BALTIMORE, MD. – February 2, 2023 – Nine small businesses that received small business loans from Baltimore Community Lending (BCL) officially opened for business at the newly revitalized Lexington Market at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday. The momentous occasion was marked by speeches by public officials such as Governor Wes Moore and Mayor Brandon Scott, with small business owners, development partners, and community members joining the celebration.
The funding came from the Lexington Market Loan Fund, which was established by BCL and financed by the Baltimore Community Foundation, University of Maryland Medical Systems, and the University of Maryland-Baltimore. BCL loaned about $1 million dollars to merchants selected to occupy the 60,000 square foot building. Loan amounts ranged from $15,000 – $100,000 with special interest rates ranging from 5.25% – 7.25%. Long-time market merchants such as Cho’s Seafood Kitchen and Krause’s Lite Fare, as well as rapidly growing businesses such as Tio G’s Empanadas and Latin Kitchen, Deddle’s Donuts, J. Bee’s Jamaican-Me-Crazy, Elbows, Blacksmith’s Scratch Kitchen, S.S. Cafe, and Tossed Together, received funding. In alignment with BCL’s mission to support underserved communities, all the merchants who received small business loans are BIPOC-owned and 78% of the businesses are woman-owned. As is standard with BCL’s program, the small businesses received pro bono business training and one-one coaching during the application process and will continue receiving support throughout the duration of the loan.
“We are excited to join our partners in celebrating a new era for entrepreneurship and community development in Baltimore. The revitalization of Lexington Market is a tremendous opportunity for the community to support our local small businesses, and we are honored to be part of their future success,” said Watchen Harris Bruce, President & CEO of Baltimore Community Lending.
For more information about the merchants at Lexington Market, visit the Lexington Market website.