Message from Special Secretary Rhee
Appreciative Audiences Prevail
“Pivot” is the trendy word being used to identify how entrepreneurs are adapting to the business environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in March, I did not think I would adapt to a world ruled by social distancing, but I was wrong. I have settled into the new “norm” and discovered some pleasant surprises along the way.
I enjoy the more casual dress code and am happy to be spending far less time in my car driving from meeting to meeting. I have also successfully made the pivot to the virtual platform of meetings and webinars. In my role as Special Secretary, I am an active public speaker, invited to attend eight to 10 events in a typical month. Talking to a computer screen from my home office has been a big adjustment, and I’ve had to sharpen my own tech skills. Sadly, there are those who are hacking these platforms with nefarious agendas. I was recently the victim of such an action. Thankfully, calm heads prevailed and we were able to continue with the agenda. I share this experience to highlight one simple truth — we cannot control the behavior of others, but we can always control our own behavior. Be outraged by those who seek to discriminate, but do not shy away from events hosted on these virtual platforms. The great programs available to us all deserve appreciative audiences who cultivate respect and dignity.
Governor Hogan Increases Economic Relief by $250 Million
Governor Larry Hogan recently announced the $250 million “Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative,” which provides funding from the Rainy Day Fund to directly assist small businesses, restaurants, local entertainment venues, arts organizations, and Main Streets across the state. The initiative doubles the state’s total commitment to COVID-19 emergency economic relief for Marylanders to $500 million. The governor has directed each agency to ensure that this much-needed funding gets out the door as quickly as possible and will work closely with local partners to assist in expeditiously getting this money into the hands of struggling citizens and small businesses. The new funding will be provided to new and existing programs:
- $50M – expansion of the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund
- $50M – direct relief for restaurants
- $20M – direct relief for Main Street
- $20M – expansion of COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund
- $5M – expansion of small and minority business low-interest loans
- $3M – expansion of arts funding
- $2M – hometown tourism programs
- $100M – Emergency Rapid Response Fund for small businesses
Read the official press release for complete details.
A Decade of Difference
Congratulations to the Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) on the celebration of their 10th anniversary. This exceptional organization is helping start, sustain, and grow women-owned enterprises that strengthen Maryland’s statewide economy. They value diversity, teamwork, creativity, innovation, professional development, and empowerment. Clients consistently choose to work with MWBC for the supportive environment that helps build self-efficacy and confidence. Their skilled and dedicated staff work with 1,500 women entrepreneurs annually, providing individual counseling, hosting workshops, facilitating peer group support, and connecting entrepreneurs to capital resources. MWBC will celebrate a decade of accomplishments on November 19th with an “empowHERment” program that includes awards and raffle prizes from local artists. The program is free to attend, so join in the celebration of a decade!
Masks on Maryland
You’ve been challenged by Governor Larry Hogan. Support Maryland’s ongoing health and economic recovery by participating in the “Masks On Maryland” Challenge. As predicted, cases of COVID-19 are increasing around the country and in Maryland during the fall season, and the governor issued an order renewing the current state of emergency in Maryland. While positivity and case rates remain lower than in most states, we must remain vigilant. The “Masks on Maryland” campaign encourages Marylanders to wear masks properly when in public or unable to social distance. Members of the Governor’s Coordinating Offices, including our very own Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee, helped to launch the campaign. You can help keep Maryland open for business. To join the challenge, simply post a picture or video of yourself, your colleagues, your family, or friends wearing a mask while social distancing. Be sure to include the hashtag #MasksOnMaryland.
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.
11/04/2020 – Poor Bookkeeping Equals Poor Decisions
11/04/2020 – A Roadmap to Your Professional Web Presence
11/05 2020 – Veteran Certification: Are You Interested in Doing Business with the Federal
11/10/2020 – Technical Training Classroom: Maryland’s Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) Program
11/10/2020 – MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop
11/10/2020 – The Dark Web: Protecting Your Most Important Assets
11/19/2020 – Understanding the Gig Economy
11/19/2020 – A Decade of Difference: Celebrating 10 Years of EmpoweHERment
11/23/2020 – Holiday e-Commerce for Small Retailers
11/24/2020 – BWI Contracting: Win More
Check out our full listing of small business events
online at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.