the House and Senate. I'm pleased to share that the legislation also included an important provision that will reduce fraud against MBEs without adding additional burdens to prime contractors or MBE subcontractors. 
Maryland's MBE Program truly is the national gold standard of state contracting inclusion programs. Maryland is open for business and we look forward to increasing opportunities for minorities and women to participate in state-funded contracts, and encouraging more small businesses to participate in Maryland's procurement programs.

Sincerely,
Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary 
 

For Your Business
Governor's Business Summit 17
Join Governor Larry Hogan for the first Maryland Governor's Business Summit. Explore topics on human capital, global trends, and business strategy as you network with a wide array of Maryland's business leaders. This full-day event has a very robust schedule of general and breakout sessions. Keynote speakers include Governor Larry Hogan and Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. It's being held at the Baltimore Hilton on Thursday, May 18. Maryland is open for business and we invite you to capture the momentum. Register today.

Ready, Set, GROW!
Hundreds of business owners have been connected to state buyers through our Ready, Set, GROW! procurement connection workshop. Our next workshop is Wednesday, April 26, at 10 a.m. in Western Maryland. Special thanks to the Technical Innovation Center (TIC) at Hagerstown Community College. Join us tomorrow to receive valuable tips on navigating the procurement process and to meet with representatives from the State Highway Administration, Department of General Services, Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Transit Administration, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Maryland State Police, and Washington County Government. 
Ready, Set, GROW! Registration
 
National Small Business Week 
We all know that small business has a big impact, and every year the Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates this vital community. A National Small Business Person of the Year is selected from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to Linda McMahon, 25th Administrator of the SBA, these 54 small business owners define the entrepreneurial spirit. Congratulations to our local winners, Kara DiPietro, CEO of HMC Incorporated of Columbia, Maryland, and Robert Dozier, Jr., President & CEO of RWD Consulting, LLC of Washington, DC. Visit the website to take advantage of the free webinars being offered throughout the week.
Small Business Events
Most business development takes place outside the office. We maintain a robust calendar of events on our website. We update it daily, so be sure to check back often, 

Check out our full range of small business events and resources at goma.maryland.gov. 
Maryland is OPEN for Business, and the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs is connecting small, minority, and women businesses with resources that empower them to compete with confidence in the public and private sectors, while implementing and monitoring small and minority business inclusion programs across 70 state agencies.

Learn more by visiting our website at goma.maryland.gov. You can also connect with us through social media. Find us on Facebook at Governor's Office of Minority Affairs, and follow us on Twitter @MDGOMA.
Governor's Office of Minority Affairs, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032


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