01/18/21: WBE Tools, Resources, Information and Connections Bulletin January 18 – 22, 2021

We all know all this information is still unfolding daily so we urge you to review other resources so you can make the most informed decisions for your situation.


  • The U.S. Department of Labor announces a final rule which aims to protect the wages and job opportunities of American workers by reforming the minimum prevailing wages for permanent employment certification, H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visa foreign worker programs.
  • The Small Business Expo (SBE) is seeking speakers for their upcoming Virtual & Live Small Business Expos across the Country. We’ve just announced our 2021 Schedule of 45 Shows! Apply Here.


Small Business Administration

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, will re-open the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 9 am ET. The portal will fully open on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA. Learn More.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration has already forgiven more than 1.1 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for over $100 billion, providing an extraordinary amount of critical relief to America’s small businesses just 3 months since the earliest PPP borrowers’ covered periods ended. The SBA provides PPP Forgiveness Submission & Payment Metrics, as well as Paycheck Protection Program reports, online at www.sba.gov/ppp.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the launch of the 2021 Emerging Leaders initiative for executives of small businesses poised for growth in underserved markets. Local area recruitment for the 2021 training cycle is currently underway at designated SBA District Offices. Interested small business owners can learn more regarding eligibility, how to apply, class schedules and locations at www.sba.gov/emergingleaders, or by contacting their local SBA District Office.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza, today announced the launch of Ascent, a first-of-its-kind, free digital e-learning platform geared to help women entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses.  Ascent has valuable content such as tips on preparing and recovering from disasters, strategic marketing and business financial strategy development. Ascent is a joint initiative between the White House, the SBA, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  Designed to support women entrepreneurs looking to remain resilient in their operations, Ascent is packed with content and resources from each agency and backed by academic research. Join the Ascent today at Ascent.SBA.gov
  • U.S. Small Business Administration announced 38 companies, seven organizations and 14 individuals as the winners of the prestigious Tibbetts Award for their accomplishments in creating cutting-edge technologies. The Tibbetts Awards, named after Roland Tibbetts, the founder of the SBIR Program, honors these awardees for the exceptional successes they achieved through SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.



  • Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development announces its Business Recovery Grant. $35 million in grants focused on 2,000 of Connecticut’s hardest hit businesses including restaurants and hospitality. Grant sizes will range from $10,000 to $30,000.

No application process – Businesses which meet criteria will be sent a check directly from the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) in early January 2021.

Detailed Eligibility Criteria

    • Must have NAICs as follows with CT DRS or be restaurants, hotel/lodging facilities, or theater/entertainment/recreation businesses:44-45 (Retail), 71 (Arts, Entertainment, and Rec), 72 (Accommodation and Food), and 81 (Other Services), Breweries (312120), Wineries (312130), Movie Theaters (512131 and -2), Travel Arrangement and Reservation (5615 and all sub-NAICS), Other Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation (4859 and 485999), and Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing (5324 and all sub-NAICS).
    • Includes businesses which may be in other NAICS but are restaurants, hotel/lodging facilities, or theater/entertainment/recreation businesses. These businesses must still meet the other criteria.
    • Restaurants are defined as (1) having NAICs 722511, OR (2) having 50% or more of 2020 gross receipts are due to prepared meals AND 2020 gross receipts for prepared meals of at least $100,000.
    • Hotels are defined as (1) having NAICs 721110, OR (2) having 50% or more of 2019 gross receipts are due to room occupancy tax AND 2019 gross receipts for room occupancy of at least $100,000.
    • Theater/entertainment/recreation businesses are defined as having 40% of more of 2019 gross receipts due to admissions taxes (not counting receipts due to dues taxes) AND gross receipts due to admissions taxes of at least $100,000.
    • Had (1) at least $250,000 in 2019 Wages AND at least $260,000 in 2019 gross receipts, OR (2) had at least $490,000 in 2019 Gross Receipts.Wages are gross Connecticut wages reported on form CT-941 and gross Connecticut nonpayroll amounts reported on form CT-945. Not all firms withhold for wages, in which case the business must meet criteria based on gross receipts alone.
    • Gross receipts are the sum of sales that is reported for the purposes of sales tax (excluding for rental vehicles), room occupancy tax, and admissions and dues tax. Gross receipts are measured from January-September of each year.Sales tax gross receipts is the sum of goods, leases and rentals, and labor and services, but excludes motor vehicle rentals as reported on form OS-114 Room occupancy tax gross receipts is the sum of line 1 and line 3 as reported on form OP-210 Admissions and dues gross receipts is the sum of lines 1,3,5,7 and 9 as reported on form O-372
    • At least $75,000 in 2020 wages OR at least $150,000 in 2020 Gross Receipts Suffered declines in gross receipts of at least 25% in the first 9 months of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019, but no more than 95% Have less than $12,500,000 in 2019 Gross Receipts, or less than $10,000,000 in 2019 Gross Receipts if in NAICS 81.
    • Have less than $5,000,000 in 2019 wages (or less than $10,000,000 in 2019 wages if restaurant, hotel/lodging, or theater/entertainment/recreation). This check doesn’t apply if a business doesn’t withhold for wages.
    • Must be an in-state business that filed room occupancy, sales tax, or admissions and dues tax returns for September 2020, and are in good standing as determined by DRS.


    • Non-profits, using NAICS code (all NAICs starting with 611, 623, 7121, and 813) and 501(c) status Auto dealerships, tire stores, and other auto/motor services or maintenance. This is done by excluding a list of NAICS (all NAICS starting with 4247, 441, 4471, 45431, and 8111) and any business with “AUTO” or “TIRE” in its name.
    • Golf courses and country clubs, by excluding NAICs 71391 and any business with “GOLF” or “COUNTRY CLUB” in its name. Exclude casinos and gambling facilities by excluding NAICS 7132.
    • Membership organizations like country clubs and yacht clubs by excluding organizations in which more than 50% of 2019 gross receipts were from dues.

Payment Amount Formula

    • Businesses are given 1 point if 2019 gross receipts (Jan – Sep) are between $1M and $2M, and 2 points if above $2M Businesses are given 1 point if decrease in gross receipts in 2020 v 2019 is between 40-55%, and 2 points if decrease is greater than 55%Businesses with 0 points will get $10,000 Businesses with 1 point will get $15,000 Businesses with 2 points will get $20,000 Businesses with 3 points will get $25,000 Businesses with 4 points will get $30,000.

Businesses cannot receive more than 10% of 2020 gross receipts or 20% of 2020 wages (whichever is higher).


New Jersey

  • WBEC MetroNY WBEs included in the twenty (20) New Jersey minority enterprises selected for the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network. Read the press release.



  • Maryland Washington Minority Companies Associations announces more projects seeking MBE/DBE/WBE participation
  • BGE An Exelon Company announced that it is pledging $15 million to assist small businesses with COVID-19 relief and recovery. Starting in January 2021, eligible businesses located in BGE’s central Maryland service area can begin applying for BGE Energizing Small Business Grants of up to $20,000 each. The grants program is a multi-year commitment and is expected to run through at least 2023. This program is part of the company’s comprehensive Customer Relief and Energy Infrastructure Investment Plan, designed to help the state’s businesses and residents recover from the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More



  • Remaining Competitive and Compassionate: 5 Trends in Employee Benefits for 2021 Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 1:00pm EST

REGISTER HERE to join WBE Company, Employment Enterprises, Inc. for this webinar. Full description:

There might be a vaccine available now, but no one has been immune to the economic and business effects of COVID-19. The 2020 global pandemic fundamentally altered how employers operate and engage with their employees—and the impact is perhaps most evident in the benefits we see businesses adopting in 2021.

This year the focus, not surprisingly, is on tools to help employees stay mentally and emotionally fit while social distancing for their physical health. In this presentation, we will discuss the most common employee benefits for 2021 and how to customize them to not only meet the needs of your current workforce, but also to remain competitive in your market.

The presentation will cover the following five trends:

    1. Telehealth and Virtual Care
    2. Mental Health Programs
    3. Paid Sick Leave and PTO
    4. Childcare Assistance
    5. Financial Health and Well-Being
  • Thursday Jan 21 | 5:30pm – 6:30pm JDC After Hours: Health and Wellness. Find your balance for 2021 with tips from our health and wellness experts. Learn how to organize your home office and digital workspace, get advice on how to stay limber with easy stretches throughout the day, and center yourself with a guided meditation. We’ll also have an expert teach us how to choose healthier wines for after-work indulgence.


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Record number of contracts announced between WBENC certified Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) and Corporate Members, between WBEs and with the Public Sector; a fraction of contracting activity taking place within WPEO https://t.co/waBtLqBvE2 https://t.co/dTiugH70QZ
h J R
Registration is OPEN for #WPEONYDC's first Virtual Breakthrough Breakfast! Visit our website for more information https://t.co/cxdqi6WEev
h J R
@macysnews: Scale up and grow your business with Macy’s retail development program, The Workshop at Macy’s. Now accepting applications for its 2021 class, it was developed in 2011 to foster up-and-coming diverse and women-owned small retail businesses. https://t.co/0gwm5yvDpn https://t.co/xeGeT6UmtO
h J R
Do you have a consumer products that is ready for retail? @WBENCLive and @Target will host a Women Owned in Retail session on 10/15/20 on12:30 PM! Learn more & register https://t.co/HE43bzw8DP #WPEO #womenowned #wbencnetwork
h J R
@WBENCLive: 12 amazing NextGen #WomenEntrepreneurs will advance to the Live Pitch Competition on October 5, featuring $10K in grant awards! Check out the NextGen Pitch Intensive https://t.co/4lLvHHCkdL . #WBENC #NextGenWBE #WBENCnetwork #businesspitch #femalefounder #startup #femalefounders https://t.co/HIJgRTnlGD
h J R