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Small Biz Bulletin - June 2024

Maria Martinez

Message from Special Secretary Martinez

Partners in Success

Small business owners learn early that it is impossible to
achieve success alone. You need support throughout your entrepreneurial journey and there is no better partner than the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Later this week, the Baltimore District Office will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Maryland Small Business Awards. I want to thank my colleague here in the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs for serving on the awards committee. Lisa Mitchell Sennaar is a dedicated member of our team and a lifelong advocate for social justice.

I am pleased to offer my sincere congratulations to the 2024 honorees. Among them is my dear friend, Elda Davarie of EMD Sales, Inc., recipient of the Entrepreneurial Success award as well as JJ Adams Fuel Oil Company, winner of the Family-Owned Small Business of the Year, Will Homes Consulting, LLC, winner of the Minority Owned Small Business of the Year, and Dobbs Defense Solutions, LLC, winner of the Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year. They are familiar to our office and are very deserving of this honor.

All 14 of this years honorees have tapped into the many resources offered by the SBA, such as business guides, learning platforms, federal contracting guidance, and local assistance programs. They also offer a variety of loan programs, and when the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in March, the SBA immediately jumped into action by authorizing low-interest, long-term Economic Impact Disaster Loans and opening Business Recovery Centers to help impacted businesses complete the loan package and connect with additional resources. I had the opportunity to visit several of the centers and see their great work first hand. 

The SBA's work is vital to Maryland's small business community, and just like the many small businesses they continue to support, was an important part of my personal journey as an entrepreneur. I encourage you to connect with them during the Baltimore District Office's upcoming Resource Day events.


Maria Martinez

Special Secretary

SBA Resource Days:

Western Maryland - June 20, 2024
Central Maryland- July 11, 2024
Southern Maryland - August 20, 2024
Northern Maryland - August 22, 2024


How Can We Help? 

The Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs has a broad range of responsibilities within the Executive Department. We oversee implementation of Maryland's three socioeconomic procurement programs across 72 participating agencies and departments and work with stakeholders to develop the policies that govern them. We also help small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses navigate procurement processes, connect them to federal, state, and local resources, and are home base of the newly-formed MBE Ombudsman unit. The 2025 fiscal year will open on July 1st, so we are asking: How is the business community connecting to these programs and where should we focus our efforts?
Please help by taking a 3-question survey. Your input is sincerely appreciated. 

Take Our 3-Question Survey

Hello Summer

Prepare Your Small Business
for Summer

Summer is almost here. Are you ready? Chances are your small business is impacted by seasonal trends in one way or another. Is this your peak season, your off season, or something in between? Is this the time to stock up on summer inventory, or should you be planning your long-term goals while business is slow? Either way, you need to prepare for seasonal fluctuations and have a solid understanding of how summer will affect your bottom line. While every small business and industry is different, there are some key items that can help you manage seasonal shifts with confidence. Check out these tips to prepare your small business and capitalize on opportunities as they arise this summer. 

7 Tips to Prepare Your Small Business for Summer

2024 Small Biz Military Appreciation Honorees

Congratulations Veteran Entrepreneurs!

The Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs co-hosted the 2024 Small Business Military Appreciation Breakfast with Prince George's Community College in celebration of both National Military Appreciation Month and National Small Business Appreciation Month. The keynote address was delivered by Major General Janeen L. Birckhead. Serving as the 31st Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard, she leads a force of over 6,300 soldiers, airmen and federal and state employees. Congratulations to the outstanding veteran small business owners who were recognized by Governor Wes Moore for their service and entrepreneurial spirit with a Governor's Citations.

2024 Small Business Military Appreciation Breakfast

Pace Consulting

Small Biz Spotlight

Congratulations to our Small Biz Spotlight winner –  PACE Consulting. Located in College Park, Maryland. PACE, which stands for Providing Answers in Counseling and Education, was founded in 2007 by Dr. Paula Anderson, LCPC, NCCC. The company has a team of 25 highly skilled professionals who are committed to providing behavioral health clinical and organizational consulting services to schools, universities, corporations, non-profits, and government agencies. Some of their services include organizational development consulting, staff augmentation services, workshops, community-based counseling to adolescents, college students, adults, couples, and families. They also provide schools and organizations with workshops and training on stress management, psychological safety, workplace culture, change management, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Some of PACE's most recent clients include Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Government, Baltimore County Government, Montgomery County Public Schools, and Maryland Small Business Development Center, just to name a few. Some of their notable recognitions are by prestigious publications like Forbes and Fortune, in their special feature on “Extraordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things.” (October/November 2023-Baltimore edition), Dr. Anderson was awarded as one of the “25 Influential Women in Business--Making a Difference” in October 2013 by MEA Magazine, and in 2014, PACE received the coveted Top 100 MBE Award, where the company was recognized as one of the top 100 minority businesses in Delaware, Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. In recent years, PACE Consulting was awarded the 2022 & 2023 Best of College Park Award in Psychotherapy, a testament to their commitment to excellence. Learn more about Pace Consulting online or call 240-582-7513.

Pace Consulting was randomly selected for this Small Biz Spotlight by attending our T.I.P.S. webinar series. Join us later this month for your chance to be featured in an upcoming bulletin.

TIPS Tight View

Compete with Confidence

If you want to do business with the State of Maryland, our T.I.P.S. Small Business Webinar Series is a must. Our carefully curated "Training and Insights for Procurement Success curriculum delivers an insightful understanding of the state's procurement processes and builds core competencies. Our goal is to help you learn to compete with confidence in the state's contracting arena. Two classes are offered each month and there is never a cost to participate. Just register in advance to receive the participation link.  

eMMA Vendor Web Channel

eMMA Vendor Training

The State of Maryland is dedicated to facilitating an open and transparent procurement process. To ensure all businesses have the opportunity to participate in the contracting process, the Maryland Procurement Academy (MDPA) and Office of State Procurement (OSP) offer a variety of online resources to help vendors effectively use eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA), Maryland’s online procurement platform. Visit the Vendor Training and Support page to view the schedule of upcoming virtual instructor-led sessions and access the vendor web channel of on-demand video content. 

eMMA Vendor Training and Support

See You There.4

Our team is actively engaged with small business communities across Maryland.
You'll find us at these events 
in June. We hope to see you there!

Events Calendar

Training, networking, and business development events are taking place across the state. Here is a highlight of some of the events coming up this month.

Visit the Events page of our website to view a complete list of small business events.

06/06/2024 - 40th Anniversary - Maryland Small Business Awards
06/12/2024 - Standing Out in a Crowded Marketplace
06/13/2024 - Profitable Pricing: How Do I Price My Goods & Services
06/17/2024 - WOSB & EDWOSB Certification & Doing Business with the Federal Government
06/20/2024 - Access to Funding - Speed Lending Event
06/25/2024 - Managing Risk: Business Insurance Basics for Small Businesses
06/26/2024 - Starting a Nonprofit Organization
06/27/2024 - How to use SBA Export Finance Solutions to Grow International Sales

Connect Icon

Connect with prime contractors at these upcoming events:

Social Media

We Want You!

The Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs continually shares information curated specifically for small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses on
our social media channels. We'll inspire you with our #MotivationMonday series and connect you to a broad range of small business resources, events, and training programs. Please join our social media community and follow us today. 


FSK Bridge Response Website

FSK Bridge Collapse Response Website

Governor Wes Moore recently launched a comprehensive online tool to connect visitors to community, government, business, and philanthropic resources providing relief and support for those whose livelihoods and businesses have been affected by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. Content on the site has been curated to assist workers and businesses in identifying resources available to them. It serves as a central location where all programs and resources are being shared and is continuously being updated.

Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse Response Website

Maryland Tough Baltimore Strong

Leave No One Behind - As a unit of the Executive Department, the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs connects members of the small, minority, women, and veteran business communities to greater economic opportunities. Learn more by visiting our website at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov and connect with us on FacebookLinkedIn, and X (formerly Twitter).

GBBCC Member Highlight

FORBES: Entrepreneurship is Core to Civil Rights: A Conversation With National Urban League President And CEO Marc H. Morial

By: Rhett Buttle

  • Founded in 1910, the National Urban League (NUL) now has over 90 affiliates serving 300 communities in 36 states and Washington, D.C., that are dedicated to helping African-Americans and others in underserved communities achieve their highest true social parity, economic self-reliance, power, and civil rights. NUL supports small business & entrepreneurship among historically underserved communities as a key part of their agenda. 

Read the full article here.

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Hearing on:

Improving Access to Capital in Underserved Communities: The Community Advantage Program, Microloans, and other SBA Initiatives



Mr. Jon Gaines, Vice President, Business Services & Finance, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation

Mr. Nick Schwellenbach, Senior Investigator, Project on Government Oversight

Mr. Robert Villarreal, Chief External Affairs Officer, Momentus Capital-CDC Small Business Finance

Ms. Annemarie Murphy, Executive Vice President, President of SBA Lending, First Bank of the Lake

Summary: The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on Improving Access to Capital in Underserved Communities: The Community Advantage Program, Microloans, and other SBA Initiatives. Members and witnesses discussed the need for better oversight and support of SBA lending programs to better serve entrepreneurs in underserved communities. The hearing demonstrated bipartisan support for increasing the SBA’s resources to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, however, both parties agree that the SBA must take care to implement proper guardrails to prevent fraud, and bias in lending, and to conduct proper oversight of its lenders. Members also discussed the SBA’s recent proposal to lift the moratorium on the Small Business Lending Company (SBLC) program, and while many were in support of the rule, Members and witnesses stressed a need to ensure fintech lenders are held to the same standards as other SBA lenders if they were to gain SBLC licenses.

Opening Statements

Chairman Ben Cardin (D-MD): Access to capital is the lifeblood of any business but is even more critical for small businesses. Small businesses in underserved communities have lacked access to capital at disproportionate rates. While large banks approved 60% of loans sought by white borrowers, businesses of color faced acceptance rates of between 29%-50% depending on their racial identity. The SBA 7(a) loan program remains a widely recognized tool to increase access to capital for entrepreneurs. This year the SBA approved over 47,000 7(a) loans and many of these borrowers would be unable to access capital elsewhere. However, of those 7(a) loans, only 4% went to Black business owners and 15% went to women. The Community Advantage (CA) program can bridge this gap and we must make it permanent; I have introduced legislation to do so and have high hopes for the legislation in the next Congress. Compared to 7(a), Black business owners received 20% of CA loans and women received 32%. The CA program therefore does an excellent job of addressing the credit gap and is a key tool to providing capital access for entrepreneurs who need it most. The SBA microloan program also provides credit to underbanked entrepreneurs. Microloan borrowers have the most difficult time accessing capital elsewhere and reported they were unable to find financing from traditional banks had it not been for a CA lender. I support SBA’s efforts to level the playing field for small businesses through recent rulemaking initiatives, however guardrails are essential in these programs to protect borrowers and lenders in the program; we need to ensure the SBA’s programs are helping small businesses as intended.


T: 202-971-3450 W: PRISMGROUP.GLOBAL

Become a USBC Member

Watch Now! USBC 2022 Policy Breakfast During Congressional Black Caucus Week

2022 USBC Policy Breakfast - Congressional Black Caucus Week

On Tuesday, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. kicked off Congressional Black Caucus week with its annual policy breakfast. The 2022 USBC Policy Brunch was very insightful and informative with special remarks from Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, Senator Cory Booker, Congressman Emanuel Clever II, and USBC Chairman of the Board Charles O'Neal. 

USBC President & CEO Ron Busby Sr. delivered his President Address on the BLACKprint - a set of principles that guide the organization's policy agenda.

Guests enjoyed conversations on The Future of Digital Currency with Cleve Mesidor and The New Black Commerce moderated by Howard Jean (CEO Black Meta Agency), Erin Cohee (VP Digital Innovation, OneUnited Bank), Courtney Robinson (Global Head of Financial Inclusion & Policy Development Block) and LaKisha Greenwade. 

The event was made possible by sponsors Crypto.com, Block, NCTA, and Caesars. 

Thank you to all of our sponsors and attendees. USBC members can watch the broadcast of the 2022 USBC Policy Breakfast on Friday, October 7 at 1:00 PM EST via USBC Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn channels.

U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. | programs@usblackchambers.org | usblackchambers.org

Connect with us

Facebook ‌ Twitter ‌ Instagram ‌ LinkedIn ‌ YouTube ‌

GBBCC Participates in Roundtable with SBA USBC in March

Leaving the Black Business Footprint at the DC Capital - USBC National Conference, July 15, 2022,

(left to right):  Alicea Gay, the Voice USBC's ByBlack Initiative, Debra Keller-Greene, GBBCC Board Chair, and USBC's VP Alisa Joseph.  

Maryland State Directory of New Hire


Report new hires

Employers must re-report returning employees as new hires.

All new and returning employees must be reported within 20 days of hire or returning to work.

New hire reporting helps children and families get the child support they need. 
It also helps detect fraud in the unemployment system. 

Reporting new hires online has many benefits:

  • Fast and secure online entry or upload
  • Reports are more accurate, reducing the need to resend reports later

  • It's FREE! No more paper, postage or other material costs!

The Maryland State Directory of New Hire is available to take your new hire reports via our website MD-newhire.com

Phone: (888) 634-4737 | Fax: (888) 657-3534


State of Maryland Financial Resources & Services 

Department of Human Services Resources & Financial Assistance



The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) is the state’s primary social service provider. Our mission is to aggressively pursue opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide prevention services, and protect vulnerable children and adults.

DHSs website, https://dhs.maryland.gov/, hosts a wealth of information about the agency’s many services and programs, as well as additional resources, for Maryland families and individuals in need of assistance:

• DHS offers several financial assistance options to support individuals and families experiencing trying times. If eligible, you can receive cash assistance for rent, utilities, and many other emergency financial burdens.


• You do not have to weather the tough times alone. DHS services include, financial, medical, and more. Learn more at  https://dhs.maryland.gov/weathering-tough-times/.

• The Department of Human Services is providing updated information to Marylanders regarding our services, operations, and other important resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay informed by visiting our Coronavirus Covid-19 Resources web page at https://dhs.maryland.gov/coronavirus-covid-19-resources/.

myDHR/myMDTHINK Consumer Portal

Marylanders can get information, apply for DHS programs and services, and check the status of applications online at  mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/dashboardClient/#/home

SupplementalNutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, helps low-income households buy healthy food. Click here to download the Income Guidelines. Apply online: Go to https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.usPeople who have little or no money may qualify for SNAP benefits right away.
TemporaryCash Assistance (TCA) TCA provides temporary cash assistance to families with dependent children. TCA also prepares participants for independence through work programs. Click here to download the Income Guidelines. Apply online: Go to https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/ to file your application.
Officof Home Energy Assistance Programs (OHEP) OHEP offers help to Marylanders who are facing potential energy shut-offs or having difficulty paying their energy bills. You do not need a turn-off notice to qualify for assistance; eligibility for energy assistance is based on your income. Please also contact your Local Home Energy Program Office at https://dhs.maryland.gov/office-of-home-energy-programs/local-home-energy-program-office/  to speak to a dedicated OHEP specialist who will guide you through all your options for energy assistance. Learn more about energy assistance at  https://dhs.maryland.gov/office-of-home-energy-programs/
Emergency Cash Assistance to Families with Children (EAFC) EAFC provides cash assistance to families who have at least one child under the age of 21 living with them, and need emergency paying rent, utilities, or other urgent bills. Apply online: Go to https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/ to file your application.

 Full PDF Download: State of Maryland Resources.pdf

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: http://www.baltimorecitycouncil.com/complete-calendar

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: https://www.bea.gov/news/glance

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.

Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c) 6 and 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. 1325 Bedford Avenue, Suite 5941; Pikesville, MD 21282-7510

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