Slide2

NEWS


Baltimore Community Lending Launches New Website and Facebook Page


Contact
Ms. Watchen Harris Bruce
President and CEO, Baltimore Community Lending
Watchen.Bruce@bclending.org
443.450.1387

Baltimore, MD. October 19, 2020

Baltimore Community Lending (BCL) announces the launch of its new website and Facebook page on October 19th. As part of a rebranding effort to market itself as the foremost Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) serving Baltimore City exclusively, and as a premiere entity with two flexible products – real estate and small business – BCL is debuting a new look with new colors, typography, a tweaked logo, and a brand identity guide that coordinates all of its brand marketing standards. Visit www.bclending.org to access the new site. Housed on the new site is information about completing applications for loans; staffing, board and advisory boards; career opportunities; product information; community impact; client testimonials; and how to contact the organization.

BCL’s rebranding efforts also include new messaging and a shift toward digital marketing through video promotions. The new website, Facebook page, messaging and digital marketing was created by Baltimore-city based Sahara Communications, a minority & female owned marketing firm certified with the City of Baltimore.

Additional information can be found at www.bclending.org.


BCL Sponsors and Volunteers at Baltimore Children’s Business Fair

Contact
Ms. Bonnie Crockett
Director, Baltimore Business Lending
Bonnie.Crockett@bclending.org
443.717.3627

Baltimore, MD. October 18, 2020

Baltimore Business Lending, the small business division of Baltimore Community Lending (BCL), is honored to support the Baltimore Children’s Business Fair as an Associate Sponsor and by volunteering to judge young entrepreneurs’ entries.  At the virtual fair on October 10, which is open to the public, children entrepreneurs will showcase the product or service, brand, and marketing strategy they have developed. Bonnie Crockett (Baltimore Business Lending Director) and Don Cutwright (Small Business Loan Officer) will judge some of the entries based on originality, business potential, presentation, pitch, commercial, and website.

Additional information about the Baltimore Children’s Business Fair can be found at https://baltimorechildrensbusinessfair.org.


Baltimore Community Lending Presents Advisory Board

Contact
Ms. Watchen Harris Bruce
President and CEO, Baltimore Community Lending
Watchen.Bruce@bclending.org
443.450.1387

Baltimore, MD. October 15, 2020

Baltimore Community Lending (BCL) is pleased to present its inaugural Advisory Board, comprised of professionals who are deeply connected to Baltimore through their experience in community development, small business growth, entrepreneurship, banking, and finance. The Advisory Board, created in alignment with the merger of Baltimore Business Lending (formerly a subsidiary of BCL), will provide advice and guidance to BCL’s small business division and promote the growth of the program. The organization is pleased to welcome the following members to its Advisory Board:

  • Watchen Harris Bruce, Chair – President and CEO, Baltimore Community Lending
  • Paul Taylor, Vice Chair – Director, Mayor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business
  • Nichole Battle – Chief Executive Officer, Govans Ecumenical Development
  • David Bramble – Managing Partner, MCB Real Estate LLC
  • Matt Calhoun – Market Manager/Greater Baltimore Market, M&T Bank
  • Stephanie Chin – Assistant Director/Entrepreneurship, Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Randall James – Treasurer and SVP, Howard Bank
  • Gerard Joab – Executive Director, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
  • Mary Miller – Senior Fellow, Johns Hopkins University 21st Century Cities Initiative
  • Christopher Rockey – Greater MD Marketing Manager of Community Development Banking, PNC Bank
  • John Walsh – Senior External Advisor, McKinsey and Co.

Advisory Board member and BCL Chair Nichole Battle said, “I am pleased that we have successfully merged Baltimore Business Lending and Baltimore Community Lending.  Baltimore Business Lending has always been considered as an entity that provided an opportunity for BCL to have a greater impact in Baltimore City by addressing the access to capital needs by small businesses. It took 30 years to become the premier organization that we have become.  As we learned during our 30 year anniversary ceremony, BCL and BBL have invested in communities and businesses in Baltimore City where others have not focused on.  Our investment has leveraged millions of dollars that have contributed to making Baltimore City’s small business and real estate market stronger.

Our success did not come over night and it will take years to have the true impact we want to have in the city.  Thanks to our leadership, partners, and volunteers that make up the Baltimore Community Lending board and the Advisory Board, we are, and will continue, to make things happen.  I am extremely proud and grateful to be a member of the Baltimore Community Lending family.  I look forward to the wonderful things we will do with our partners moving forward.”

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 Baltimore 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 provide financing to develop affordable housing, community facilities, and mixed use developments.

Additional information can be found at www.bclending.org.


Baltimore Community Lending Announces Merger

Contact
Ms. Watchen Harris Bruce
President and CEO, Baltimore Community Lending
Watchen.Bruce@bclending.org
443.450.1387

Baltimore, MD. October 1, 2020

Baltimore Community Lending (BCL) is pleased to announce the merger of the organization with its subsidiary, Baltimore Business Lending, in order to better serve local real estate developers and small business owners. Since 1989, BCL has provided vital loan capital for small and medium-sized real estate developers who revitalize Baltimore communities. In 2017, the organization created BBL as a subsidiary to address the need for small business economic development to ensure the viability and stability of stressed neighborhoods.

Since it began lending in 2018, BBL provided $1,227,200 in capital to 21 startup and growing businesses that would otherwise be unable to qualify for traditional lending resources. In the same timeframe, BCL invested $16 million into the community and financed 229 units. This tremendous success drove the merger of the two entities into one to effect a stronger impact on communities. The real estate division will work with different types of borrowers and provide financing to develop affordable housing, community facilities, and mixed use developments, while the small business division will address the primary barriers to credit to small businesses in Baltimore City, especially minority and women owned businesses, by providing flexible loan terms, technical assistance support, and an ecosystem of small business lenders and bankers.

“The goal for the merger here is to increase synergies across BCL and BBL brands, teams, and impact. Together, BCL and BBL combined entities will bring great resources to community development in the city of Baltimore. The strategy is to ensure the two business lines are working in concert in an efficient way,” said Watchen Harris Bruce, President and CEO of Baltimore Community Lending.

Bonnie Crockett, Director of Baltimore Business Lending, added, “Merging BBL and BCL will strengthen our small business lending position in the market and will allow us to quickly grow our outreach and portfolio, building on the strength of BCL’s decades of experience and community reputation in the Baltimore market.”

Additional information can be found at www.bclending.org.