|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Wednesday, November 21, 2012|
Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Loan Fund for Small Businesses
Residents are urged to join the mayor in supporting Baltimore on Small Business Saturday.
|BALTIMORE, MD. (NOVEMBER 21, 2012) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was joined by City officials and small business owners to announce the creation of a revolving microloan fund to support small businesses in the city. The goal of the new fund, called BaltimoreMICRO, is to provide working capital to businesses to support the creation full-time, high-quality, year-round employment opportunities and to stabilize existing employment opportunities in Baltimore.
“Baltimore’s neighborhoods that have experienced growth and revival in the past few years are known not only for their unique homes and character, but also for their small businesses, including stores and restaurants,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “They bring residents together and create a buzz that attracts people from throughout the region. We want that to happen in more of Baltimore’s neighborhoods, and we must do what we can to support that.”
BaltimoreMICRO, which is administered by the Baltimore Development Corporation, will offer loans from $5,000 to $30,000 to eligible small businesses, including retail, service providers, and contractors based in Baltimore City. The business must not exceed $1,000,000 in annual revenue, and the owner must have a personal credit report score of 650 or higher.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake thanked members of the Board of Estimates for approving the City’s $125,000 contribution to the fund and for approving the application to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) for a grant of $250,000 for the first year of the program.
“The State is pleased to support BaltimoreMICRO, which will help stimulate our economy, create and retain jobs, and connect our small businesses with much-needed financing that they may not be able to access from traditional sources,” said Maryland’s Secretary of Business and Economic Development Christian S. Johansson. “Small businesses and the jobs they support represent the engine that drives economic progress in Maryland, and we look forward to working with our partners in Baltimore City to help them grow and thrive.”
Joining Mayor Rawlings-Blake at the announcement were small business owners and business advocates who stand to benefit from the BaltimoreMICRO fund. The mayor called on residents to join her on Saturday, November 24 to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Sponsored nationally by American Express, Small Business Saturday helps to give much-needed exposure to unique and dynamic stores on the biggest shopping day of the year.
“This year, instead of spending hours in traffic and in lines, find the perfect gift for your loved ones right here in Baltimore,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “I hope you decide to avoid the hassle of big box stores and join me on Saturday at one of our many great small businesses.”
For more information, visit https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/.