Dear Colleagues and Friends,
First and foremost, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that we are two years into a pandemic that has impacted every one of us in profound ways. During this time of immense need, we remain committed to the important work of improving the lives of the people and communities we serve.
Due to the major adverse economic impacts of the pandemic, many of our program participants in the city needed our support in 2021 more than ever. Our staff, volunteer board members, and consultants adapted and persevered, implementing creative and innovative solutions in the city of Baltimore. We are proud of what BCL accomplished in a year. We delivered significant results for our funders, investors, and our program participants, including entrepreneurs, small and growing enterprises, and real estate developers, such as:
- Loaned over $1.1 million to small businesses in Baltimore City
- Loaned $5.5 million to community real estate developers in Baltimore City
- Hired five new staff
- Assisted 58 small businesses in securing more than $1.2 million in SBA Paycheck Protection Program COVID-19 relief funds
- Launched comprehensive fundraising campaign entitled “Re-Imagining Baltimore,” the proceeds of which will be used to purchase a building to house a regional Business Development Center and our corporate offices
- Testified before the U.S. Senate Banking & Housing Committee about the importance of our work on Main Streets as a CDFI
- Raised over $2.5 million in grants and over $20 million for lending capital
As we embark on 2022, I would be remiss without thanking our valued staff, funders and donors, the Board of Directors, partners, collaborators, and volunteers. Your resolve, commitment, and perseverance helped to make BCL a more resilient and impactful organization in 2021. We could not do this work without you.
On behalf of the team here at BCL, I wish you a healthy and prosperous year ahead. I look forward to 2022—and hope that you will join us in pursuit of a world with economic opportunity for all.
Watchen Harris Bruce
President & CEO, Baltimore Community Lending