BALTIMORE, MD. – May 2, 2022 – Expanding on its mission to revitalize and strengthen underserved neighborhoods, Baltimore Community Lending (BCL) is joining the Greater Washington Partnership in its efforts to make the Capital Region the most inclusive economy in the nation. The partnership – an alliance of community organizations and leaders stretching from Baltimore, MD to Richmond, VA – recently secured a commitment of $4.7 billion over five years from over a dozen corporations and other large employers to increase the diversity of the region’s businesses and workers.
U.S Vice President Kamala Harris announced the $4.7 billion pledge at Howard University on March 30, an event that was attended by leaders from local CDFIs and organizations including Baltimore Community Lending, African American Alliance of CDFI Leaders, Ampac Business Capital, Appalachian Community Capital, Capital Impact Partners, Industrial Bank, Opportunity Finance Network, Virginia Community Capital, and Washington Area Community Investment Fund. Event speakers also included Isabella Casillas Guzman, SBA Administrator, and Gina M. Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
The $4.7 billion will be directed to three areas of need: $2.6 billion for procurement spending with diverse suppliers; $1.5 billion for wealth-building opportunities in underrepresented communities; and $619 million for institutions that lend to underbanked populations. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and member of the Greater Washington Partnership, Baltimore Community Lending will have access to the capital for lenders to deploy loans and strategic financing to underrepresented populations. “I am pleased & excited about this opportunity for BCL to be invited to participate in the Greater Washington Partnership to help scale support for Minority Business Enterprises and underrepresented communities,” said Watchen Bruce, President & CEO of Baltimore Community Lending.
BCL is well-positioned to fulfill this commitment, as the organization has been making loans to underbanked small businesses and community developers for over thirty years. The organization recently expanded its service area to be inclusive of the counties surrounding Baltimore City.
About Baltimore Community Lending
With over 30 years’ experience, Baltimore Community Lending (BCL) is a local CDFI that supports the revitalization and strengthening of under-served neighborhoods through innovative and flexible financial assistance designed to promote community development. The small business division of BCL addresses the primary barriers to credit by providing flexible loan terms, technical assistance support, and an ecosystem of small business lenders and bankers, while the real estate division works with different types of borrowers and provides financing to develop affordable housing, community facilities, and mixed-use developments. More information is available at https://bclending.org