Earlier this month, we saluted Maryland small business owners and advocates at the 32nd annual Maryland Small Business Week Awards lunch. Among this year's winners was one of Maryland Commerce's own team members Les Hall, who won Minority Small Business Champion of the Year.
The event underscores the importance of Maryland's small business community and the tremendous impact they have on our economy. In fact, Maryland's small businesses make up roughly 97 percent of all employers in the state and provide jobs for 1.1 million people.
Here at Commerce, we have a toolbox full of loan and financing options and other programs that can give businesses the boost they need.
- The Small, Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Loan Fund receives a percentage of Maryland casino revenues to make loans to small businesses – retailers, restaurants, manufacturers, and IT firms – across the state.
- With its contract financing, guaranty fund, surety bond, and equity participation Investment programs, the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority assists small and minority-owned companies that cannot obtain traditional bank financing.
- Advance Maryland, a partnership with the National Center for Economic Gardening, helps second-stage entrepreneurs propel their businesses to the next level. Working with a team of highly-skilled research specialists, selected companies develop recommendations and next steps to achieve the next level of growth.
If you are interested in starting a small business, or need guidance on growing your small business, I invite you to contact our Office of Small Business Resources at 410-767-6391 or visit commerce.maryland.gov. Our dedicated team can help you navigate local, state and federal government regulations and processes; identify and connect to state and federal resources; understand permitting and licensing regulations; and access state and federal financing programs.