June 02, 2022

Van Hollen, Cardin Submit Direct Funding Requests for Community Projects Supporting Economic and Small Business Development

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced their direct federal funding requests for Maryland community projects under the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee for fiscal year 2023. The Senators worked with local community leaders to identify these projects, which will support local economic development, position small businesses for future growth, and provide more opportunity for Marylanders.

“Direct federal investments can play an important role in growing our economy, creating jobs, and supporting our workers, small businesses, and nonprofits. That’s why we’ve worked together with local partners to identify projects that will benefit Marylanders and our communities – from expanding opportunities for workers to providing help to historically underserved small businesses. We’ll be fighting to get these priorities through Congress and deliver these funds directly to our state,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.

“Team Maryland is united in our ongoing effort to bring new federal resources back to Maryland based on local needs and priorities. We are committed to building on successes realized during the pandemic to directly address the historic challenges that entrepreneurs in underserved communities face so they can start and grow their businesses and create jobs. These locally identified, priority projects will be transformative and expand the capacity of nonprofit organizations to serve Black-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and minority-owned entrepreneurs,” said Senator Cardin, Chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. “Our goal is to maximize taxpayer dollars in the most meaningful way for our communities.” 

The annual Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill – which Senator Van Hollen leads as Chairman of the Subcommittee – funds important efforts to promote economic growth and small business development in disadvantaged and low-income communities in Maryland. For example, this legislation funds the Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which supports a variety of projects from increasing healthy food access in food deserts to investing in affordable housing. It also funds various U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs such as Entrepreneurial Development grants and Small Business Development Centers.

While not all requests may receive funding in the final fiscal year 2023 funding legislation, the Senators will advocate for their requests to be included as the Appropriations subcommittees draft their respective bills over the coming months. Fiscal year 2023 begins October 1, 2022. For fiscal year 2022, Senators Cardin and Van Hollen secured over $104 million in direct investments to benefit Maryland. 

Senator Van Hollen’s requests can be found at this link and Senator Cardin’s requests can be found at this link. Website pages will be updated as requests to the Appropriations subcommittees are submitted. The Senators’ requests for the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee are listed below.

Project Name: AFRO-American Newspapers’ Digitization Preparation Fellowship
Applicant: Afro Charities, Inc.
Description: The AFRO-American Newspapers is the oldest Black-owned business in Maryland and has an archive of approximately three million photographs, several thousand letters, back issues of the paper, and personal audio recordings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Funds will be used to prepare the physical materials in the AFRO archives collection for future digitization so they can be available to the public. Afro Charities will recruit community members as Fellows to prepare the archive and digitize the collection.
Project Location: Annapolis, MD
Amount Requested: $257,000

Project Name: Baltimore Community Lending Small Business Development & Resource Center
Applicant: Baltimore Community Lending, Inc.
Description: Baltimore Community Lending has served the Baltimore community since 1989 with flexible financial resources. Funds will be used to acquire a facility to house their Small Business Development and Resource Center to serve as an accessible facility for community meetings, skill trainings, and other educational activities. The Center will provide co-working and business incubation space as well as legal services and support on accounting, procurement, insurance, and other technical assistance to develop start-up businesses.
Project Location: Baltimore City, MD
Amount Requested: $1,000,000

Project Name: Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network at the Maryland Institute College of Art
Applicant: Maryland Institute College of Art
Description: MICA’s Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network (BCAN) supports artists, designers, creatives, and cultural entrepreneurs as they develop the businesses that fuel Maryland’s creative economy – a sector that added over $10 billion in economic impacts in our state in 2020 and sustained nearly 70,000 jobs. Funds will be used to expand BCAN’s Scale your Passion, Creative Coaching, and mobile programming to provide mentorship, technical assistance, incubation space, and coaching to entrepreneurs seeking to launch new ventures. Since the program’s creation in 2017, BCAN alumni have opened retail establishments, secured partnerships with national retailers, and even been featured in Oprah’s Holiday Gift Guide.
Project Location: Baltimore City, MD
Amount Requested: $1,000,000

Project Name: Exploring Cultural Linkages between Black Marylanders and Civil Rights Movements Abroad
Applicant: Sister States of Maryland, Inc.
Description: This project will partner with the Reginald F. Lewis Museum to highlight and exhibit Maryland’s rich history fighting injustice around the world. The project is based on UNESCO Slave Route Project Research that identified Middle Passage ports of entry, including five ports of entry in Maryland. From those days of the slave trade to today, Marylanders like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, Decatur Dorsey, Pauli Murray and countless others, as well as organizations like Maryland’s HBCUs, churches, and civil groups have played key roles in civil rights both here in Maryland and abroad. Funds will be used for archival research and public education to highlight the role of Black Marylanders in the global struggle against discrimination and injustice.
Project Location: Annapolis, MD
Amount Requested: $1,000,000

Project Name: Frederick Innovative Science Center
Applicant: Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc.
Description: The Frederick Innovative Technology Center is a non-profit business incubator and accelerator designed to cultivate entrepreneurship in Frederick and surrounding rural areas. Funds will be used to develop the Innovative Science Center, a hub for science and tech innovators with state-of-the-art lab, office, and community space customized for early-stage bioscience, agriculture technology, renewable energy, and other technology start-ups.
Project Location: Frederick, MD
Amount Requested: $1,000,000

Project Name: Inclusive Ventures Small Business Program
Applicant: Anne Arundel County
Description: Funds will be used to expand the Inclusive Ventures Program, which assists small businesses and minority, women, and veteran entrepreneurs in Anne Arundel County with education, mentorship, and access to capital. The hands-on business training, legal and accounting support, and connections to financing opportunities will help sustain and grow new companies.
Project Location: Annapolis, MD
Amount Requested: $713,000

Project Name: Maryland Economic Opportunity Center
Applicant: University of Maryland, College Park
Description: Funds will be used to support the Center's work as a hub helping to start, grow, and sustain small businesses from underserved communities across the state by connecting business owners with assistance in planning, financing, marketing, and other services and identifying and filling gaps in services available to the minority and women-owned small businesses. The Center also provides paid internships to UMD students to apply their academic lessons to the real world of helping underserved business owners to succeed.
Project Location: College Park, MD
Amount Requested: $2,250,000

Project Name: National Veteran Institute for Procurement
Applicant: Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation
Description: Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) provides technical assistance on government and industry procurement processes, networking and connections to potential customers, and opportunities for veteran-owned companies to stay connected and support each other. Funds will be used to expand VIP training classes to accommodate increased demand and allow up to 450 service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses to participate in the program.
Project Location: Rockville, MD
Amount Requested: $2,000,000

Project Name: TEDCO Open Institute for Black Women Entrepreneurs
Applicant: Maryland Technology Development Corp
Description: Funds will be used to support TEDCO's new Open Institute for Black Women Entrepreneurs, a partnership with Maryland's four HBCUs to determine these entrepreneurs' needs at the intersection of research, tech transfer, and education.
Project Location: Columbia, MD
Amount Requested: $418,000

Project Name: The Equity Incubator at the Universities at Shady Grove
Applicant: The Universities at Shady Grove
Description: Operated by the Universities at Shady Grove’s Lab for Entrepreneurship and Transformative Leadership, the Equity Incubator provides guidance and support to groups of entrepreneurs and includes an 8-week long intensive program with weekly workshops and mentor meetings, and a venture pitch to a panel of judges. Funds will be used to expand the Equity Incubator program to meet demand.
Project Location: Rockville, MD
Amount Requested: $956,000

Project Name: UMES Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Applicant: University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
Description: Funds will be used to convert underutilized facilities into a new Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UMES, which will provide entrepreneurial resources, business incubator spaces, a Maker's Space, and educational facilities. Services will be free to the public, with the ultimate purpose of bringing economic development to the region and supporting minority-owned small business.
Project Location: Princess Anne, MD
Amount Requested: $1,500,000