Governor Wes Moore Announces New Maryland Small Businesses Opportunities Through Additional HUBZone Designations

On Thursday, Governor Wes Moore announced the approval of Maryland’s petition for new HUBZone areas from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Per the news release: The three new designations for Worcester County, census tract 22 in Allegany County, and census tract 9302 in Somerset County, will help make Maryland more competitive by bringing significant economic development opportunities to some of Maryland’s most rural communities.

“We need to expand access and opportunities to our small businesses–especially those in areas that have been historically overlooked and undervalued; that’s what the HUBZone program will continue to help us achieve,” said Gov. Moore. “I’m grateful for our partners across federal, state, and local governments, and we thank the U.S. Small Business Administration for the opportunities that this petition will create for Marylanders everywhere.”

The Historically Underutilized Business Program, better known as the HUBZone Program, creates opportunities for certified small businesses in economically challenged areas to partner directly with the federal government. Businesses within HUBZone-designated areas can compete for federal set-aside contracts and receive preferential procurement consideration. The U.S. Small Business Administration allows governors to petition the agency once per year to designate rural and distressed areas of the state for HUBZone status.

Maryland’s new HUBZones were selected based on criteria determined by the U.S. Small Business Administration, including location, population size, and average unemployment rates. The designated areas have been added to the HUBZone Map and will be effective for one calendar year–as long as the selected areas continue to meet the required criteria.

“The new distinction will help provide preferential consideration for federal contracts to certified businesses in areas that have been economically underrepresented,” said Maryland Department of General Services Secretary Atif Chaudhry. “This opportunity will not only attract new business investment to these areas but will help invigorate job growth in parts of Maryland that have far too often been left behind.”

The federal government is one of the largest buyers of goods and services in the world, committing approximately $694 billion to contracts–$20.8 billion of which was set aside for HUBZone certified firms–in FFY 2022. Businesses that are interested in participating in the HUBZone program, must be certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration. HUBZone-certified businesses can continue to compete for contracts under other socio-economic programs they qualify for.

“This approval will give rural small businesses the chance to access federal government contracts, leading to new jobs and new investment in the areas that need it most,” said Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson. “We are very grateful to the U.S. Small Business Administration for its constant support of our state’s small business efforts.”

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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