Small Biz Bulletin - October 2020

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Small Biz Bulletin

October 2, 2020

Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Expanding Opportunities 2020

I am pleased to announce the 2020 edition of the Expanding Opportunities magazine is now available online. Our theme is Year of the Woman. My office has been fortunate to partner with The Daily Record to produce this annual publication. Although we cannot meet at large events right now to give you a copy, I encourage you to visit the link below and read through it online. Governor Hogan discusses leadership during a pandemic in an insightful Q&A session, three successful women share their entrepreneurial journey, and I penned an article on the topic of supplier diversity. Throughout the publication you'll find public and private resources that support small, minority, women, and veteran business owners. I know many of you are facing challenges. As our economy continues to evolve during the pandemic, I encourage you to utilize these valuable resources.

Expanding Opportunities 2020

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary

For Your Business


Maryland Celebrates the Year of the Woman

We're celebrating 2020 as the Year of the Women in Maryland, and invite you to join us for a special webinar. If you are stuck in your comfort zone, but still find yourself wanting more for your business, your family, and yourself, international speaker, author, and local entrepreneur Dr. Jena Bell can help you break through abundance blockers and learn how to empower your own personal greatness and live in economic freedom. Join us for "Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Unlock Your Path to Purpose, Profit & Prosperity" on Thursday, October 5 beginning at 10 am. There is no cost to participate, and all entrepreneurs are welcome to attend. Participation will be limited to 500. You must register in advance to receive the entrance code for this exciting webinar. 

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs


Wome Business Owner Webinar

Prime Contracting in the Small Business Reserve Program

Our Technical Training Classroom webinar in October will highlight the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program. If you are a small business, you should be enrolled in the SBR Program. This race- and gender-neutral procurement program offers prime contracting opportunities on state-funded contracts. In this session, we will take an in-depth look at the statutes governing the program, the online certification process, and the pipeline for identifying SBR opportunities. Your instructor is Lisa Mitchell Sennaar, SBR Compliance Manager. Please join us on Tuesday, October 27 at 10 am. There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is required.

Prime Contracting in the Small Business Reserve Program


Online Learning

Use the Right Tools

If you're interested in doing business with the State of Maryland, you should be registered as a vendor in our online procurement tool - eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA). This platform was launched 14 months ago and it will evolve into a full online procure-to- pay system over the next few years. Learning something new is never easy, so the Office of State Procurement has built in some great tools. For instance, check out the library of Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) available to help. Each one has been individually crafted with step-by-step instructions and screen shots to walk you through the process. Responding to solicitations is one of the most important functions in eMMA. Here are two valuable QRGs to help you master this new skill.

Responding to Solicitations (IFB)
Responding to Solicitations (RFP)


Open for Business and Working from Home

Introducing Pamela Gregory

I have been a Maryland resident all my life, briefly relocating to the south for a few short years. I grew up in Baltimore City and currently reside on the Eastern Shore. I have settled easily into the slower pace on the shore, finding the best seafood spots, walking trails, and a church home at historic Bethel AME Church. The majority of my career in Maryland state government has been working with the small, minority business community either at the Department of Transportation or the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs (GOSBA). This pandemic sent the country off-kilter. Initially, my focus was to assure business owners that they would get through it and to listen as they expressed their fears. Now the focus is on evolving in this new environment to compete and win in the government contracting arena. GOSBA has information that you can add to your repertoire in support of that effort, because like so many of you, we have had to pivot. Our outreach program has gone virtual, and although I have never been a fan of public speaking, I have adapted to the Zoom, Google, and Microsoft meeting and webinar platforms quite easily. In the comfort of my home, it is a more relaxed environment so I can step to the podium with ease. My advice to anyone struggling to adjust to working from home is to create a space that is separate from your living space. Include those things in your home office that remind you of being “in the office,” and take every opportunity to meet virtually with your colleagues - it keeps you connected. It is also important to maintain a good work-life balance. For me, that means spending time with my son and his family in Baltimore County. I am inspired by my two granddaughters (one is in her last year of college and the other is serving her country in the Navy) who often remind me that attitude is everything. Know that you can, and you will succeed! If the GOSBA team can help you along the way, don't hesitate to reach out.

Put This on Your Calendar

Mark Your Calendar

In this new environment of social distancing, everyone is adapting. Today's seminars are webinars, Zoom meetings, Facebook Live events, Google Meets, and more. If you have a smart phone or a computer, you have what you need to tap into these valuable training and information sessions. Capacity can fill quickly, so sign up early when required to do so.

10/05/2020 - Access to CDFI Lending - Webinar Series
10/06/2020 - MBE Application Assistance Workshop
10/13/2020 - Old School Marketing, New School Results
10/15/2020 - Empowering Women Entrepreneurs
10/21/2020 - Business Plan Basics
10/27/2020 - Prime Contracting in the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program

Check out our full listing of small business events
online at

COVID-19 Business Resources