Howard County Economic Development Authority Awarded $3M in VLT Funding

               Funds are used to issue small business loans across the state

Columbia, MD (July 25, 2016) – The Howard County Economic Development Authority announced today that they have been awarded $3M in Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) Funding to be issued as small business loans across the state over the next two years.

The funding was awarded by the Maryland Department of Commerce, who receives 1.5 percent of the video lottery terminal revenue from Maryland casinos yearly.

“These loans have been very beneficial for businesses all across the state,” said Beth A. Woodring, Vice President of Finance and Strategic Initiatives. “Our target market for this program is broad and the purpose is to provide access to capital for businesses that might otherwise be challenged to obtain funding on reasonable terms. Our program evaluates a number of factors, which this means we can often support the startup and small business community.”

The HCEDA was designated a fund manager for the program starting in 2014 and has since approved 23 loans totaling $3.25 million to businesses throughout the state as part of its Catalyst Fund.

“I am very excited to see that the state has recognized the HCEDA’s past successes with the VLT fund and has decided to issue them another $3 million to be awarded during the next 2 years,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “I know that these funds will be an important resource for our business community.”

Small businesses all across the state are eligible to receive funding, not just those located in Howard County. Loan fund managers are required to loan 50% of the funds to business located within a 10 mile radius of any casino in the state and or designated counties, but the other 50% can be loaned to qualified candidates anywhere across the state. Much of Howard County is located within the 10 mile radius of Maryland Live in Arundel Mills. Other Maryland casinos are located in Baltimore, Ocean City, National Harbor, Cumberland, and Perryville.

“These funds are a very powerful economic development tool to have at our disposal,” said Lawrence Twele, CEO of the HCEDA. “Over the past several years we have been able to support many small and startup businesses, and as a result we have seen them grow and thrive.”

A maximum loan term is 5 years and interest rates vary based upon credit risk. Application processing time varies, but the key to quick processing is a complete, accurate data package. More information can be found at www.hceda.org/catalyst.

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About HCEDA: The Howard County Economic Development Authority is a public-private partnership whose primary goal is to promote economic growth and stability by supporting existing businesses, targeting new businesses, and attracting corporate/regional headquarters. The Authority also maintains several programs aimed at the special needs of small and agricultural businesses. Additionally, the Authority strives to preserve the distinctive quality of life in Howard County. The Authority can be reached at www.hceda.org.