Episode #74 of The Maryland Construction Network is the audio recording from our April 12, 2018 Wisdom & Wine presentation “Secure Your Email Environment In Today’s Ever-Changing Threat Landscape”. Our event host Business Information Group, in conjunction with Mr. Thorston Stoeterau from Barracuda Networks, made this presentation possible.

You may download a pdf of the slideshow used in the presentation here.

Ransomware and Spear Phishing are becoming very large cyber threats to end users and are expected to reach >$1 billion in profits this year alone. Without a comprehensive security strategy in place, resource-limited small to mid-sized businesses are the ones who are more likely to (literally) pay the price.

Join Maryland Construction Network, Business Information Group & Barracuda Networks, Inc. for an affordable and informative presentation designed to give you the tools and information needed to prevent your business from becoming victim to ever-increasing business crippling cyber threats.

In this session you will learn:

  • The different types of attacks and their anatomies.
  • Why traditional tools and approaches are no longer effective.
  • How to implement a layered approach to defense.

Don’t miss this unique and affordable opportunity to learn about ever-changing cyber threats which can impact your business plus.

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Today’s episode of the Maryland Construction Network includes newly released information from two Maryland government agencies.

First, the Department of Assessments and Taxation unveiled on March 12th the Maryland Business Express, a new website that will make it easier for Maryland’s small business owners and entrepreneurs to plan, start, manage, and grow their business. Accessible at businessexpress.maryland.gov, the new site combines information previously spread across many state agencies into one, easy-to-navigate site, while also providing a clear outline of the steps involved in starting a business.

Maryland Business Express also features a digital assistant designed to communicate with and deliver guidance to Marylanders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Since taking office, our administration has been committed to ensuring Maryland is Open for Business, and since that time, we have become one of the top states in the country for entrepreneurial business growth,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Now, Maryland Business Express will make it easier than ever to start a business, and will provide quick access to the many tools and resources that Maryland agencies have to offer to support our small business job creators.”

“Our Department’s goal is to allow Marylanders to interact with the state any time it’s convenient for them, and the new Maryland Business Express will move us closer to that goal than ever before,” said SDAT Director Michael Higgs. “This new website will be a tremendous benefit to Maryland’s business community, and the feedback we receive will allow us to continually update content to better suit their needs.”

Over the past few years, SDAT has focused on making government services more accessible to the hundreds of thousands of Maryland businesses that interact with the Department annually. Recent efforts to provide more services online have resulted in dramatic improvements in processing times, including a reduction from 10 to four weeks to start a business. Today, more than 50 percent of all documents are filed online, 40 percent of which occur outside of normal business hours and 20 percent of which are done through a mobile device. SDAT’s online services process more than 250,000 transactions annually.

Second, on March 10th, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) released Additional Guidance including Model Policies and Updated FAQs to the recently implemented Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.

To date, the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance received more than 2,000 emails from employers and employees with specific questions about complying with the law. The most common of these questions have been compiled into a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document, available at www.dllr.maryland.gov/paidleave.

In addition to the updated FAQs, the department has provided an updated employee notice poster for your place of business, and model policies for your employee handbook or other employee benefits documents. These resources are also available on the paid leave website.

These documents will assist employers with compliance as well as facilitating a discussion with employees regarding their rights under the law. Responses are preliminary and subject to change. Please note that the department cannot provide legal advice regarding specific employer leave policies or employee exemptions under the law. These documents are for informational purposes and are intended to provide general guidance to employers and employees about the requirements of the law.

Further, Governor Larry Hogan issued Executive Order 01.01.2018.04 creating the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance to assist small businesses in complying with the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act. Questions can be sent to this office at small.business@maryland.gov.

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MCN is proud to be featured in the 2017 Fall/Winter edition of The Blue Book’s “The Who’s Who In Building & Construction” magazine. Please read the “behind the scenes” story of MCN and see how MCN has changed the face of construction industry associations.

You can place your cursor over the picture and scroll down to read the article or use the controls at the bottom of the graphic to view the pdf.

Blue Book Features MCN

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The 2nd Annual Maryland Construction Industry Survey, hosted by Gross Mendelsohn & Associates in conjunction with MCN, is now open and ready for your participation. Our survey is designed to determine the state of the construction industry while identifying areas of optimism and concern for all companies involved in the construction process in Maryland. We sincerely hope you will take 10 minutes or less to participate in this important survey. The larger the sample group, the better the data. More than 200 companies participated in our 2016 survey.

Gross Mendelson’s Steve Ball will present the survey results at Maryland Construction Network’s May 4th, 2017 Direct Connect Networking Event. Information provided from the survey will allow you to measure and compare your company to others doing business within the state. Survey data will also help you identify trends and markets to examine and target for upcoming work.

As always, your responses and private information will be kept confidential. Participants will be entered into a drawing for a $500 Home Depot Gift Card.

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Download the slideshow handout. Steve_Ball_HeadshotThe slides have been converted to a .pdf.

This program was recorded on April 23rd 2015. Our speakers were Mr. Stephen K. Ball CPA, CVA, CCIFP,  director of Gross Mendelsohn’s Construction & Real Estate Group and David Lanchak, CPA, CVA, CCIFP. The entire program is 53 minutes and 23 seconds in length.

Business owners often spend so much time pouring their blood, sweat and tears into managing their company that they forget to plan for the future.

When is the last time you asked yourself, “What is my plan for successfully exiting this business?” Or, “What will happen to my business once I’m gone?”

A construction contractor might choose to do one of several things as they exit the company. They could outright sell it to someone else, transition it to key employees, transfer it to family members or shut it down. There is no “one right way” to exit a business. It’s a personal decision for the business owner that should take into account multiple financial, legal, tax and personal issues.

Like many things in life, the more you plan your exit from your business, the more you’ll succeed. Taking steps now to plan your exit will undoubtedly help ensure a smooth transition later.

  • Looking ahead to retirement – what are your options?
  • Alternatives to outright selling your business
  • How to get paid out as you transition out of your business
  • Taking care of your employees – what’s next for them as you exit the business?

Contact – Steve Ball CPA, CVA, CCIFP is the director of Gross Mendelsohn’s Construction Group. He works with construction contractors on exit planning, succession planning, profitability and business valuation issues. Steve also provides audit, review, compilation, tax and consulting services to construction contractors.

Contact – David Lanchak, CPA, CVA, CCIFP

A Certified Valuation Analyst, David sees tremendous opportunities for clients when the right valuation is performed for the right purpose. When preparing business valuations, David most often works with clients who are developing a succession plan, buying or selling a business, planning an estate, or in litigation.

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Frederick County Presentation Notes

The following links will open pdf’s of the three PowerPoint presentations delivered at MCN’s March Direct Connect meeting in February. Frederick County Public Schools Frederick County Department of Economic Development Howard County Economic Forecast

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My Favorite Side of Podcasting

I recorded another MCN podcast on December 10th with Steve Ball, a partner with Gross Mendelsohn CPA’s. We were taping a segment about succession planning to help make people aware of the importance of this vital, but often overlooked, part of the business plan. Steve will be giving a seminar on February 17th for anyone […]

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