New Money Supercharged MD Small Business Assistance Programs

Earlier this year, Governor Larry Hogan announced that Maryland is deploying up to $198 million in small business relief funded by the state’s Federal Small Business Credit Initiative, further emphasizing that Maryland remains “open for business” as part of its economic recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Established by Congress in 2010 to provide loans and investments to disadvantaged small businesses, the state’s Small Business Credit Initiative received a $10 billion appropriation as part of the 2021 American Bailout Act. Recognizing the enormous opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the state, Maryland was the first state in the country to introduce a plan It was published to the US Treasury and among the first five states to be approved.

Under the Maryland Small Business Credit Initiative Plan, nine existing business lending and investment programs in the state were expanded and strengthened. The programs are administered by three state agencies: the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation.

The nine programs support companies with limited opportunities for growth due to the pandemic or historical lack of investment. Maryland’s Small Business Credit Initiatives target communities and regions where a large number of small and micro businesses and socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI) are concentrated to support ongoing state investment in disadvantaged communities. The promotion of these proven and successful programs ensures the rapid and effective deployment of these new resources to qualified businesses and entrepreneurs. To complement these nine programs, the Government’s Small Business Credit Initiative also provides eligible firms with technical assistance, including legal, accounting and financial advisory services.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development manages $103 million in small business credit initiative funding for the state through three Neighborhood Business Works initiatives. Neighborhood Business Works has provided more than $70 million during the Hogan Administration to fund new and expanding small businesses that support revitalization within Maryland’s defined opportunity areas, priority funding areas, sustainable communities, and Community Development Finance Corporation investment areas. These new federal resources significantly expanded the capacity of Gowar Business Works’ traditional loan-sharing program, which helps eligible companies obtain working capital and acquire real estate. Jewar Business Works has also launched two new initiatives for the programme. The BusinessWorks Loan to Lender Initiative directly supports the revitalization and investment efforts of CDFIs, leveraging unique community knowledge and partnerships by providing them with funds to re-lending to local small businesses. The BusinessWorks Venture Neighborhood Loan Initiative supports strategic companies with high economic impact and potential job growth.

The Maryland Department of Commerce deploys $45 million in state Small Business Credit Initiative allocations through two Maryland Small Business Development Finance Corporation programs, a loan program and a capital investment program. Established in 1978 to promote the viability and expansion of businesses led by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, the resources of the Maryland Small Business Development Finance Authority are made available to small businesses unable to obtain adequate business financing on reasonable terms. In particular, the program has become a well-established resource to support the growth of minority and women-owned businesses. Access and lending to the Maryland Small Business Development Finance Authority is enhanced by a network that has cultivated and grown over the years to include government agencies, local economic development organizations, banks, and private equity firms, as well as numerous business associations, chambers of commerce, and local professionals.

Maryland Technology Development Corporation will funnel $50 million from the state’s Small Business Credit Initiative funds into four existing programs targeting Maryland technology-based businesses and entrepreneurs. Three programs—the Venture Capital Fund, the Venture Capital Limited Partnership Equity Program, and the Seed Fund Equity Program—focus primarily on venture capital and start-up financing. The fourth, the Social Impact Fund, provides investment and support to entrepreneurs who demonstrate economic or social disadvantage. Through these four programs, TEDCO will continue to strengthen its relationships with high-profile technology companies, entrepreneurs and investors in the state while collaborating with universities, accelerators, regional business incubators, and other organizations.

Backed by the expertise and experience of these state agencies, Maryland Small Business Credit Initiatives offer a range of financing and technical assistance options that can support many new and growing businesses in Maryland. To learn more or apply for assistance, visit

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This article appeared in the 2022 edition of The Daily Record’s Expanded Opportunity Resource Directory for Small Businesses, Minorities, and Women which was published on September 23. Published jointly with the Governor’s Office of Small Business, Minority, and Women’s Affairs, Expanding Opportunity explores diversity, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the small business community in Maryland. Read more Expanding Opportunities Or read the digital version.

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