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Month: November 2017

Small business loans – Casino-funded in Maryland

Small business loans – Casino-funded in Maryland

Established in 2007 to allocate 1.5 percent of casino revenue to small business loans, the program lacked funds before the success of Maryland Live! casino in Hannover.

The success of Maryland Live! The casino in Hannover allowed a government program established in 2007 to help small businesses to finally take place this month. Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp., on May 1, began accepting applications for a small business loan program, funded with $ 3.36 million in casino revenue.

Fifty percent of the funds will be awarded to small businesses within a 10-mile radius of Maryland Live! The balance can go to any small business in the state.

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The prizes are expected to range between $ 25,000 and $ 500,000, and the first was announced at a launch event on May 29, said Rosa Cruz, director of communications and marketing at AAEDC.

Small businesses are defined as companies with less than 500 employees and annual revenues of $ 35 million or less in an average of three years. However, AAEDC will focus on companies with fewer than 50 employees.

A special outreach effort targets women-owned and minority-owned businesses for loans, Cruz said, but is not prioritized during the application process.

“We want them to know that the loans are available, but there is no priority in the application process,” Cruz said. “Applications are processed in order of arrival, once you’re in the queue, you’re evaluated on your own merit.”

Thirty percent of the funds are allocated flexibly to new technology companies, granted based on a high-income projection.

Until May 15, about a dozen applications have been received and the first loan approved, although it will not be announced until the May 29 event.

Funding must be granted in five years, but it will probably be finished by the end of one year. Business owners should not panic, Cruz said, since there are still a lot of funds left and the program just launched two weeks ago.

During the application, the owner of a business must provide financial documents, including tax returns and financial statements. The AAEDC staff will evaluate the management systems and products and meet with the owners to analyze the needs. Once approved, mentors will be assigned to the companies.

Established in 2007 to allocate 1.5 percent of casino revenue to small business loans, the program lacked funds before the success of Maryland Live! casino in Hannover.

AAEDC offers several other loan programs for small, minority and women’s businesses. Ninety-five percent of its total business comes from small businesses, of which 45 percent comes from companies owned by women and minorities.

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