August Small Biz Bulletin

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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.

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.

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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, connect with us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter at goMDsmallbiz.