MBDA CARES ACT SMALL BUSINESS STRATEGIC CONSULTING FUND PROGRAM

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MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

CARES ACT SMALL BUSINESS STRATEGIC CONSULTING FUND PROGRAM
APPLICATION DEADLINE: SATURDAY, August 31, 2022

1.  PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

In our response to the FFO Number MBDA-OBD-2021-2006816 the City of Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business (SMWB) has launched the Small Business Strategic Consulting Fund Program (the Program).

The primary goal of this Program is to foster the stabilization and growth of minority and women-owned business enterprises in the City of Baltimore and the surrounding areas in Maryland that have been affected by COVID-19, through technical assistance, business development, and training. The specific training seeks to increase expertise in areas such as: accounting, marketing, cash flow management, human resource management, technology development, R&D, and government procurement.

Recognizing the need for new methods of conducting business, particularly now, given the ongoing pandemic, we have introduced this Program to help meet the needs of these companies, many of which are now trying to adjust to new business models and the use of technology. Over the next six months, the Program will seek to provide immediate relief, utilizing specialized consulting services from local resource providers who can be retained to work with qualified small and minority businesses to assist in their recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The focus will be on those businesses that are vital for growing and diversifying our local economy. The ultimate goal is to help companies return to profitability by re-starting, expanding or pivoting to new business models.

The Program is being administered by the Mayor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business (SMWB).

2.  PROGRAM APPROACH

The Program will conduct outreach to identify companies negatively affected by COVID-19, through the referral assistance of strategic consulting partners including but not limited to: the City of Baltimore’s Small Business Resource Center, Baltimore Development Corporation, the Mayor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business and other qualified partners. The Program has hired a Program Manager who will serve as the initial point of contact with businesses that require assistance and identify their needs.

The Program will match companies (Clients) with possible consultants (Resource Providers), based on business needs.  High-performing Resource Providers will be identified also with the help of our strategic partners, and the Program will match Clients with a shortlist of possible Resource Providers, based on the individual business needs identified.  Clients will select who to work with from this list.

Eligibility

This Program is being offered to minority-owned businesses that qualify for MBDA resources.

A minority-owned business is defined as one that is 51% or more owned or controlled by the following persons or groups of persons that are also U.S. citizens or resident aliens admitted for lawful admission to the United States: African Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asians, and Pacific Islander Americans, Native Americans (including, Alaska Natives, Alaska Native Corporations, and Tribal entities), Asian Indians, and Hasidic Jews.

To be considered eligible to tap into Program funds, businesses will have to meet the following requirements:

  • Duly registered and in operation for at least 2 years, with clients and market share;
  • Annual revenues of at least $300,000;
  • Key to the growth and diversification of the local economy;
  • Positioned for growth;
  • Have not received another CARES grant under this Program;
  • Can provide in counterpart resources at least 10% (in cash) of the cost of the services  obtained;
  • Be able to make a 2-3 month commitment to the Program.

NON-PROFITS WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE.

Priority Sectors
We will consider businesses in a variety of sectors similar to MBDA clients:
Retail; Manufacturing; Services; Logistics; Supply Chain; Technology; Health; Education.

We will service businesses in the Baltimore regional market area.

 

 Target 
25-30 businesses
50% of total beneficiary companies should be women-owned

Eligible Expenses
Consulting services
Installation of new equipment and associated training

The cost of new equipment, employee salaries, or other associated expenses will NOT be covered.

Payments will go directly to the Resource Providers, according to the terms of the service contract.

Process

Once we have determined that the business meets our criteria, through a series of interviews an Action Plan will be developed for each business, with the assistance of the Resource Provider(s), in collaboration with the business owner and the SMWB office. In addition to the Action Plan, we anticipate that each business will have a series of coaching sessions over a 2 to 3-month engagement to execute the Plan.  Flexibility will be built into the Program depending on client needs.

3.  ROLES

A.  CLIENT

The goal is to create a cadre of companies that have been significantly helped by the program, and that is now able to grow and scale.  Grant funds will go to companies with an established presence in the market.  It is expected that there will be a commitment at the level of the CEO and senior management to seriously engage in the training process, to maximize the use of the funds being provided.

To be considered for the Program a company must:

  1. Complete an online application (web address) including a one-page description of  the impact of COVID-19 on their business and the assistance needed as a  result;
  2. Provide a balance sheet and income statement for the past year;
  3. Provide a business tax return for the past year;
  4. Be available for a virtual interview to discuss needs and the expected benefits to be gained from the Program;
  5. Provide up-to-date information on their business and the tangible results of the Program at the end of the 2-3 month period of assistance;
  6. Be available to report on the impact of the assistance 12 months after the conclusion of the training.    

B.  RESOURCE PROVIDER

The Resource Providers can either be an individual or a company, and each one selected must have an excellent track record of results for their clients, which must be validated by one or several of our strategic partners. If selected by a Client, the Resource Provider must be committed to providing the training themselves over the period agreed to with the Client.  Resource providers must make themselves readily available to Clients as needed in regularly scheduled training sessions.

Each member of the Resource Providers pool, once selected, will be expected to: a) submit a capability statement to SMWB to validate experience in the services to be provided; b) work with each Client to produce an Action Plan to address priority areas determined by the Client; and b) provide technical expertise and written updates on progress for each Client engagement, in addition to the individual coaching and work on the Action Plan.

4.  IMPLEMENTATION AND SUPERVISION

The Program will be supervised by the Program Manager in coordination with the SMWB office.  Implementation of Client Action Plans through the relevant Program metrics will be developed and monitored by the Program Manager in coordination with the SMWB office.  The SMWB will submit progress and final reports to the MBDA.

5.  PROGRAM DELIVERABLES

  • Client - Resource Provider Teaming Agreements
  • Resource Provider MOUs
  • Client Action Plans
  • Progress Reports prepared by the Resource Providers
  • Client Evaluations of Resource Providers
  • Program Progress and Final Reports

6.  APPLICATION PROCESS

The period for application is now open.  Online Applications are being accepted through SourceLink. Applicants will have to upload income and tax documents as part of the process.

Applications are being evaluated by SMWB  on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified by email after their application is reviewed.

For questions or inquiries, please feel free  to contact us