The Maryland Entrepreneur's Guide/Maryland Financing Programs
MARYLAND FINANCING PROGRAMS
The state of Maryland has, among others, the following state sponsored financing programs for entrepreneurs to possibly access:
Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA)
MSBDFA is an agency of the Maryland Department of Economic and Business Development (DBED). There are private companies that participate as well, such as Meridian Management Group, Inc. The MSBDFA program offers the following four financial assistance programs:
Contract Financing Program (CFP)
a. Eligibility Criteria
At least fifty-one percent of the company must be owned by socially or economically disadvantaged persons, which are defined as persons, who: (1) are member(s) of a group historically deprived of access to normal financial resources; (2) have an identifiable physical handicap which limits their ability to obtain financing; and (3) are otherwise impeded from obtaining financing because of social or economic factors. Since inception in 1978 through June 30, 2008, 276 transactions were settled for total of $40.6 million, the majority of which were through direct loans.
b. Permitted Use of Proceeds
Funds obtained through the CFP may be used either for working capital to complete an existing government or public utility contract or to acquire equipment of machinery to complete such contract. Funding may also be approved pending receipt of such a contract, although draw-down of funds will not be permitted until the contract has been awarded.
c. MSBDFA Financial Assistance under the CFP
(1) Direct Loans
(a) MSBDFA may lend directly up to $2,000,000.
(b) The maximum interest rate applicable to such loans is a floating prime rate plus two percent, but not to exceed fifteen percent.
(c) The term of MSBDFA direct loans is the longer of either one year or the term of the contract.
(2) Loan Guarantees
MSBDFA will guaranty up to ninety percent of the commercial loan (provided that the guaranteed amount may not exceed ($2,000,000).
(a) The maximum interest rate for a guaranteed loan is a floating prime rate plus two percent.
(b) The term of the MSBDFA guaranty is the longer of one year or the term of the contract.
Guaranty Program (GP)
a. Eligibility Criteria
(1) At least seventy percent of the company must be owned by socially and economically disadvantaged persons or handicapped persons.
(2) Preferably, the principal will have had at least eighteen consecutive months of experience in the trade or business for which it is seeking MSBDFA financial assistance.
b. Use of Proceeds
Funds obtained through the GP can be used for working capital purposes, to acquire or install equipment and machinery, leasehold improvements, and acquisition of real estate or corporate stock or the refinance of debt. Performance- As of June 30, 2008, 279 financing arrangements were guaranteed under the CFP totaling $51.9 million since the program began in 1984. (Not limited solely to government contracts or utility agreements.)
c. MSBDFA Financial Assistance under the GP For Loans Between $5,000 and $2,000,000
(1) Loan Guarantees
(a) MSBDFA may guaranty up to eighty percent of a qualifying company’s commercial loan (provided that MSBDFA’s exposure does not exceed $2,000,000).
(b) The maximum interest rate for a guaranteed loan is the prime rate plus two percent.
(c) The maximum term for a guaranteed loan is ten years.
(2) Interest Rate Subsidies
(a) MSBDFA can also subsidize four percentage points of the interest rate being charged by the financial institution.
(b) Subsidy is subject to annual review.
(c) Terms of repayment of subsidy are negotiated directly with borrower.
(d) Is payable quarterly.
Equity Participating Investment Program (EPIP)
EPIP is intended to enhance business ownership through use of loan, loan guarantees or equity investment. EPIP has the following four components and associated requirements (Since inception in 1987 through June 30, 2008, this program has provided 83 loans or equity investments of approximately $14.0 million. In the early days of the program, a majority of the participants were franchise businesses. Within the last ten years, the focus of the program is to provide more assistance to technology based businesses and to more traditional industry sectors.):
(1) EPIP Franchise Component
(a) Eligibility Criteria
(i) The company must be a franchise.
(ii) At least seventy percent of the company must be owned by socially and economically disadvantaged persons or handicapped persons.
(iii) The lesser of at least ten percent of the company’s capital contributions must have been made by its owner or $250,000.
(b) Permitted Use of Proceeds
Funds obtained through the EPIP can be used to finance purchases of real property, equipment or existing franchises; for leasehold improvements; to pay franchise and training fees; for working capital purposes or expand existing small business.
(c) MSBDFA Purchases of Securities
(i) MSBDFA provides financial assistance to franchisees or franchisors under the EPIP by purchasing their debt or equity securities. MSBDFA purchases of franchisee securities may not exceed the lesser or forty-five percent of its initial project cost or $1,000,000. MSBDFA’s investments are structured so that they are recaptured within seven years.
(ii) Independent Business Appraisal may be required.
(2) EPIP Business Acquisition Component
(a) Eligibility Criteria
(i) At least fifty-one percent of the company must be owned by socially and economically disadvantaged persons or handicapped persons.
(ii) The business being acquired must be at least five years old and must have been profitable two of the last three years.
(iii) If acquiring a business, the principals of the enterprise applying must have an equity investment equal to five percent total acquisition cost and 3 years or more of success.
(b) Permitted Use of Proceeds
(i) Purchase of machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, inventory or real estate; leasehold improvements; working capital;
(ii) construction/renovation; or purchase of existing profitable business.
(c) Financial Assistance Terms
(i) Equity investments or loans up to 25 percent of initial project cost or $2,000,000, whichever is less.
(ii) Investments have a loan duration of not more than seven years. Loans are typically repaid within the 4th to 7th year.
(iii) The owner must contribute at least $25,000 or 5 percent of the company’s total capital contributions, whichever is greater.
(3) Technology Investment
(a) Eligibility Criteria
(i) The company must be a technology-based business with a proven technological product or service.
(ii) At least seventy percent of the company must be owned by socially and economically disadvantaged persons or handicapped persons.
(b) Permitted Use of Proceeds
Companies can use the proceeds to purchase of machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, inventory or real estate; leasehold improvements; working capital; construction/renovation, to acquire existing profitable business or to develop a technology based business.
(c) Financial Assistant Terms
(i) MSBDFA’s equity investment in a technology-based business may not exceed $2,000,000.
(ii) Investment duration of no more than ten years.
(4) Other Small Business
Same criteria as business acquisitions but limited for purposes of starting or expanding a business entity.
Surety Bond Program (SBP)
a. Eligibility Criteria
(1) The company must be a “small business.” A “small business” is generally defined as one that:
(a) employs fewer than fifty persons on a full-time basis;
(b) has less than $10,000,000 in gross annual sales; and
(c) is independently owned; and
(d) cannot subcontract more than 75% dollar value of contract.
b. MSBDFA Financial Assistance under SBP
(Special Note: Until September 30, 2009: Guaranty is 90% percent up to $1,350,000 and Bonds are limited to $1,000,000 each due to cash limitations, the expectations are the SBP program would later increase such limitations in accordance with the below to the extent there are funds available to do so)
(1) Bond Guaranty
(2) Until September 30, 2009, the Small Business Surety Bond Fund is used in guaranty repayment of up to ninety percent of a surety’s losses on bid, payment or performance bonds (of up to $5 million) issued to qualifying businesses contracting with a government agency (state, federal or local) or a public utility.
(3) Premiums and fees are determined at time of application, however, the bond premiums are typically in the range of 2% to 3%.
(4) The guarantee may not exceed the term of the contract and applicable warranty period for latent defects.
(5) Can establish a surety bond revolving line to directly issue or guaranty multiple bonds to a principle within pre-approved terms, conditions and limitations.
(1) As of June 30, 3008, 84 projects supported with bonds issued directly or guaranteed by MSBDFA for a total of approximately $38.9 million. Only 3 claims totaling less than $300,000 have been paid.
(2) House Bill 169, which passed in 2006, increased maximum amount of $5 million, but the program expects to be able to increase to $2 million in future years as funds are permitted.
(a) MSBDFA may issue and perform bid, performance and payment bonds as a surety for businesses contracting with a government agency or public utility.
(b) Such bonds may not exceed $5,000,000. (See Note – funds in program limit to $2 million)
(c) The bonds may not exceed the term of the contract and applicable warranty period for latent defects.
Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority (MIDFA)
MIDFA is program managed by DBED, access the website HERE. In general, MIDFA insures repayment of a specified percentage of principal and interest of loans made to qualifying Maryland businesses by commercial lenders. The Maryland General Assembly established MIDFA to help alleviate conditions of unemployment in Maryland and to promote the development of a balanced state economy through financial assistance to both new and existing industry and commerce. In addition to the MIDFA “Conventional Program” that will be discussed here, MIDFA administers a Tax-Exempt Bond Program, a Taxable Bond Program, a Seafood & Aquaculture Loan Fund, a Linked Deposit Program and supports the Maryland Energy Financing Administration. The Fund is permitted a 5:1 leverage ratio.
Fund charges 1/8 of 1% annual issuance fee with respect to taxable or tax-exempt bonds to certain manufacturing, 501(c)(3) non-profit entities and certain solid waste recovery projects. Other bonds may have an issuance fee of ½ of 1% for insured transactions, unless such fee is waived in a qualified distressed “One Maryland” jurisdiction.
As of June 30, 2008, the program had participated in 818 loans totaling more than $2,103,193,475.00. As of such date, 61 loans were active with principal balances of approximately $465,790,000 insuring obligations of $24,685,883.
MIDFA Financial Assistance under the Conventional Program
MIDFA may insure (i) up to the lesser of eight percent of the principal and interest of a qualifying company’s commercial loan or $2.5 million; (ii) up to the lesser of 100 percent of a bond-financed transaction or $7.5 million; and (iii) up to the lesser of 90 percent of the principal and interest of a loan for export-related transactions or $2.5 million. The typical project range is $35,000 to $5 million; the typical MIDFA insurance is in the 30-40% range.
MIDFA also may insure the business’ payment of other borrowing costs such as insurance premiums and other fees.
MIDFA works directly with the business’ commercial lender to determine that amount for which the lender requires third party participation. Ultimately the scope of MIDFA’s guaranty is determined by the lender’s needs and the collateral offered as security for the loan.
The normal maturity for loans insured by MIDFA is 15-20 years on real estate, 7-10 years on equipment, and one year or less for working capital.
Theoretically, all Maryland businesses are eligible for MIDFA assistance. In practice, however MIDFA generally gives financial assistance only to 501(c)(3) organizations, certain manufacturing facilities and certain solid waste projects. Retail businesses are excluded, unless specifically approved by the Authority. Additional limitations apply to specific transaction type.
Generally speaking, MIDFA expects applicants to generate employment in Maryland. While insurance dollar exposure and jobs guidelines are used, each financing request is analyzed on its own merits and in terms of its own characteristics.
The company must be creditworthy. In general, MIDFA considers the degree of success associated with the company’s past operations as well as its prospective ability to create jobs, generate tax revenue, service its debt, and meet the needs of the community in which it is located.
(a) An indication that the credit has been approved by the lender;
(b) Annual financial statements, with accompanying notes, for at least each of the preceding three years, including balance sheets, profit and loss statements, statements of sources and uses of funds, reconciliations of surplus and statements of changes in financial position covering such period;
(c) Financial projections for the succeeding three years, including projected cash flow statements, projected profit and loss statements and pro forma balance sheets reflecting the new debt and any proposed lease obligations;
(d) A Facility Costs Checklist reflecting the estimated amount of the financing, if any, to be used to construct facilities for the business;
(e) Evidence of the age, normal useful life and cost or market value of any machinery or equipment to be financed with the proceeds of the guaranteed loan; and
(f) Personal financial statements of the individual applicant(s) and personal guarantor(s).
MIDFA may require the applicant to use its best efforts to maintain a certain “job creation level.” (MIDFA is fundamentally committed to relieving conditions of unemployment in Maryland.)
Use of Proceeds
Funds obtained by the business from an MIDFA-insured loan may be used to finance purchases of fixed assets (e.g., real property, machinery, equipment, etc.) as well as to pay certain soft costs and for working capital purposes.
The applicable type and rate of interest will vary depending upon the lender’s needs.
Term of the Loan Guaranty
The term of a MIDFA-insured loan will vary depending upon the business’ expected use of the proceeds from the loan.
For example, loans obtained to purchase real property generally will be insured for a term of from fifteen to twenty years; loans obtained to purchase equipment or machinery generally will be insured for a term of from seven to ten years; loans obtained for working capital purposes generally will be insured only for a term of one year.
Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPs)
The MIPs program is a collaboration between qualifying Maryland companies and the 13 institutions in the University System of Maryland for research to develop commercial products and processes.
MIPs provide a matching service, known as the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH), to help applicant companies find appropriate research faculty within the University System of Maryland. Projects are prepared jointly by the company and the university researcher.
The MIPs program matches the company contribution to the research project up to $90,000 a year for start-up companies and up to $100,000 per year for other companies. MIPs funding does not go to the participating company but is applied directly to the research.
MIPs and MTECH staff are available for consultation in writing an application.
For more information see the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPs) Program's website.
a. The company must be a Maryland business, meaning that it has a manufacturing, services or research and development operations in Maryland or it must be planning to set up such operations in the state within the year in which the MIPs award is to be received. Applicants may be a single company, a group of companies or non-profit organization.
b. Each proposal must be co-authored by the applicant company and a faculty member from the University System in Maryland who will be involved in the project.
c. The proposals must address innovative technological or scientific concepts. These typically fall within the areas of engineering, computer science, physical sciences or life sciences.
a. Matching requirements for each project are based on a budget consisting of both the company and the MIPs contributions, with companies being expected to make an additional in-kind contribution that includes the salaries, materials and equipment and other company-budgeted expenses for the work.
(i) For large companies, defined as firms having more than 1,000 employees, the minimum cash and in-kind contributions are 50% and 25% of the project budget.
(ii) For medium companies, defined as firms having 100 to 1,000 employees, the minimum cash and in-kind contributions are 50% and 25% of the project budget.
(iii) For small companies, defined as firms have fewer than 100 employees, the minimum cash and in-kind contributions are 35% and 30% of the project budget.
(iv) For start-up companies -- defined as privately held firms in a product-development mode that have been in business four years or less and have annual sales of $1 million or less -- the minimum cash and in-kind contributions are 10% and 35% of the project budget. As an alternative to cash and in-kind contributions, an equity contribution is possible for a start-up company.
b. One-year (one-phase) and two-year (two-phase) projects are eligible. In exceptional cases a third year or phase may be considered. If a two-year project is selected, the status is reviewed at the end of the first year. If satisfactory, the second year of the project will proceed.
c. Each application is reviewed first by MIPs staff, then by experts in the applicable subject area, then by business experts, finally by an evaluation board. Criteria include the likelihood of: (i) success from the technical standpoint; (ii) job creation in Maryland; (iii) improvement of the company’s competitive position; and (iv) help to the Maryland economy in some other way. Bonus points in the evaluation are awarded to companies that propose to exceed the minimum cash and in-kind contributions. Other factors in the evaluation include the level of the company’s commitment, contribution to the goals of the university, and the possibility of interaction between the company and the university, such as student internships.
The schedule of key dates in the application process, based on the calendar year 2008 is as follows:
a. Application packets available August 1; b. Proposals due at MIPs office by October 15; c. Evaluation board selections completed December 16; d. Executed agreements returned by MIPs by January 16; and e. Project commencement by February 1.
- Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) Program; University of Maryland MIPS Program
Department of Business & Economic Development Investment Programs
The Maryland Venture Fund is a venture capital investment fund of the state of Maryland that invests directly in life sciences and technology companies and indirectly in venture capital funds, primarily through two programs: the Challenge Investment Program and the Enterprise Investment Fund Program. For more information visit Maryland Venture Fund
Challenge Investment Program
The Challenge Investment Program invests in emerging companies to cover part of the initial costs of bringing new products to market. The initial investments are $50,000 to $100,000, with further incremental investments up to a maximum of $150,000. The investments are structured as convertible debt with a royalty payment.
To qualify, a business must meet the following criteria:
(1) No more than 25 employees;
(2) Annual sales of less than $1 million;
(3) Minimum 1:1 co-investor match by other investors, which may include family and friends;
(4) High-tech company with principal place of business in Maryland;
(5) Remain in Maryland for at least three years; and
(6) Positioned for additional venture capital investment.
Enterprise Investment Fund Program
The Enterprise Investment Fund Program invests in emerging technology companies, typically in the first round of institutional financing, with the goal of helping such companies move to the next stage of development. Investment amounts range from $150,000 to $500,000. The program investment takes the form of an equity position in the company.
To qualify, businesses must meet the following criteria:
a. Operate in a technology industry, such as life sciences (e.g. therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics) and information technology (e.g. software, communications and IT security);
b. Maintain principal place of business in Maryland for at least five years; and
c. Minimum 3:1 match by a sophisticated investor;
To apply to either the Challenge Investment Program or the Enterprise Investment Fund Program, a company must meet the above-described eligibility criteria as applicable and submit a business plan to the Maryland Venture Fund. Each application must include the company name and address, contact name and telephone number and detailed background on the company’s founders.
County and Local Support
Baltimore City - Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC)
BDC is a 501(c)(3) corporation contracted with the City of Baltimore to provide economic development services and to act as a liaison between business owners and City agencies. For more information see http://www.baltimoredevelopment.com/
a. BDC Loan Programs - Revolving Loan/Working Capital Loan Funds (RLF/WC and MILA/RLF)
Available to for-profit businesses and may be used for acquisition and improvement of land, facilities and equipment (including renovation, demolition, site prep and new construction). The funds may also be used for working capital with restrictions.
May not be used for relocation from a surplus area or investment activities. Applicants with a current outstanding RLF loan, or to applicants who have received accumulated assistance from the RLF of $150,000 within the previous five-year period are not eligible. Other ineligible businesses include: financial institutions, consulting firms, real estate companies, not-for-profit businesses, developers, or unregulated media.
Loan limits are $500,000 or 30-35% of project costs. Approval by BDC’s Loan Committee and by the City’s Board of Estimates required (and in some instances, approval by the City’s Board of Finance).
b. City General Obligation Bonds
Available to for-profit businesses and some non-profits and are generally restricted to guarantees and capital projects – “brick and mortar” improvements. Refinancing is not permitted.
May not be used for relocation from a surplus area or investment activities. Applicants with a current outstanding RLF loan or to applicants who have received accumulated assistance from the RLF of $150,000 within the previous five-year period are not eligible. Other ineligible businesses include: consulting firms, unregulated media, real estate companies, investment or speculative activities, speculative developers, and retail.
Eligible projects and loan limits are determined by BDC and may not exceed 30-35% of project costs (subject to availability of funds, number of jobs created, and industry type). Approval by BDC’s Loan Committee and by the City’s Board of Estimates required (and in some instances, approval by the City’s Board of Finance).
c. BDC Small Business Resource Center (SBRC)
The SBRC has a large library and provides free resources to educate owners in starting, planning, financing and marketing a new business. For hours of operation and additional program, see website http://www.baltimoredevelopment.com/small-business-resource-center-0
Anne Arundel County – Economic Development Corporation
Anne Arundel has an Economic development agency that provides various programs for local companies. See website http://www.aaedc.org/
The Anne Arundel County Small Business Resource Center provides services that are free of charge, confidential, and that address the needs and challenges of today’s business environment. The SBRC library is open to the public Monday through Friday and Counseling services can be arranged by visiting the Center. For more information, see http://www.aaedc.org/small_business_resource_center.html
Anne Arundel County business finance office has various programs as well. See website http://www.aaedc.org/business_financing.html
Anne Arundel County Loan Programs
(1) Arundel Business Loan Fund is a program of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation, which provides loans with a maximum of $300,000 to new and expanding businesses operating in Anne Arundel County. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital, equipment, furniture, and leasehold improvements. SBA lending regulations apply since the loans involve SBA guarantees.
(2) Business Corridor Investment Loan Program has been established to encourage economic activity in four pilot project areas in Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis Revitalization Districts. The BCIP offers qualified business owners zero interest loans of up to $35,000 for improvements to the exterior and interior of their business. The four pilot program areas include: Route 2 Corridor in Brooklyn Park, the Route 2 Corridor and Glen Burnie Town Center in Glen Burnie, the Sun Valley/Mountain Road Corridors in Pasadena, and the West Street Revitalization District in the City of Annapolis. Eligible improvements include:
(a) Renovation of building exteriors,
(b) Site improvements such as landscaping, signage, or lighting, and
(c) Interior improvements such as painting, flooring, plumbing, or electricity.
Baltimore County – Department of Economic Development
Baltimore County has a Department of Economic Development that provides various programs for local companies. For more information see http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/economicdev/index.html
Baltimore County has a Small Business Resource Center that provides various services to local companies. The Baltimore County Small Business Resource Center is operated through a partnership between the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development and the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce and offers new and existing business assistance with technical, financial and marketing issues free of charge. http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/economicdev/edd_smallbus.html
The assistance includes: Feasibility Studies, Demographic Studies, Strategic Planning, Business Structuring Needs, Assessments, Business Valuations, Market Analysis/ Research/ Planning, Business Plan Development, Loan Package Assistance, Certification Process & Procurement, Intellectual Property and Funding Programs. For more information see firstname.lastname@example.org
Baltimore County has a finance office which helps local companies. See Contact for Baltimore County financing programs at http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Contact/economicdevelopment
(1) Building Investment Loans - provide interest-free loans for exterior improvements such as awnings, landscaping, signs, and parking for businesses in Commercial Revitalization Districts. For more information: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/economicdev/Finance/edd_fin_bilp.html
(2) Small Business Loan Partnership - This fund provides real estate and fixed-asset loans through a partnership between Baltimore County and the area's leading financial institutions. For more information: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/economicdev/Finance/edd_smallbusloadfund.html
(3) Revitalization Advantage - offers ¼ percent discounts off standard interest rates to qualifying businesses to refurbish or develop property or finance equipment in the County's 13 Commercial Revitalization Districts. For more information: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/economicdev/Finance/edd_fin_inst_comrev_advntg.html
(4) Business Growth Loans - provide direct loans or loan guarantees to new and expanding industrial and commercial businesses. Maximum loan amount is $250,000. Funds may be used to finance the acquisition and improvement of land, buildings, plant and equipment and includes new construction or facility expansion.
(5) Advanced Technology Loan Fund Direct loans, with the participation of other lending and equity sources, for small technology and/or defense related businesses. Maximum loan amount is the lesser of $100,000 or 50 percent of the project's eligible costs. Funds may be used to finance the acquisition and improvement of land, buildings, plant and equipment. This includes new construction or facility expansion.
(6) Tax Exempt Bonds Tax-exempt bond financing is available to manufacturers and 501-C3/non-profit organizations. Bond proceeds may be used to finance the acquisition and improvement of land, buildings, plant and equipment, including new construction or facility expansion. Financing is available from $1,000,000 to a maximum of $20,000,000. IRB's are also available for pollution control and waste treatment facility construction or related equipment purchases.
Carroll County Department of Economic Development
Carroll County has a Department of Economic Development that provides services to local companies. See http://www.carrollbiz.org/index.php
Carroll County has Small Business Development Center Provides a variety of management and technical assistance, confidential business consulting services and training programs to help develop and refine business plans, solve problems, find sources of capital and develop strategies to support growth and profitability. See for more information http://www.carrollbiz.org/sbdc/aboutus.html
Carroll County Loan Programs
(1) Carroll County Development Corporation - CCDC is a source of investment and debt financing to support local small business and economic growth in the Carroll County area. The goal of the CCDC is to promote, develop and improve the economic conditions of the people in Carroll County through loans, investments and other business transactions supporting small businesses. For more information, please contact http://www.carrollbiz.org/index.php
(2) Industrial Revenue Bonds - Carroll County can authorize the use of an IRB to help fund a particular project. Tax exempt IRB's can be offered to manufacturing or other development projects meeting eligibility criteria. Eligible IRB projects costs typically begin at one million dollars. Funds can be used for land, machinery and building construction/renovation. Interest rates vary and the use of a bond counsel is necessary. At no cost, Carroll County will prepare the legal resolution authorizing the project for an IRB and facilitate its presentation to the appropriate body.
(3) Economic Development Trust Fund - The Department has a trust fund available to help fund project specific costs. When eligible, the department may offer grants or low-interest loans for a variety of needs.
(d) Miller Entrepreneurial Institute – the Miller Entrepreneurial Institute is a one-stop resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking training, peer relationships and state-of-the-art technology. The institute offers a large conference room, computer classroom, resource library and training facility with Smart Classroom capability (laptop guided overhead projection system). The Miller Entrepreneurial Institute offers classes as part of the Small Business Training Network of Carroll County. Four partners coming together to serve business needs - Miller Entrepreneurial Institute, Carroll County Department of Economic Development, Small Business Development Center, and Start Up Carroll all provide advise and services to help small businesses grow. Please see http://www.carrolltraining.com/small_business_services.asp for more information.
Cecil County - Office of Economic Development
Cecil County has an Office of Economic Development that provides services. For more information see http://www.ccgov.org/dept_ecdev/
Cecil County's Revolving Loan Fund
Provides funds to qualified borrowers for the purchase of land, buildings and equipment, in accordance with the eligibility requirements of the program. Introduction to appropriate programs of the Small Business Administration can work in conjunction with the local revolving loan fund for qualified borrowers.
Harford County - Office of Economic Development
Harford County has Office of Economic Development that provide various services to local companies. For more information see http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/economic_development/
Harford County has a Small Business Development Center that provides assistance to local companies. For more information see http://www.harford.edu/sbdc/index.asp
(1) Economic Development Opportunity Fund - Stimulates increased financing for new equipment and operations by complementing traditional lenders, State or Federal funding programs. Local and Federal Funds used to encourage investment, retention and job creation for working capital, equipment purchases, land or building improvements and purchases. Maximum Loan amount is $100,000. Application: http://www.harfordbusiness.org/download/OppFund.PDF
(2) Revolving Loan Fund - Provides funds to creditworthy businesses unable to obtain financing through traditional sources due to limited equity, collateral or cash flow. An alternative incentive provided by the County and a consortium of eight financial institutions to attract, expand and retain small businesses. 1.3 Million Loan Pool. Available to for-profit businesses including manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, service and agricultural companies. For more information, contact: http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/economic_development/ Loan Amount range from $10,000 to $100,000.
(3) Enterprise Loan Fund - Partnership between M&T Bank offers a 1/4% discount off standard interest rates to qualifying businesses to refurbish or develop commercial property. Program supports Harford County's commitment to revitalizing older industrial areas of the county and supporting resident business retention and expansion. Available to businesses located along Harford County's Route 40 Corridor, including the Edgewood/Joppa and Greater Aberdeen/Havre de Grace Enterprise Zones. M&T Bank loan amounts range from $50,000 to $3,000,000. Revitalization Advantage loans can be leveraged with other Harford County Loan Funds to maximize savings. County loans up to $100,000 may be available.
(4) Community Block Development Grant for Economic Development - Fosters development in targeted areas. Includes funding for: Water and Sewer Lines to industrial sites, Extension of Rail Service to industrial sites, Construction and Renovation of new and expanding businesses.
(5) Industrial Revenue Bonds for Manufacturers and 501(c) (3) Organizations - Tax exempt financing for the acquisition of land, buildings, and equipment IRB Bonds are sold to lending institutions, investors and the public IRB Purchaser determines fixed or floating interest rate Federal law limits the terms, amount and uses of financing.
Howard County - Economic Development Authority
Howard County has an Economic Development Authority that provides various services to local companies. For more information see http://www.hceda.org/
Howard County has Business Resource Center that one-on-one counseling in all aspects of business management, from start up, business planning and financing, to marketing, networking, and strategic planning for business growth. Business Resource Center clients can find professional assistance in areas as varied as government procurement, certifications, business planning and international trade. Access to sophisticated business resources, reference materials, training seminars and workshops is also available. For more information see http://www.hceda.org/CBTD/brc.aspx The Business Resource Center provides the following ongoing entrepreneurial support:
(a) Referrals to the small business networking group, which provide entrepreneurial support.
(b) The Business Funding Advisory Office is staffed by professionals who advise entrepreneurs of funding opportunities available to meet their needs.
(c) The Franchise Advisory Office offers advice, guidance, and seminars on the business aspects of franchising.
(d) The International Trade Center develops recognition and awareness of international trade opportunities for small and medium size Howard County companies and assists them in developing and increasing their international business opportunities through counseling, workshops, and referrals to state/federal agencies.
(e) The Government Contracting Institute (GCI) offers businesses the opportunity to receive instruction from leaders in the government contracting market on topics such as getting registered as a contractor, certification, business development, market research, proposal writing, oral presentations, accounting and legal issues, project and contract management and security clearances.
(f) The Virtual Office is a program for small and home-based businesses in Howard County that provides a business address for receipt of mail, access to conference and meeting facilities equipped with audio/visual equipment/internet access and a business library.
(1) Economic Development Incentives Fund - Howard County has created an Economic Development lncentive Fund which is funded by an issuer fee on tax exempt financing. Monies from this fund are used as a matching requirement to obtain state funding.
(2) Jim Rouse Entrepreneurial Fund - JREF was established to help foster the development of new and growing businesses through education, mentoring and financing. Loans of up to $100,000 are made to small or start-up businesses for expansion or start-up costs.
(3) US Route 1 and US Route 40 Revitalization Loan Programs - The Route 1 and Route 40 loan programs were established to encourage businesses to improve building and site conditions along both corridors. The programs offer at or below prime rate financing through participating banks.
Center for Business and Technology Development - Founded in May, 2000, is dedicated to the discovery, stimulation, nurturing, growth and success of entrepreneurship in Howard County. The Center for Business and Technology has gained a reputation for creating innovative programs to foster entrepreneurship in the greater Washington/Baltimore region. For more information see http://www.hceda.org/CBTD/index.aspx
j-ref is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in Howard County, Maryland. j-ref is a small business financier that assists small and emerging businesses located in Howard County. It provides financing and other needed forms of management and education assistance to maximize business growth. For more information see http://www.jref.org. In addition to other services, j-ref provides the following services:
(a) Business Services:
(i) Business loans up to $250,000.
(ii) Business advice to meet the specific needs of the entrepreneur.
(iii) Business and strategic plan review and business education
(b) Real Estate Loans Program:
(i) Business and real estate must be located in Howard County
(ii) Loans up to $250,000
(iii) No Prepayment Penalty
(iv) Floating Rates
(v) 75% or more Owner Occupied
(vi) Cash Down Payment as low as 5%
Other County Economic Development Offices
Allegany County Economic Development - for more information see http://www.alleganyworks.org.
Calvert County Department of Economic Development for more information see http://www.ecalvert.com/index.asp.
Caroline Economic Development Corporation for more information see http://www.carolinebusiness.com/.
Cecil County Office of Economic Development for more information see http://www.ccgov.org/dept_ecdev/.
Charles County Economic Development Department for more information see http://www.meetcharlescounty.com/apps/econweb/public/listProperties.jsp.
Dorchester County Economic Development Office for more information see http://www.choosedorchester.org/.
Frederick County Office of Economic Development for more information see http://www.discoverfrederickmd.com/.
Garrett County Economic Development Department for more information see http://www.gcedonline.com/.
Kent County Economic Development Office for more information see http://www.kentcounty.com/bus/
Montgomery County Department of Economic Development for more information see http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dedtmpl.asp?url=/content/ded/index.asp.
Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation for more information see http://www.pgcedc.com/.
Queen Anne’s County Department of Economic Development and Agriculture for more information see http://www.qac.org/default.aspx?pageid=66&template=3&toplevel=34.
Somerset County Economic Development Commission for more information see http://www.somersetcountyedc.org/.
St. Mary’s County Department of Economic and Community Development for more information see http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/decd/.
Talbot County Office of Economic Development for more information see http://www.talbotcountymd.gov/index.php?page=Economic_Development.
Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission for more information see http://www.hagerstownedc.org/.
Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development, Inc. for more information see http://www.swed.org/.
Worcester County Department of Economic Development for more information see http://www.co.worcester.md.us/econ/econindex.htm.
Maryland Assistance to Agricultural Business
Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corp (MARBIDCO)
MARBIDCO is a Maryland state sponsored development entity formed for the purpose of delivering enhanced financing opportunities to the agriculture, forestry and seafood industries and to assist in state and local, rural land conservation agencies with the farmland and forestland preservation efforts. For more information, please see http://www.marbidco.org.
a. MARBIDCO Loan Programs
MARBIDCO offers three direct loan programs and an equity financing program.
(1) Maryland Resource-Based Industry Financing Fund offers low-interest loans to purchase land and capital equipment for food and fiber production and processing activities.
(2) The Rural Business Working Capital Loan Fund offers loans for working capital and equipment purchases at 1% below the prevailing prime rate; while the Forestry Equipment and Working Capital Loan Fund offers flexibility-priced loans to Maryland’s forest products businesses for working capital and equipment purchases.
(3) The Agricultural Cooperatives Equity Investment Progrom provides capital investment needed by agricultural cooperatives when business operations are beginning or significantly expanding.
b. MARBIDCO grant programs:
MARBIDCO offers the following grant programs:
(1) The Rural Business Energy Efficiency Grant and Loan Interest Rate Buy-Down Program, that helps established firms and producers in acquiring energy saving equipment and technology. Grants can be made up to 10% of a project’s cost, contingent upon a third party energy audit report.
(2) The Maryland Farm and Producer Viability Program was created to help early stage enterprises with business plan development and identifying and accessing operational and market risk.
(3) Maryland Value Added Producer Grant Program provides a portion of the federally required matching funds to qualified Maryland applicants to USDA’s highly competitive Value-Added Producer Grant Program.
(4) The Local Government Agricultural/Resource-Based Industry Project Cost Share Program supports local and regional rural business development efforts by offering matching cost share assistance for agribusiness development projects.
c. Installment Purchase Agreements
Beginning in 2008, MARBIDCO offered installment purchase agreements to sellers of land conservation easements to benefit land owners and the State in a tax advantage arrangement. In addition, a new program, the Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program was developed to assist to help young or beginning farmers to purchaser and permanently preserve farmland.
d. For more information see http://www.marbidco.org/about/contact.html.
Other Maryland Agriculture Assistance
a. Maryland Department of Agriculture
Maryland's Department of Agriculture provides a number of programs to assist companies. Among them are the following (for additional programs, please see http://www.mda.state.md.us/):
1. Maryland Agriculture’s Marketing Services
Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Services which follows and promotes an aggressive marketing strategy to expand economic opportunities for Maryland farmers and food businesses, both domestically and internationally.
2. The Department of Agriculture
MD Agrictulure also operates many programs that protect the quality of Maryland’s agriculture and food programs:
(1) Plant Protection and Weed Management;
(2) Apiary Inspections
(3) Nursery Inspections and Plant Questionnaire
(4) Turf and Seed Oversight
(5) The State Chemist
(6) Agricultural Products Grading Services
(7) Egg Inspections
(8) Grain Dealers Licensing
(9) Weights and Measures Inspection
(10) Board of Veterinary Medicine Examiners
(11) The Horse Industry Board