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

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Small Biz Bulletin

April 1, 2021

Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

I was recently invited to be part of a discussion on how to keep minority businesses resilient and competitive in today's environment. The topic is always relevant, and I was eager to share my perspective with an audience that was new to me. This virtual event was hosted by the National Governors Association and their guests were professionals engaged in workforce development programs. I shared information about how Maryland's socioeconomic programs support the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and how the continuity of these programs can help small businesses during tough economic times. I bragged about Governor Hogan's commitment to enhance the Small Business Reserve Program with Executive Order 01.01.2021.01, and praised my colleagues here in the Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs for the education and training programs they provide every month with the Technical Training Classroom. Individually, each item is good on its own, but collectively they will keep Maryland's minority businesses resilient and competitive today, and for many years to come. 

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary

For Your Business


$20 Million Relief Act Funding

Thanks to funding from the bipartisan RELIEF Act of 2021, Maryland is making $20 million available for small, minority, and women-owned businesses.

The Maryland Department of Commerce is administering a $10 million grant program which is currently accepting applications. The grant offers working capital to assist certain Maryland small businesses with disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Businesses that primarily sell goods or offer services that require collection of sales and use tax are not eligible for this program. This funding is intended to provide interim relief, complementing actions with banks, business interruption insurance, and other financial partners. The application process will close on April 6 at 11:59 pm. Commerce anticipates substantial interest in this program, so act quickly and apply now.
Maryland Small Business Covid-19 RELIEF Grant Program

An additional $10 million is being dispersed through the Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Business Account, also knowns as the Video Totter Terminal (VLT) Program. Funds from this program typically come from VLT proceeds. It is intended to impact targeted areas of need that have not always benefited from economic growth and provides funding when traditional sources would not. The $10 million RELIEF Act funds will be administered by the eight fund managers already designated to disperse funds in the VLT Program. Applications are available through the fund managers who are located in various regions of the stated. Each independent fund manager will determine the eligibility requirements for these funds. Use the link below to view the full list of fund managers.
Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Business Account COVID-19 RELIEF Program


Small Business

SBA to Increase Loan Limits for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is increasing the maximum amount small businesses and non-profit organizations can borrow through its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. This program provides low-interest emergency working capital in times of emergency. The pandemic has lasted beyond everyone's expectations, and the need for this assistance remains high. As a result, the SBA is raising the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from 6-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000. The new loan limits will begin the week of April 6, 2021. Learn how the new features of this program will roll out using the link below.  

SBA's EIDL Program

For Your Information

keyboard chairs webinar

Technical Training Classroom

Since moving our Technical Training Classroom to the Zoom platform in the fall, attendance has been off the charts. But we still have room for more! Join us on the fourth Tuesday of every month for free classes that have been thoughtfully curated for small, minority, women, and veteran business owners that want to improve their core competencies and gain an insightful understanding of the State's procurement process. Helping you compete with confidence is our goal. There is no cost to attend, but you must register in advance. Join us on April 27 for two great sessions.

Proposal Writing 1: Reading a Solicitation
Proposal Writing 2: Developing an Outline

Follow Us


We Want You

We continually share information curated specifically for small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses on our social media platforms. We'll inspire you with our #MotivationMonday series and connect you to a broad range of small business resource organizations. We also share information about loan programs and funding opportunities as well as small business events and training
programs. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 



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.

04/06/2021 - The State of the Small Business - 2021 Economic & Labor Market Outlook
04/06/2021 - MBE Certification Application Assistance Webinar
04/07/2021 - Doing Business with Maryland Department of the Environment
04/07/2021 - Social Media Marketing
04/08/2021 - High Impact Pitches & Presentations: Speaking with Confidence and Authenticity
04/09/2021 - GovCon "Live Q&A" Café:  Teaming Agreements
04/13/2021 - Government Contract Cost Price Analysis: Level 1
04/15/2021 - Doing Business with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
04/16/2021 - PR 101 for Small Businesses
04/21/2021 - Can you Feel the Pulse of Your Business
04/27/2021 - Writing a Proposal 1 - Reading a Solicitation
04/27/2021 - Writing a Proposal 2 - Developing an Outline
04/29/2021 - QuickBooks Basics for Small Businesses

Check out our full listing of small business events online at