Disadvantaged businesses that are based in Maryland can get assistance. The is financial aid (including free grants or loans), support (including coaching or counseling), technical assistance (marketing, sales help, etc.) and much more for minorities and women owned companies. Find how and where to apply for free government small business grants near you, loans from lenders, and other support in Maryland below.
The assistance is for small to mid-sized businesses as well as startup companies. A focus is on the disadvantaged, including veterans, LGBTQ, Black or Latino owned, Asian companies, and others. However, any business in Maryland can apply for funds or technical help.
The list of grant programs, loans, government assistance programs and other resources listed below is updated daily. Most of the funds are paid out to qualified applicants on a first come-first served basis. However referrals and counseling can also be arranged.
Find Maryland grant and loan programs for minorities and women owned businesses
Any business can apply, regardless of gender, race, age, or ethnicity. All of the charities, lenders, or government agencies will allocate some of the funds to female owned companies as well as minorities. Or it is possible to attend free workshops, classes, networking events, and other small business development programs.
Ongoing Year Round Programs
Anne Arundel County minority, women and veteran owned businesses can get help from an Inclusive Ventures program. It covers the county as well as city of Annapolis. Small businesses can get a wide variety of services, ranging from information on loans or grants (or other forms of capital) to free coaching or counseling. A partner to the program is also the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC). Learn more here. https://www.aaedc.org/
Black Professional Men operates across Maryland with a focus on Baltimore. The non-profit helps issues micro-loans (in partnership with Kiva) as well as arranges other programs. There is economic development, financial literacy, scholarship programs as well as entrepreneurship training, among other resources. Find details here. http://blackprofessionalmen.org/
Latino Economic Development Center serves the state of Maryland right outside of Washington DC as well as DC itself. They focus on helping Hispanic and Latino / Latina owned businesses. They are a CDFI, therefore they offer affordable small business loans and operate other business services. Anywhere from $500 to $25,000 may be offered. There is also free business advice on many topics, including website and social media development, credit building, business plan development or creation, details on how to form an LLC and so much more. Learn more. https://www.ledcmetro.org/
In addition to the federal government COVID Relief restaurant grant program, each and every city and county has their own financial aid program for restaurants, bars, taverns, breweries, cafes and similar organizations. The Maryland Restaurant Association is one resource to organize the free government grants, and together they are helping small and independent restaurants and food service organizations. Learn more. https://www.marylandrestaurants.com/covid-grants.html
Interest free loans are provided to minority owned businesses in Washington County, Maryland from either Bank of Clarke County or First Bank. Multiple lenders are working together as part of the Banking on Diversity program, and the aim is to offer capital for Black, Brown, and BIPOC businesses. Call either of those banks for applications – loans are first come-served.
Black owned businesses considering locating to downtown Baltimore can get financial help from the Maryland Black-Owned and Occupied Storefront Tenancy program. The goal is to encourage development and new opportunities in the city center. Loans or grants may be given to tech companies, restaurants, hospitality companies, beauty companies, and other Black owned companies. Find details here. https://godowntownbaltimore.com/
December 2020 and January 2021
Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E) is offering free grants of up to $20,000 to help businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. The financial assistance program is known as BGE Energizing Small Business Grants. The program will be part of their community initiatives. The grants can help women, veteran, LGBTQ, minority, and other struggling business with a wide variety of bills – not just utility. Apply here. https://www.bge.com/SafetyCommunity/Community/Pages/CommunityInitiatives.aspx
November and December 2020
The state of Maryland emergency rapid response fund is helping small businesses. Up to $100 million dollars will be provided to small businesses, with up to $10,000 per applicant. The funds can help restaurants pay for rent or buy equipment, give capital to travel companies, help the art industry, and other service companies that have been impacted by COVID. A portion of the state of Maryland grants will be paid out to black, women, minority, and veteran companies. There is also funds for unemployment and other bills. Read more. https://commerce.maryland.gov/fund/maryland-small-business-covid-19-emergency-relief-grant-fund
Baltimore Business Lending is giving grants to small businesses that located in Baltimore City. There will be free grants provided to up to 30 qualified small businesses. Each qualified applicant will be given up to $10,000. It is for a small to mid sized business that is in operation, and the total revenue needs to be under $750,000 per year. In addition to this program, there are also microloans for start-ups, mentoring for black and Latino businesses, workshops, classes, and free advice. The goal is to help people start and/or grow an existing business. Learn more here. https://baltimorebusinesslending.org/
The Baltimore Development Corporation is providing grants to small businesses in the city. Up to $15,000 will be paid out to each qualified company. Female owned small businesses, Black owned companies, Asians, Veterans, disabled, and other minority groups can apply as can white owned companies. A focus is on COVID-19 relief, with the free grants eligible to pay for rent, utility bills, operating costs, and other costs. Small business owners can also attend networking events, go to classes, enroll into coaching and more. Learn more here. https://www.baltimoretogether.com/
By Jon McNamara