On Thursday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the launch of Baltimore City SourceLink, an online resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs, which is a product of U.S.Sourcelink. ®
Like so many regions across the United States, Baltimore recognizes the importance of small businesses and entrepreneurship. According to the U.S. Business Database, more than 7,000 new Baltimore businesses were established in 2014—double the creation rate of Boston and Washington, D.C. To help these businesses grow and support budding entrepreneurs, the Small Business Resource Center (SBRC), a program of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), worked with U.S.Sourcelink to create the Baltimore City SourceLink.
“Small businesses are vital to the City’s economy as they create nine out of 10 new jobs,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “We wanted to provide a tool for both entrepreneurs and small business owners, which will help identify the right resources to ensure their growth and prosperity. A thriving small business community strengthens our neighborhoods as they offer the greatest opportunity for inclusion.”
U.S.SourceLink, America’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs, helped SBRC develop a coordinated system and dynamic portal to help small business owners find relevant resources faster. The purpose of SourceLink is to help take the guess work out navigating the business environment and accessing resources and assistance at various stages of business development, including permits & licensing, marketing, financing, education, financial planning, technical & procurement assistance, sales, product development and operations.
“Growing a business will never be easy, but SourceLink does make it easier for small business entrepreneurs to find the help they need,” said Maria Meyers, director of SourceLink. “By making Baltimore’s resources visible and accessible—by creating a community of support for entrepreneurs—SourceLink helps connect businesses to the resources that will make them smarter and stronger.”
“We know Baltimore is a great place to start a business,” added Rob Williams, director of SourceLink. “SourceLink will make it easier for Baltimore’s entrepreneurs to find the most relevant resources for their business challenges, right now.”
U.S.SourceLink’s build out of Baltimore City SourceLink will include the following licensed technologies coupled with SourceLink entrepreneurship economic development consulting services:
Webplate Now! ® Website
Webplate Now! ® will put Baltimore’s entrepreneurial network front and center—directly in the line of sight of entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking for reliable and relevant resources to start and grow businesses.
Biz-Trakker® client management system
Biz-Trakker®, U.S.SourceLink’s comprehensive client management system, lets programs and entrepreneurial ecosystems track, survey and showcase their successes, so they can make fact-based program decisions—and share their importance and impact with stakeholders.
U.S.SourceLink will help Baltimore create a robust business events calendar by pulling together classes and events from entrepreneurial resource organizations. Entrepreneurs can filter events, workshops, seminars, and webinars by subject, e.g., marketing, business planning, finance, startup and more.
Resource Navigator® is an entrepreneur-friendly, online database that will organize Baltimore’s entrepreneurial and business development programs. Entrepreneurs go online, answer just a few questions about their business stage and need and find a local nonprofit with the specific resources they need.