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

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Small Biz Bulletin

February 1, 2021

Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Every February we celebrate Black History Month, an event that has a history of its own thanks to Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D. He founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and is known as the "Father of Black History." He illuminated the idea that black history is about more than the subjugation of slavery, and brought awareness to the significant impact African Americans have on the social, political, and economic development of the United States and the world. In 1926 Dr. Woodson initiated Negro History Week to correspond with the February birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976 the celebration was expanded to the entire month of February. The advancement of civil rights impacts all of us. This has become even more apparent during the pandemic. Black Americans have been on the frontline more than anyone else, fighting for social justice and equality. As a beneficiary of their sacrifice, I am deeply grateful. As you celebrate Black History Month, I encourage you to include the Banneker-Douglass Museum. It is the State of Maryland's official museum of African American heritage. Visit their website for information about planning a visit, special exhibitions, and events throughout February. 

Banneker-Douglas Museum

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary

For Your Business

Woman Attending Webinar 1

What's Your Status?

Over $400 million dollars is paid to small business prime contractors through Maryland's Small Business Reserve (SBR)  Program. Participation is easy. Firms register for free in the eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA) vendor platform, and complete the online small business certification process. You receive your SBR number the same day! It's good for one year, at which time you must complete the quick and easy online renewal process to remain in the program. Only firms certified in the SBR Program may receive a prime contract award that is designated as an SBR Procurement, so renewing your SBR status is important. Unfortunately, many firms forget this simple step. The eMMA system automatically sends a reminder 30 days before your current certification is set to expire. What's your SBR status? Check your vendor profile in eMMA. Firms with an active SBR certification have both an SBR number and a valid expiration date. Login to eMMA and check your vendor profile today. Contact our SBR Compliance Team if you have any questions about your SBR Program status.

Lisa Mitchell Sennaar at
Tanita Johnson at



Develop Your eMMA User Skills

If you want to do business with the state of Maryland, the best place to start is our online procurement platform - eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA). Vendors register for free and receive email notices when a procurement is posted to the system that aligns with the products and services identified in the vendor profile. eMMA was launched in 2019, and is evolving into a full procure-to-pay platform. As the system develops, be sure to develop your skills as an eMMA user. There are many tools, such as FAQ's, Quick Reference Guides, and the eMMA Help Desk. One of the newest features is a video library. These short guides walk you through common applications of the system with screen shots and narration. Check out the first three videos and mark this channel as new videos are coming online regularly.

Vendor Registration

Searching for Open Solicitations

Updating UNSPSC Codes

For Your Information

Vaccine Update 1

COVID-19 Vaccination Resources

If we've learned anything during the pandemic, it is how to live with change. Now that we have a COVID-19 vaccine, the plan to get shots into arms is unfolding. Governor Hogan is working diligently with the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland National Guard, along with local jurisdictions to establish mass vaccination sites in at least six central locations statewide. In addition, efforts to expand the pharmacy network of vaccinators is underway. Governor Hogan is encouraging all Marylanders to be patient with the vaccine providers. They are doing the best they can with very little resources. "When it's your turn, be ready to get the vaccine," Governor Hogan asks. To help residents stay informed, Maryland is hosting a webpage called covidLINK. Bookmark the site and visit often to stay informed as the vaccination plan is implemented. 

Maryland covidLINK


Mark Your Calendar

In this environment of social distancing, today's seminars have become webinars, Zoom meetings, Facebook Live events, Google Meets, and more. If you have a smartphone or a computer, you have what you need to tap into these virtual training and information sessions. Capacity can fill quickly, so sign up early when required to do so.

02/02/2021 - Shipping as a Small Business Growth Strategy
02/03/2021 - Financiamiento Para Su Negocio
02/04/2021 - Manage Contracts for Maximum Results
02/09/2021 - How Packaging Can Build Your Brand
02/10/2021 - SBA on PPP Round 2.0 & Other Federal Resources
02/16/2021 - Mastering Finances for Black-Owned Businesses
02/23/2021 - Subcontracting in Maryland's Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program
02/23/2021 - Prime Contracting in Maryland's Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program
02/25/2021 - Making Your Business Work for You (And Not the Other Way Around)
03/02/2021 - MBE/DBE/SBE Application Assistance Webinar

Check out our full listing of small business events
online at

Maryland COVID-19 Resources