09/27/20: WBE Tools, Resources, Information and Connections Bulletin September 28 – October 2, 2020

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 House passed the stopgap funding bill (continuing resolution) to keep the government operating through December 11 after both parties and officials at the White House struck a deal to provide aid to farmers and food assistance for low-income families. The 359-57 vote now sends the CR to the Senate for a vote before the fiscal year ends on September 30. In addition to funding government agencies, the bill provides $30 billion for the Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation – something sought by the Administration. Democrats got almost $8 billion for a pandemic program to feed children who normally receive school lunches.

President Trump issued an executive order expanding a ban on the use of federal money for certain diversity training. Earlier this month, the President ordered his administration to stop paying for race theory diversity training in federal agencies. He said his new order will expand the prohibition on training for the U.S. military, government contractors, and other federal grantees.

The Biden-Harris campaign has said they will initiate an advisory committee on small business and entrepreneurship.



  • Marsha Firestone is on the cover of WEUSA Magazine latest issue – A legacy in advocacy: Marsha Firestone’s support for women business leaders.
  • Learn how MBEs can help larger corporations achieve sustainability goals. With sustainability gaining traction as a Wall Street metric, corporate success will hinge on reaching sustainability milestones. Two experts explain why minority businesses are crucial to corporate sustainability initiatives.
  • The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), announced today that it will hold a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT. A subsequent listening session will be held from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT. The NWBC will discuss the following issues of vital importance to the continued prosperity of women-led businesses: access to capital, women in STEM, and women’s entrepreneurship in rural communities.
  • 2021 Inclusion Awards Nominations Now Open! The 2021 Disability:IN Inclusion Award winners are recognized as visionary brands and individuals that are advancing disability inclusion. Disability:IN is pleased to recognize these award winners during the 2021 Disability:IN Annual Conference & Expo, taking place July 12-15 in Las Vegas. There are eleven Inclusion Award categories, including Employer of the Year, Top Corporation for Disability-Owned Businesses, and ERG/BRG of the Year. Download the nomination form for the award category and submit by Friday, November 20, 2020!


New Jersey

  • NEW JERSEY EMPLOYERS: UNDER NEW LAW, “ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES” WHO TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID ARE PRESUMED TO HAVE CONTRACTED IT AT WORK. On September 14, 2020, Governor Murphy signed a new law determining that “essential employees” who test positive for COVID-19 are presumed to have contracted the virus while at work. The law is retroactive to March 9, 2020. Read More>>
  • Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce will host its 32nd Hunterdon Business Expo virtually November 5th through December 31st. Register!


New York

  • The Westchester County Office of Economic Development is now accepting applications for the Westchester County Business FIRST grant program. Applications will be accepted through September 30, 2020.
  • Governor Cuomo announced that the commercial eviction moratorium has been extended until October 20, 2020. This moratorium prohibits the initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of any eviction of any commercial tenant for nonpayment of rent or a foreclosure of any commercial mortgage for nonpayment of such mortgage. View the full details in the updated Executive Order here.
  • New York City food establishments will be allowed to offer limited indoor dining beginning on September 30th. Read the Summary Guidelines. Read the Business Safety Plan.
  • Twenty-two local governments were designated in fiscal stressfor 2019, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS). The scores were based on financial information reported by local governments operating on a calendar year basis (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31) for 2019 (pre-pandemic). In New York, that includes all counties and towns, 44 cities and 10 villages.
  • Empire State Development announced that low-interest loans through the New York Forward Loan Fund ​(NYFLF) are now available to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients who received $50,000 or less in PPP assistance. Through NYFLF, eligible small businesses and small residential landlords can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan with a 3% fixed interest rate; while eligible non-profits can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan at 2% fixed interest. The maximum loan amount is $100,000, and funds can be used for working capital expenses associated with reopening, including payroll, operating and emergency maintenance, property taxes, utilities and costs associated with refitting physical space to follow social distancing guidelines.



  • Tuesday October 6 | 9:00am – 10:00am ET – Downtown Download A Covid Resources & Recovery Webinar hosted by Shelonda Stokes, President and CEO of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore & Councilman Eric Costello. Join Downtown Partnership Tuesday at 9am for a live webinar with the latest and most useful information available from Councilman Eric Costello, Downtown Partnership CEO, Shelonda Stokes, and a variety of elected officials and business leaders who are guiding us through the pandemic recovery. Guests to include Dr. Sonja Santelises CEO of Baltimore City Schools. To register, click here.
  • Thursday October 8 | 8:00am – 12:00pm ET – Whiting-Turner’s Contracting Company’s Get Down to Business Event. The event offers an opportunity for business owners to meet with the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company’s bid teams to find out about projects that will be put out for bid in the next several months. This event is exclusively for our diverse sub-contractors and vendors. Event Details:
    • There will not be an “in person” event at our offices. Instead there will be a dedicated time period-8:00am until 12:00noon, on Thursday October 8th, for you to call in to talk with a WT contact. It is an opportunity for a brief personal dialogue, without a lot of phone tag. You will be limited to a 5 minute conversation. Additional conversations can be scheduled.
    • Whiting Turner will compile a project list with backup project information sheets.
    • Whiting Turner will provide you multiple WT contacts on the project list, no different than having multiple contacts at our tables. Enough capacity to personally discuss the projects and develop relationships.
    • Whiting Turner will send you the project lists and backup sheets on Tuesday October 6th, two days prior to the call in date. Please do NOT call until October 8th.
    • Whiting Turner encourages attendees to review the information before you call in , so as to focus your conversation on specific projects and the information you need.

For more information contact Bernie LaHatte at 410-821-1100 or email: Bernard.lahatte@whiting-turner.com.

  • SAVE THE DATE!!! 12 Annual Meet the Primes hosted by Baltimore County and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. Wednesday, October 28, 2020 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. To view flier, click here. More details to follow.



  • Rebuild! VA Small  Business Grant Program Expanded Eligibility and new Guidelines by the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity.In July, SBSD Virginia shared that the Commonwealth would be launching a new grant program for small businesses and nonprofits called Rebuild VA. We’re writing today to let you know that Rebuild VA has expanded its eligibility criteria to allow more small businesses to apply. The application is open and available here: https://vsbfa.force.com/s/login/Small supply chain partners of businesses forced to close under Executive Order 53 or 55 as well as businesses that received CARES Act funding are now eligible to receive a $10,000 Rebuild VA grant. Businesses that have received CARES Act funding must certify that they will only use the Rebuild VA grant for recurring expenses and that the grant will not be used to cover the same expenses as the other CARES Act funds.Administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), Rebuild VA has received over 3,000 applications. SBSD and its program partners, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, made the decision to expand eligibility criteria after analysis of eligible and ineligible applications received within the first 30 days of the launch. More details about the program, including eligibility criteria, may be found by visiting https://www.governor.virginia.gov/rebuildva/. We hope that you will share this information widely with your networks.
  • The Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity has released the list of their upcoming virtual events:

OCT 7Hampton Roads/Eastern Shore: SWaM Certification INFORMATION Workshop – SWaM Program and designations, certification process and on-line application portal (live demo), required documents needed to apply, and how to use the certification to do business with the Commonwealth

OCT 14 – Webinar: Selling to the Commonwealth – eVA Basics (Class 1) – Learn about Virginia’s procurement system.  State contracting 101 for businesses new to the state government contracting process.

OCT 19Hampton Roads/Eastern Shore Region: Virtual One-on-One Business Counseling – One-on-one counseling sessions on how to do business with Virginia state agencies and how to access business development resources, including SWaM Certification and State financing programs.  These 1 hour sessions are by appointment only.

OCT 21Webinar: Leveraging Video to Establish your Brand and Grow Your Business – join Cheryl Tan (Tan Media) as she discusses The Importance of Mastering Video when communicating with your internal teams, with your clients, and with your partners.

OCT 21 – Webinar: How to Generate Leads – eVA Advanced –  This workshop is the 2nd in our series & focuses on lead generation. This hands-on session explores the public transparency tools available on the eVA website, including the Report & Resource Center and the new “power” search.  You’ll learn how to identify buyers who are buying what you sell, determine prices being paid for goods/services, identify who’s getting business (is it you or your competition). We’ll also walk through the Virginia Business Opportunities public posting page – featuring collaboration tools like B2B Connect & VIBE – as we discuss how & when eVA builds a lead list for you and why rating your leads is important.

OCT 27Hampton Roads/Eastern Shore: Virtual SWaM Application Assistance – Virtual Hands-On assistance with accessing the online application portal, creating your account, uploading required documents and completing/submitting your application. (This is NOT an informational workshop – please read details/instructions)

OCT 28Webinar: Getting Your Business Financially Fit! (Session 1) – When you own a small business, every choice you make, from how you spend money, to how much you charge for services, makes a difference! Join us as we discuss Financing Your Venture and Managing Your Personal and Business Credit Score

NOV 2Hampton Roads/Eastern Shore Region: Virtual One-on-One Business Counseling – One-on-one counseling sessions on how to do business with Virginia state agencies and how to access business development resources, including SWaM Certification and State financing programs.  These 1 hour sessions are by appointment only.

NOV 9 – Webinar: Getting Your Business Financially Fit! (Session 2) – When you own a small business, every choice you make, from how you spend money, to how much you charge for services, makes a difference! Join us as we discuss The 8 C’s of Turning a Decline to an Approval for a Business Loan and Managing Your Personal and Business Credit Score

Partner Organization Offerings

  • September 29 & 30 – Great Lakes Women’s Business Conference presented by Greater Lakes Women’s Business Council. Click here for the full list of speakers. Register!


Webinars and Virtual Events

  • Thursday October 8 | 2:30pm ET – Rebuild My Town Spectrum Reach has partnered with entrepreneurs Chip and Joanna Gaines and local advertising experts to uncover key tactics that are helping small businesses thrive and rebuild. Register today and find out how other business owners are staying the course. Walk away inspired and ready to rebuild. Don’t miss an afternoon of celebrity appearances, marketing insights, and exciting giveaways!
  • Thursday October 8 | 10:00am ET – 30th Anniversary of The Global Summit of Women Celebration. Join and hear global salutes from delegations worldwide.


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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
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Registration is OPEN for #WPEONYDC's first Virtual Breakthrough Breakfast! Visit our website for more information https://t.co/cxdqi6WEev
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@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
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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
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@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
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