BDC Releases New Economic Development Plan, Targets Small Businesses

Baltimore Development Corp. (BDC) released an economic development strategy plan which sets goals of increasing incentives and support for small and mid-sized businesses, and attracting new companies to the city. As reported in The Baltimore Sun:

“Keeping businesses here in Baltimore and helping them grow will continue to be our top priority,” Cole said. “The mayor has come up with a micro-loan program that’s working. It’s reasonable and high impact without being grossly expensive.”

The city has given out $300,000 in small-business loans of up to $30,000 to 14 companies since 2012, including $20,000 for Mindgrub Technologies, which added 20 employees, and $20,000 for The Charmery ice cream shop, which added 10 new jobs. The BDC’s new plan calls for $500,000 more in small-business loans to be awarded each year.

“Small business is the backbone of the economy,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. “We’re going to continue to look for ways to support it.”

Much of the plan is a continuation of current city policy, including goals of increasing the number of grocery stores, expanding the city’s convention center, building a better fiber network and bolstering Baltimore’s port through an intermodal facility. The increased incentives for small and medium-size businesses are among the few recommendations with a specific dollar figure attached. Cole said he had not yet identified from where the increased funding for small-business incentives would come.

The article notes new goals include increasing incentives for small and mid-sized businesses by $4 million annually and attracting 13 international companies to the city.

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.