New Fund Managers Approved for State’s Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Loan Fund

Wed, June 18, 2014

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) announced that four new fund managers have been approved today by the Board of Public Works to provide loans through the State’s Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Loan Fund, which receives 1.5 percent of video lottery terminal revenue from Maryland casinos. New fund managers are the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development, the Baltimore Development Corp., the Howard County Economic Development Authority and the Tri County Council for Western Maryland. Along with existing fund managers Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. and Meridian Management Group Inc., they will receive a total of $9.1 million to make loans and investments in small, minority and women-owned businesses.

“Small businesses are the engine that drives Maryland’s economy and we are delighted to have these additional resources to support their growth and job creation in Maryland,” said DBED Secretary Dominick Murray. “We look forward to working with our partners across the State to deploy these funds where they are needed most.”

To date, 77 loans totaling $7.8 million have been approved through this program. Among the types of businesses to receive assistance include a limousine and sedan service, a caterer, a home health care company, an art gallery, and several restaurants.

“This funding provides Baltimore County with a new opportunity to provide loans to small, minority- and women-owned businesses who have found the lending climate challenging in recent years,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “We think the economic impact of these loans will be magnified in enterprise zones, business incubators, and commercial revitalization districts.”

“We challenged our economic development team to find new ways to support small businesses in Howard County and they delivered the kind of solid proposal the Board of Public Works could support,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “These new resources will strengthen our efforts to assist small businesses not only in Howard County, but across Maryland.”

“Having the right tools in place to attract, retain and expand businesses is paramount to Baltimore City’s growth,” said Baltimore Development Corporation President & CEO Brenda McKenzie.  “This loan fund is vital to job creation and new investment, and is essential to increasing resources for small businesses.”

“These funds will be a great complement to our existing portfolio of resources, and allow us to expand our assistance to small businesses.” said Lawrence F. Twele, Howard County Economic Development Authority CEO.  “We’ll use these funds to drive new economic development opportunities.”

“We look forward to working with DBED as a Fund Manager for the Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Loan Fund,” said Leanne Mazer, Executive Director of the Tri County Council for Western Maryland.  “This opportunity will not only bring us additional resources for lending, but will also provide us another tool to address a wider array of business needs.”

The fund managers are required to deploy at least half of their allocations in targeted areas which are within a 10-mile radius of Maryland’s four casinos — Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County, Casino at Ocean Downs outside of Ocean City, Rocky Gap Casino and Resort in Allegany County and Maryland Live! Casino next to the Arundel Mills mall. The remaining money can be used across the rest of the state. The Board of Public Works and DBED, which is administering the program, will allocate yearly the new video lottery terminal revenues that accumulate in the fund. Both current and new fund managers will be eligible for the subsequent allocations.

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, visitwww.ChooseMaryland.org.