Maryland Economic Development Week: Highlighting State’s Programs for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

BALTIMORE, MD (October 30, 2014) – Maryland Economic Development Week continues today with a look at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s (DBED) programs for entrepreneurs and small businesses, which represent 97% of all businesses in Maryland. Started in 2011, Economic Development Week highlights initiatives for improving business retention, job growth and the overall quality of life for Maryland’s citizens and includes a number of events and receptions hosted all over the State by county economic development offices and business organizations. For a full list of Economic Development Week events and activities, click here.

“With small businesses driving a large majority of new job creation, both in Maryland and throughout the nation, it is critical that we give them the tools they need to grow and add jobs,” said DBED Secretary Dominick Murray. “In the last few years, the State has expanded its arsenal of tools and resources to help small businesses and entrepreneurs with bold initiatives like InvestMaryland, Advance Maryland, the State Small Business Credit Initiative and the Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Loan Fund. These new programs offer a range of assistance at critical points in a company’s development.”

Sean McEvoy, who heads up DBED’s Office of Small Business Resources, sat down with MdBizNews to explain how DBED’s small business programs work. The Office of Small Business helps businesses navigate local, state and federal government regulations and processes; identify and connect to state and federal resources; understand permitting and licens​​ing requirements​​; and access state and federal financing programs and a host of other services.

A brief description of key programs for small businesses and entrepreneurs is below. For more detailed information on these programs, visit DBED’s website or download a copy of the Department’s Guide for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs,

Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Loan Fund:  Provides 1.5% of the proceeds from video lottery terminals to small, minority, and women-owned businesses. Fifty percent of the funding is awarded to businesses located within 10 miles of a casino, with the remainder awarded throughout Maryland.

InvestMaryland: A funding source for early-, mid- and late-stage growth companies. The State raised $84 million to invest in early stage technologies in the areas of software, communications, cybersecurity and life sciences

State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI): Provides direct funding for state credit enhancement programs. These funds must target an average borrower size of 500 employees or less and loans averaging $5 million.

Maryland Venture Fund: Invests in highly innovative technology companies across the full range of industry sectors including software, communications, cybersecurity and life sciences in the areas of healthcare IT, medical devices and diagnostics.

Maryland Small Business Development Fund Authority (MSBDFA): Provides financing for small businesses that are not able to qualify for financing from private lending institutions or owned by socially and economically disadvantaged persons.

ADVANCE Maryland: A program for second-stage entrepreneurs that uses a “grow from within” strategy targeting existing growth companies and offering them critical strategic information customized to their needs.

ExportMD program: Offers small- and mid-sized companies up to a $5,000 reimbursement for expenses associated with an international marketing project and up to 40 hours of assistance from DBED’s trade experts located in 10 countries around the globe.

Military Personnel and Veteran-Owned Small Business Loan Program: Offers no-interest loans for small businesses owned by military reservists, veterans, National Guard personnel and for small businesses that employ or are owned by such persons.

ABOUT DBED: The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information,

Karen Glenn Hood
Director, Media Relations and Public Affairs
Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development
401 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
O 410-767-6318 | C 443-463-8129 |

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