Our Story

Our Mission

Baltimore Community Lending supports the revitalization and strengthening of underserved communities throughout the Baltimore metro area through innovative and flexible financial assistance designed to promote community development.

Our Story

Baltimore Community Lending is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and mission-based lender serving the Baltimore metro area. We’re 100% dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending products to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream. We’re making loans to real estate developers and small business owners committed to developing underserved neighborhoods.

​We work with the government, foundations, financial institutions, community stakeholders, anchor institutions, and small business owners early in the planning process to provide small-to-mid-sized capital solutions leading to a more diverse and economically balanced Baltimore region.​

Since our inception in 1989, BCL has sought to strengthen neighborhoods through flexible financing. Click here to see our impact. In 2018, we expanded our lending products to include small businesses based on a recognition of community needs and BCL’s capabilities amongst a variety of stakeholders throughout the city.


Baltimore Community Development Financing Corporation (CDFC) is established under the Baltimore City government, in partnership with local banks and foundations.


Baltimore CDFC transitions into Baltimore Community Lending, Inc. (BCL), an independent agency that received certification as a Community Development Financing Institution (CDFI) by the US Department of Treasury.


Baltimore Business Lending (BBL) is established as a subsidiary to provide funding to underserved small business owners.


Watchen Harris-Bruce becomes the President & CEO of Baltimore Community Lending; BBL merged into BCL, resulting in the establishment of our Small Business Division and the Real Estate Division.

BCL launches a three-year strategic plan and a five-year capital growth plan to move us closer to our goal of self-sufficiency.


BCL hosts “Re-Imagine Baltimore” at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum — a fundraising event to share information about and raise funds for our future Business Development and Resource Center.


We expand our service area to include the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), specifically Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.


We officially acquire the building that is slated to become our Business Development and Resource Center and office headquarters.