July Small Biz Bulletin

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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 the Governor's Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Affairs. 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 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. 

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

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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 Edition provides 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