Weekly Messages From The Chair, January 4, 2021

Message #1- 1/4/21

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!

Featured Image:

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, covid-19 cases are still rising across the country and economic stimulus is expected for both families and business owners over the next few weeks. For business owners, please take steps now to implement accounting practices that will allow you to track paying yourself and employees and that show how your business revenue has been affected by covid. Last year, the Baltimore City Chamber handled over 1000 calls with Members and businesses in the community who needed technical assistance. Overwhelmingly, one reason many could not apply for PPP was because they didn’t have documentation to show payroll payments to themselves, partners, contractors and employees.

To help, here is a summary Senator Ben Cardin’s office prepared to help you understand the new PPP and EIDL requirements. 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 getting your books together, email me and I will connect you to additional resources.

Second, please add ALL the 1st Thursday General Membership Zoom Meetings to your calendar! The meetings are less than one hour and are designed to quickly connect you to info and resources. Register at https://whc.as.me/1stThursdays. You are also invited to attend our 2nd Thursday Virtual Happy Hours to network with other professionals and entrepreneurs! Register at https://whc.as.me/2ndThursdays.

Third, 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/

Fourth, the minimum wage in Maryland has increased to $11.75 for businesses with 15 or more employees and to $11.60 for businesses with 14 or fewer employees. Read all the details at https://www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/wages/minimumwagelaw.pdf.

Fifth, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program is accepting applicants earning over $75k for their May and September 2021 cohorts. The deadline is January 15th! Apply at www.10ksbapply.com/Baltimore. Or, schedule a call to learn how this free program can benefit your business before you apply.

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, starting in early 2021, Chamber Member, Allan Hirsh will lead a free, online training program for Entrepreneurs. This program is in partnership with the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact Allan at allan@allanhirshadvisors.com.

Tenth, I invite you to join me on January 9th 2021 for a half-day business boot camp! We will cover topics including: how to find paying customers; how to properly budget and determine pricing; how to build your marketing and sales infrastructure; taxes and accounting basics; accessing capital and how to build the right team so you can spend more time enjoying your life. Just $19! Limited space available! Register at https://whc.as.me/2021JanBootcamp

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.

1/7/21 at 6pm
Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce January General Membership Meeting 
In one hour, get updated on resources and opportunities in Maryland. All are welcome to attend! Register at https://whc.as.me/1stThursdays.

1/9/21 (Saturday morning from 8am to 12 noon)
4 Hour Online Business Bootcamp

In this 4 hour, online, interactive workshop, we will cover topics including: how to find paying customers; how to properly budget and determine pricing; how to build your marketing and sales infrastructure; taxes and accounting basics; accessing capital and how to build the right team so you can spend more time enjoying your life. This 4 hour, online business boot camp is led by Chairman of the Baltimore City Chamber, Will Holmes. Register at https://whc.as.me/2021JanBootcamp.

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
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. Registration info coming soon. Save the date!

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: https://anchor.fm/willholmes.biz