2023 New Year Address


December 30, 2022


As we embark upon a new year, I am embracing the hope that comes with new beginnings. Hope for small businesses that are adapting to the ever-changing landscape to keep our local economy afloat. Hope for small real estate developers that are creating home ownership opportunities in underserved communities at a time when affordable housing is needed more than ever. Hope that all of us in the Greater Baltimore area can come together to support these businesses and developers amidst an uncertain future.

The new year is a time to set intentions. My intention for 2023 is to strengthen the pathway for local small businesses and real estate developers to overcome challenges, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. These businesses and developers continue to struggle from the fallout from supply chain disruptions, inflation, and rising interest rates, not to mention the inequitable barriers to credit that have been in the way for far too long. I am committed to stewarding Baltimore Community Lending as we move the needle to a future in which small businesses and real estate developers have the resources they need to stabilize and grow.

How do we move the needle? One way will be through our future Business Development & Resource Center, which will provide comprehensive coaching, training, business incubation, and co-working spaces along with housing our corporate offices. We are also exploring product enhancements and extended capacity building, coaching, and training opportunities to meet the needs of small business owners and real estate developers. And we will continue collaborating with other service providers, our partners, funders, communities, and supporters to fulfill our mission.

If you have a similar intention for the new year, I invite you to join us. Whether you choose to shop local, tell a business owner or developer about us, or contribute towards our Business Development & Resource Center campaign, your support matters.


Happy New Year. I wish you a 2023 filled with abundance, fortitude, and hope.


Watchen Harris Bruce

President & CEO, Baltimore Community Lending

Watchen Harris-Bruce, President & CEO of Baltimore Community Lending