Small Biz Bulletin, Governor's Office of Small Minority & Women Business Affairs

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Small Biz Bulletin

May 20, 2020

Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Finding a New Starting Line

We like to use data to decipher the past and predict the future. In today's reality, performance prior to the pandemic cannot help us devise a future. "Business as usual" no longer exists and entrepreneurs need to rethink the theory (aka ideas) behind their business and take proactive steps toward redesigning a future within the current context. When designing a theory, you must independently determine what you WANT, and what is TRUE. On the premise of those two foundations, you are able to develop a strategy and enumerate tactics that can get to what you want within the context of what is true. Take an unfiltered look at your industry. Determine what is driving your sector and strive to identify the relationships among the variables. Despite the many challenges, you must take some kind of action to promulgate change. It is inevitable that you will make mistakes along the way, so accept that from the onset. Now is the time to act swiftly, fail quickly, learn intensely, then do it all again and again. You will gain valuable lessons from the repeating patterns that are sure to emerge. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and you cannot see the finish line today. Before you bolt out of the starting gate, have your theory, strategy, and tactics well defined.

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary

For Your Business

Business Pledge Header

Back to Business Web Page

Kudos to our colleagues at the Maryland Department of Commerce who constructed a BACK TO BUSINESS web page for Maryland's business community. It provides businesses of all sizes with updates and best practices as we follow the implementation of Governor Hogan's Maryland Strong:  Roadmap to Recovery plan. Stage one is underway with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of re-openings. It is important that businesses consult guidance issued by their local jurisdiction. As we get back to business, our top priority is the safety of workers and customers alike. You'll find general and industry-specific best practices on this valuable website along with a link to the Maryland Stong: Back to Business Pledge. Please print and display the signed pledge at your place of business. Bookmark this important website and visit often. Things are changing at a rapid pace and it's important to have reliable and trusted sources of information like the Back to Business web page. 

Back to Business



eMMA Vendor Training Videos

If you're interested in doing business with the State of Maryland, you must know how to navigate the eMMA platform with proficiency. eMMA (aka eMaryland Marketplace Advantage) is our online procurement portal that was launched in July, 2019. Many vendors are still learning to operate within this new procurement tool. Take advantage of the online training and Help Desk videos to help you maintain your vendor profile and identify/pursue contracting opportunities. "Submitting Electronic Bids" is one of the most popular videos currently available. New videos are being added regularly, so visit often.

eMMA Vendor Training and Support



COVID-19 Translated Documents

Communication is important everyday, and critical during a crisis. Language barriers can put some communities at risk. To ensure important health information is available across the state, the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives and its ethnic commissioners worked in coordination with multiple state agencies to translate Frequently Asked Questions along with executive orders and guidance in more than 10 different languages. The online web page provides 24/7access to diverse communities throughout Maryland. At the federal level, the U.S. Small Business Administration is providing information about economic recovery programs in nearly 20 different languages. Please help spread the word and share these vital resources across your personal and professional networks.

Maryland Translated COVID-19 Information

SBA's Coronavirus Recovery Information in Other Languages

Eduardo Hayden

Open for Business and Working from Home

Introducing Eduardo Hayden

As the Small Business Outreach Manager for the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs, the concept of “outreach” during a pandemic has taken on a completely different form. We quickly found ourselves having to shift from hosting events, to guiding and connecting panicked business owners to COVID-19 resources at the federal, state, and local levels. We have experienced a tectonic shift in all aspects of our lives. Taking this into account, we have had to re-evaluate how to effectively deliver outreach in a new reality where networking and connecting is purely through a virtual realm. Since the start of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, we have been participating in webinars with our resource partners around the state, such as the Small Business Administration’s Baltimore District Office, the Small Business Development Center, and the Maryland Women’s Business Center. Through all of these interactions we have learned the true measure of the guidance we offer the small, minority, women and veteran business community about building core competencies, maintaining a solid financial foundation, and having an insightful understanding of how to do business with your customers. All of these factors will no doubt have an even greater impact in the post-COVID economy. Today, the meaning of “together” takes on a new emphasis, where as an adjective it means - appropriately prepared, organized, or balanced: composed in mind or manner. We are in this together, and I believe ongoing outreach programs will keep us together as we successfully roll out implementation of Governor Hogan's Roadmap to Recovery.

COVID-19 Business Resources