March 19, 2021 – Over 200 people joined Baltimore Community Lending’s host committee for two broadcasts of their virtual event “Re-Imagining Baltimore,” featuring guest speakers Mayor Brandon Scott, Kurt Schmoke, and Beth Harber. The events, which were broadcast virtually at 12pm and 7pm on March 18, brought together stakeholders who advocate for affordable real estate and small business loans to re-energize low income, low wealth people and the communities in which they live.
The occasion was commemorated by a proclamation by the City of Baltimore declaring March 18, 2021 to be Baltimore Community Lending Day in recognition of, amongst other things, “more than 30 years of continuous service to people in Baltimore who need help the most.” Baltimore Community Lending also honored Ms. Wanda Best with the Community Leader of the Year award for her service to our city through the Upton Planning Committee, Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, and the Black Arts and Entertainment District, in addition to many others.
Small business owners and real estate developers that have received support from BCL shared their stories. Veronica Owens, owner of Monarch Butterfly Enterprises, stated, “When we look at these vacant homes, some people look at them as despair. Monarch Butterfly looks at them as opportunity. Baltimore Community Lending saw the opportunity in me. There’s no looking back now.” Jeryl Cole, owner of Off The Rox, said, “We shopped around to different banks and it wasn’t going our way. We got introduced to BCL and…it was a better way for us to get accepted for small loans. BCL really helped us walk through the process of understanding lending. From start to finish, working with BCL, everything was smooth.”
Mayor Scott said in his speech, “My vision for Baltimore includes uplifting every single person no matter who they are, where they’re from, what they look like, or how much money they have. The City of Baltimore needs community partners like Baltimore Community Lending that are dedicated to creating opportunities that will lead to a better future.”