It is my honor to accept the appointment from Governor Wes Moore to serve Marylanders as the Special Secretary of the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs. It is a big transition from my work in the private sector, but I am no stranger to new beginnings. As an entrepreneur, I have opened five small and micro businesses, closed one of them, and sold two. I have been supported by many during my journey, and the lessons I learned have transformed me in many ways, most predominantly in my desire to help others navigate the business world and achieve their own success. Along the way I have led local, state, and national Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and mentored over 200 business owners. I am excited to leverage all of my past experiences in this new role. I will be working to increase the internal and external accountability and performance measures of the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE), and Small Business Reserve (SBR) programs. One thing I know with complete certainty is that we must recognize people for their true worth, and the team here at the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs has value beyond measure. I am proud to join this dedicated staff who care for these important programs with true passion. Together I know we are going to do great things. As a first generation American and proud Latina, Governor Moore’s “Leave No One Behind” initiative speaks to me professionally and personally. I will use every tool at my disposal to increase engagement and expand opportunities for our MBE, VSBE, and SBR vendors and I look forward to working with you to improve Maryland’s business climate.
“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone…and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.”
– Sandra Day O’Connor
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
FY2024 Procurement Forecast Predicts 15% Increase
Small business owners are always looking for trusted information that can help them make informed business decisions and feed their new customer pipeline. Maryland’s Procurement Forecast is that kind of a tool. The database, was recently posted on the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs website and predicts a 15% increase in the number of procurements for the 2024 fiscal year. It is populated with solicitations of $100,000 or greater that are expected to be advertised or awarded through June 30, 2024 and comprises both new and recurring items, including task orders issued under master contracts. Users can choose from six different options to focus their search. By downloading search results to Excel, expanded information is provided, such as the buyer’s name and contact information. Small businesses are often looking for contracting opportunities below $100,000. As a result, many state agencies also include information on projected contracts between $15,000 and $99,999. Access to this vital information reinforces the open and transparent nature of Maryland’s public contracting arena. You can even watch a video and download a slide deck to help you mine this powerful tool.
Public Data Mining Strategies
Data mining is the process of searching out and extracting usable data from a larger data source. It can be used to find patterns and correlations that will help increase revenue, reduce risk, improve customer relationships, and more. There is an abundance of information available to help vendors interested in performing as a prime contractor or subcontractor in the state contracting arena. You can identify what agencies are buying now, what’s projected in the future, who is bidding and winning as prime contractors, what scopes of work are typically designated to the Small Business Reserve Program, and which typically include Minority Business Enterprise and Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise program goals. To help small business owners decipher the data, we prepared some short videos that demonstrate how to tackle our primary pipelines. We even offer tips on communicating with confidence. You can even download the accompanying slide deck with step-by-step instructions to follow in real time.
How to Stay Motivated as a Small Business Owner
Owning and managing a small business is not easy. Nothing beats the freedom of being your own boss, but the pressure and responsibility can take a toll on your mood and motivation. You are not alone. In fact, staying motivated is a key topic for business owners of all sizes. You can find motivational quotes, creative exercises, and stories from successful entrepreneurs all over the Internet. Sometimes, it really helps to hear from your peers and to take inspiration and motivation from those who are in the same boat. Check out this great article with tips from 12 entrepreneurs who share their stories and advice for staying motivated.
TRAINING & OUTREACH
T.I.P.S. Webinar Series
Attendance is growing at our T.I.P.S. (Training and Insights for Procurement Success) Webinar Series. Two free classes are offered every month and feature topics that are carefully curated to help you improve core competencies and gain an insightful understanding of the state’s procurement processes. If you want to do business with the State of Maryland, our T.I.P.S. webinar series is a must. There is no cost to participate, just register in advance to receive the participation link.
- August 22, 2023 @ 10 a.m.
Navigating eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA)
- August 24, 2023 @ 10 a.m.
Prime Contracting in Maryland’s Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program
Never stop learning! We have a great schedule of monthly classes. Visit the T.I.P.S. Webinar Series webpage to see the full 2023 schedule or download the slide deck of last month’s classes. You can also check out our YouTube Playlist to view any of the recorded sessions over the past year.
Stay connected to the many opportunities for training, networking, and business development that are taking
place across Maryland and on virtual platforms. Here is a highlight of some of the events coming up this month.
Check out the full listing of small business events online at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.
08/03/2023 – Proposal Writing I
08/05/2023 – Minority Business Expo 2023
08/10/2023 – Building a LinkedIn Profile That Attracts New Customers
08/10/2023 – Hispanic-Latino Minority Business Talks 2023 Session
08/11/2023 – Small Biz Resource Connections: Business Lending Programs
08/16/2023 – Bad Numbers = Bad Decisions: Accounting Made Right
08/17/2023 – Legal Risk Management for Your Business
08/22/2023 – T.I.P.S. Webinar Series: Navigating eMMA
08/24/2023 – T.I.P.S. Webinar Series: Prime Contracting in Maryland’s Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program
08/31/2023 – Proposal Writing 2
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 join our social media community and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Leave No One Behind! As a unit of the Executive Department, the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs connects members of the small, minority, women, and veteran business communities to greater economic opportunities. Learn more by visiting our website at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @goMDsmallbiz..