Weekly Messages From The Chair, January 11, 2021

Message #2- 1/11/21

Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce Members and Friends,

Summary: In this message, I share a featured image, highlight 10 things you should know, spotlight offers from Members, share lending and job opportunities and list business related events. If this message landed in your spam or promotions folder, please add us to your address book!

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Featured Video:

Did you miss last week’s January General Membership Meeting? No problem. Here’s the video. I recap 2020 and detail our growth plan for 2021. Check it out and contact me with questions.
Featured Programs:
2 free, online programs that are designed to give smaller or larger businesses the resources, support and info they need to grow. Whether your revenue is below $75k or above, we have an entrepreneur growth program for you. The application deadlines are approaching! Click here to learn more.

Here are 10 things you should know:

First, last year, many business owners could not apply for PPP because they didn’t have documentation to show payroll payments to themselves, partners, contractors and employees. This year, it will be important that you also have documentation showing how your revenue has been affected by covid. To help, the LEDC has put together some resources:

Additionally, Ben Seigel from the Baltimore Development Corporation put together this summary:

Federal Coronavirus Relief Bill Key Provisions

  • PPP loans have been replenished with $284 billion.
  • $15 billion set-aside for CDFIs; $15 or $25 billion set-aside for businesses with less than 10 employees or located in low-income neighborhoods; $35 billion set-aside for businesses that did not receive prior PPP loans.
  • Expanded nonprofit eligibility for 501(c)(6) organizations.
  • Second time loans are allowed for businesses that received PPP loans in earlier rounds; must have at least 25% reduction in gross receipts from 2019.
  • PPP recipients can also take advantage of Employee Retention Tax Credit.
  • PPP funds can be used for expanded purposes including property repairs, PPE and worker safety measures.
  • Businesses can deduct expenses paid with PPP funds for past and future PPP loans.
  • $20 billion added for EIDL loans
  • $15 billion for a new grant program for live venue operators (theaters, museums, etc.) with $2 billion set-aside for small operators with fewer than 50 employees. Grants to be administered by SBA.
  • 11-week extension of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance plus $300 weekly federal supplement – through March 14, 2021. Gig workers and independent contractors are eligible for the extension and supplement.
  • $10 billion added to the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to be used by states for assistance to families or providers.
  • $13 billion added to SNAP (food benefits).

If you don’t have an accounting system in place, I recommend hiring a bookkeeper or accountant, or at minimum, using a free tool like www.waveapps.com. If you need assistance, email me and I will connect you to additional resources.

Second, join us January 28th 2021 at 6pm for our kickoff webinar in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Labor and the Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center. This webinar series will focus on connecting more small businesses with government contracting opportunities. Special thanks to Thomas Moore of our Procurement Relations Committee for putting this together. Click here to register!

Third, you are invited to attend this Thursday’s Virtual Happy Hour to network with other professionals and entrepreneurs! Register at https://whc.as.me/2ndThursdays.

Fourth, Comptroller Franchot announced a 90 day forbearance for business tax returns and payments. Essentially, this will act as a zero interest loan for Maryland businesses and provide immediate economic stimulus for Maryland businesses and workers. The Comptroller’s Office has established a dedicated email address taxpayerrelief@marylandtaxes.gov  to assist businesses with extension-related questions. These extensions apply only to tax filings under the authority of the Comptroller of Maryland. Taxpayers may need to consult other state agencies regarding the deadlines for other tax filings, such as personal property or unemployment insurance. For more details about the announcement, please see the Comptroller’s official Tax Alert.

Fifth, Chamber Member, Veronica Yu, a labor and employment attorney at Offit Kurman, P.A. was chosen to be featured on the 2021 Maryland Super Lawyers magazine’s annual cover and was also selected as a 2021 Rising Star for her fourth year in a row.  In the featured article, Ms. Yu and six other millennial attorneys weigh in on topics such as ageism, navigating two recessions, the debt burden, and the rewards of having a legal career. Bringing her personal experience to the discussion, Ms. Yu reflects on and shares how she has navigated the legal profession thus far in her career. Ms. Yu focuses her practice on providing proactive and preventative business counseling, as well as defending businesses throughout the litigation process. The dual nature of her practice allows her to partner with clients to come up with solutions to their legal issues, big and small, while they focus on growing and running their businesses. Here is the link to the feature. Congratulations, Veronica! Connect with Veronica on LinkedIn.

Sixth, the Baltimore Means Business program is accepting applicants earning under $75k for their May 2021 cohort. The deadline to apply is April 12th! Apply at www.baltimoremeans.business. Or, schedule a call to learn about this free program before you apply.

Seventh, the Women’s Leadership Committee, with the leadership of Co-Chairs, Dr. Rhonda Farrell and Ms. Brenda Kwateng, has made quite an impact since the committee started in the summer of 2020. The Co-Chairs have led monthly virtual events, grown their membership and have already started planning events for 2021. You are invited to their first 2021 Committee meeting on January 13th 2021 at 6pm. Please RSVP at bccocwlc@gmail.com for login details and more information on their upcoming events:

  • January 21st 2021 @ 6:15 – 7:30 PM, Living an Intentional 2021 and the Role of Mentoring or Coaching as a Path to Attainment. Speaker: Ms. Linda Dolceamore.
  • February 18th 2021 @ 6:15 – 7:30 PM, The 5 Pillars of Building Your Fempire. Speaker: Caterina Rando.

Eighth, on January 21st we are teaming up with Live Baltimore for a webinar discussing the Live Near Your Work program. Click here to register for the webinar to learn about all the incentives available to prospective homeowners in Baltimore City.

Ninth, we would like to welcome our newest member, Community Intervention Healthcare Services LLC to the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce! CIHS has promoted recovery, full community integration and an improved quality of life for individuals experiencing substance abuse problems that seriously impairs their ability to lead meaningful lives. To learn more, contact them today! Website: www.cihsmd.org  | Email: info@cihsmd.org  |
Phone #: 410.505.0550

Tenth, in a few weeks, I will be working with Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and  Anne Arundel County on two new, free growth programs for business owners. If you are interested in participating and learning more, contact me.

Keep reading for this week’s Offers, Loans and Grants, Jobs and Events! 

If you are an active Baltimore City Chamber Member and you have a special offer for our Members, or if you would like to discuss Membership, schedule a call with Will Holmes at https://whc.as.me/baltimorechamber


Need Storage?
Chamber Member, Man Choi, Regional Manager of Security Public Storage has a message for Chamber Members. “As a member of the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce, we would like to extend our most aggressive discount to all members who are in need of storage. As we are all experiencing unprecedented times, we have noticed a lot of transitions in the market where traditional and non-traditional storage needs have increased in overall demand. We have a wealth of partners that can assist anyone in transition or who needs temporary additional space. We look forward to speaking with all of you.” Click here to learn more and contact Man Choi at mchoi@bacorealty.com.
Luxury Living in Harbor East
Chamber Member, Avalon 555 invites you to come take a tour! They are now leasing brand new, high-rise apartments along Baltimore’s Harbor East. Book your in-person tour at Avalon555President.com or call or text 844-914-3027 for more information!

Save with Community Solar in Maryland

Subscribe to a Community Solar Farm in Baltimore County and save up to 10 percent on your energy costs. Chamber Members who subscribe will receive $150 for supporting clean energy in Maryland. Email Kathleen.Wojtowicz@cleanchoiceenergy.com for more information or to enroll today.

Need Health Care?
Chamber Member, Dr. Shawn Dhillon offers concierge medical care for $99 per month. Have a dedicated physician for less than you would pay for medical insurance. Learn more at https://www.anytimedrs.com.

Need Medical Insurance?
Chamber Member, George Faber can help you find medical coverage. Send him a message at George.Faber@USHAdvisors.com.

Proposal Writing Services
Procurement Committee Member, Thomas Moore, owner of Thought Progress LLC, has special rates for fellow Chamber Members. Additionally, Mr. Moore is offering Chamber Members the opportunity to receive a free proposal consultation. Thought Progress LLC specializes in proposal writing and is ready to advise your team on winning proposal strategies to give your company a competitive edge. Contact Thomas Moore at info@thoughtprogressllc.com.

LOANS AND GRANTSLatino Economic Development Center
As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), LEDC provides alternative micro loan options to start-ups and existing businesses that have difficulty obtaining credit from mainstream financial institutions. We offer loans ranging from $500 to $250,000 to qualified start-ups and existing businesses. Uses capital include: Vehicles & equipment; Renovation or business expansion; Working capital; Hiring additional personnel; Inventory; Bridge financing for government grants; Expansion to new locations; and Business acquisition. Our loan officers are trained to access each transaction beyond traditional credit underwriting guidelines. At LEDC, we believe in the unleashing power of economic fairness and access to opportunity to all. Learn more at https://www.ledcmetro.org/smallbusiness.

Baltimore Community Lending
Baltimore Community Lending provides loan capital to small real estate developers and small business owners in Baltimore City who have no relationship with or are unable to get a loan from a bank, and who are committed to developing underserved neighborhoods. They work with the government, foundations, financial institutions, community stakeholders, anchor institutions, and small business owners early in the planning process to provide small-to-mid size capital solutions leading to a more diverse and economically balanced Baltimore. Learn more about Baltimore Community Lending’s programs at https://bclending.org/.

KIVA Loans 
KIVA has funding options for businesses. Click here to learn more. 

Short term commercial loans not based on credit…
If you have submitted an invoice for services and you are waiting to be paid, or if you have a purchase order to fill, but need funding to get started, learn more about WHC’s programs that can help.


Jobs at the Small Business Administration 
The SBA has a variety of temporary jobs to assist with the COVID-19 response. Click here to learn more.

Jobs in Baltimore
The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development has compiled job openings in the area. Click here to learn more.

Department of Labor
The Department of Labor has compiled some job opportunities. Click here to learn more.

Effective January 13th 2021, the Comprehensive Bag Reduction Act (Baltimore City Code Article 28 § 32-1Article 7 §62-1) bans single-use plastic check out bags at the point of sale, pickup, or delivery. Baltimore businesses must charge a minimum of $0.05 for each alternative bag distributed at check out, of which $0.01 must be remitted to the city. Retailers must register for a Tax ID and pay the $0.01 surcharge electronically. The portal for Tax ID registration and payment will be available starting February 1st 2021. The City encourages businesses to sign up HERE for an e-mail reminder when the registration portal opens. Read the details at https://www.baltimoresustainability.org/projects/bringyourbag/

1/14/21 at 6pm
Baltimore City Chamber January Virtual Happy Hour
Connect and meet with Chamber Members every 2nd Thursday! Wear your logo and share what you do! We have a toast every 15 minutes, so be ready to celebrate and network. Register at https://whc.as.me/2ndThursdays.

Webinar: Live Near Your Work

In partnership with Live Baltimore, this webinar will discuss the Live Near Your Work program. Click here to register for the webinar to learn about all the incentives available to prospective homeowners in Baltimore City.

1/21/21 at 6:15pm
Women’s Leadership Committee Online Event

Join us January 21st 2021 @ 6:15 – 7:30 PM, for
“Living an Intentional 2021 and the Role of Mentoring or Coaching as a Path to Attainment.” Speaker: Ms. Linda Dolceamore. Please RSVP at bccocwlc@gmail.com for login details.

1/28/21 at 6pm
Webinar with the Governor’s Office on Winning Government Contracts
Join us January 28th 2021 at 6pm for our kickoff webinar in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Labor and the Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center. This webinar series will focus on connecting more small businesses with government contracting opportunities. Special thanks to Thomas Moore of our Procurement Relations Committee for putting this together. Click here to register!

Women’s Leadership Committee Online Event

Join us February 18th 2021 @ 6:15 – 7:30 PM for “The 5 Pillars of Building Your Fempire.” Speaker: Caterina Rando. Please RSVP at bccocwlc@gmail.com for login details.

February 2021
Afro Newspaper Black Business Matters Expo

Details coming soon.

March 2021
Chamber Member, Colette Colclough is hosting an event called The 2021 Women’s Leadership Forum. The Women’s Leadership Forum is looking FORWARD to welcoming national White House correspondent and author, April Ryan. Join the conversation as we discuss 2021 and the future of women. Register for the virtual event at Forwardwlf.org.

Talk to you next week!

Will Holmes

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce
Schedule a call with me: https://whc.as.me/baltimorechamber
Do business with me: http://www.whcusa.com 
Check out my podcast: http://www.anchor.fm/whcusa

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