Baltimore POC businesses can apply for ,000 in BGE grants
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Baltimore POC businesses can apply for $20,000 in BGE grants

Baltimore businesses owned by people of color and women can now apply for $20,000 in grants. The money is coming as Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) invests $2 million in the program this year. Small businesses located in the utility’s service area can apply for the BGE Energizing Small Business Grant program through July 12.

Since its inception in 2021, the program has awarded more than $13 million in grants to 651 small businesses, part of an initiative to help the foundations of local economies succeed and thrive.

Historically underrepresented minority businesses, which often struggle to access capital, will be prioritized for funding. BGE is partnering with fintech platform Hello Alice to administer the grants.

Grant applicants must meet a number of requirements to be eligible. These include:

Be a for-profit business that has been in operation for at least one year at the start of your application, be a current BGE customer in good standing, have 25 or fewer employees, and have annual gross revenues of less than $7 million in 2023.

The latest financing comes from insufficient or expired capital, which is one of the main operational challenges for both new and mature small business owners. In this report showed that 76% of black entrepreneurs admitted that access to capital was a barrier.

In general, small business grants are often a source of funding that does not have to be repaid or accrue interest and fees like a loan. Businesses can use grants to cover specific needs, such as expansion, hiring employees, and other purposes. The downside is that a business may face a lot of competition in securing grants, as many interested applicants apply for them.

A subsidiary of Exelon Corp., BGE calls itself the largest natural gas and electricity provider in Maryland, serving more than 1.3 million electric customers and 700,000 natural gas customers.

More details and apply here.