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Expanding Opportunities: For your information

Technical Training Classroom Webinar Series

You are cordially invited to join the free webinar series hosted by the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs every month. The Technical Training Classroom, launched in 2018 as small in-person classroom sessions, can now accommodate 500 participants on the Zoom webinar platform. Topics are strategically curated to help small, minority, women, and veteran business owners improve core competencies and gain an insightful understanding of the State’s procurement process. Classes are taught by subject-matter experts in the public and private sectors with the goal of helping participants compete with confidence. All sessions are free, and advance registration is required.

Procurement Forecast

Many businesses utilize forecasting tools to make decisions about the future. The challenge lies in finding the right data to build a reliable forecast, particularly for small businesses and solopreneurs. The State of Maryland’s Procurement Forecast helps bridge the gap. Housed on the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority &Women Business Affairs’ website, it is a database of purchases $100,000 or greater that state agencies and departments anticipate making during the current fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Users can build a customized search based on six different options: description, agency, procurement category, contract value, region, and projected advertisement date. After completing the search, be sure to export the results to a spreadsheet. With a simple click of the “Export to Excel” button, additional fields are revealed in the spreadsheet format. This includes the name and contact information of the procurement officer or buyer, making it a very powerful business intelligence tool.

Veteran Entrepreneurs Wanted

Maryland provides contracting opportunities on state-funded procurements to veteran-owned businesses through the Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) Program. Designated agencies and departments are directed to spend at least 1% of their procurements with veteran-owned prime contractors or subcontractors. Only the work of a certified VSBE firm can be counted toward an established VSBE contract goal. Firms seeking to participate in the VSBE Program must meet the size standards adopted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more veterans. Oversight of the VSBE Program lies rests the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs. Visit the VSBE Program page online for complete information on the certification process.

Private Sector Integration Program

How resilient is your small business? Getting back to business after a disaster depends heavily on the preparedness planning you do today. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is committed to incorporating the private sector into the emergency management framework by increasing the information sharing between the private and public sectors, and providing a voice to the business community during emergencies. MEMA built the Private Sector Integration Program (PSIP) to effectuate this goal. The PSIP includes a Business Operations Center (BOC) housed within the State Emergency Operations Center to better facilitate communication, situational awareness, and information sharing. Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to join the PSIP. Members receive preparedness resources, up-to-date emergency alerts, access to the BOC during activations, training, and exercise opportunities, and more.

Maryland Entrepreneur Hub

Introducing a powerful new tool for entrepreneurs and business owners – the Maryland Entrepreneur Hub. This online platform offers 24/7 access to a broad range of resources. More than 2,000 to be exact. They have been curated for all types of businesses, all stages of business, and all industries of business. This powerful new tool is a partnership between TEDCO, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and the University of Maryland. Visit today and create a profile of the resources and organizations that best fit your needs. The site will continue to evolve and expand, so plan to visit often.

Vendor Training on eMMA

eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA) is Maryland’s eProcurement tool. There is no cost to register, and vendors receive email notifications of solicitations that align to their vendor profile. eMMA will evolve into a full procure-to-pay system and vendors will need to grow along with it. Be sure your profile is complete and accurate. If you’re not receiving solicitation notices, it’s likely you need to modify the codes in the Product and Service Offerings category. Log into the system often to stay informed of new features as they are added. Notices will appear when you need to take action that can impact your account. Utilize the FAQs and Quick Reference Guides. These tools will help you navigate the system more easily. You should also take advantage of the growing vendor training library. The Office of State Procurement is continually developing training and support resources to help vendors perform functions within eMMA such as completing the vendor registration process and submitting electronic bids. Bookmark this site and watch the library grow.

Maryland’s Official Certification Agency

The Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE) is Maryland’s Official certification agency, Housed within the Department of Transportation, OMBE certifies firms for the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program, the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) Program, and the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program. Their online certification management system is a cloud-based web portal that supports applications for new certification as well as annual reviews.

Minority Business/Expanding Opportunities 2020 cover

Expanding Opportunities

This article is featured in the 2021 edition of The Daily Record’s Expanding Opportunities Resource Guide for Small, Minority and Women Businesses. Published in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs, Expanding Opportunities explores diversity, entrepreneurship and innovation in Maryland’s small business community. Read more from Expanding Opportunities on this website or read the digital edition.

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