City launches local business stimulus program in partnership with investment companies

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Baltimore City has partnered with two investment companies to provide $10 million in potentially forgivable loans to small businesses facing economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced Tuesday.

New York City-based investment bank and financial services company Goldman Sachs and Lendistry, a company that provides loans to small businesses, will help Baltimore City provide the loans through the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program.

The program will be funded through the recently passed federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package, as well as through Goldman Sachs’ Small Business Stimulus Package, city officials said.

Baltimore City’s more than 12,000 small businesses account for more than 150,000 local jobs, Young said.

He said partnerships with organizations like Goldman Sachs and Lendistry will help the city connect small businesses with needed resources and improve their economic outlooks amid the pandemic.

“It is important that we help our small businesses stabilize, reopen, and return to operating at full capacity to get Baltimore City residents back to work and restart our local economy,” Young said in a statement.

To apply, business owners should have 12 months of payroll documentation; the primary owner’s photo identification; recent tax returns or financial statements; and other corporate documents such as articles of incorporation and bylaws.

Small business owners can download the application for the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program here.

They can also visit baltimoretogether.com to access more information about Paycheck Protection Program resources and lenders authorized by the Small Business Administration.

Goldman Sachs’ Small Business Emergency Stimulus Program, which is seeded with $10 million from the company’s 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, will target underserved businesses to receive stimulus funding, city officials said.

During an online press conference on Tuesday, Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO David Solomon said the company launched its 10,000 Small Businesses initiative more than a decade ago and brought the initiative to Baltimore in 2017 through an investment partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Since then, the program has served more than 300 Baltimore business owners, Solomon said.

“Unfortunately today these businesses and many others are at risk,” he said. “When dealing with a crisis of this magnitude, public-private partnerships are critical.”

Goldman Sachs is committing $10 million for loans to Baltimore’s small businesses as part of their recent $550 million commitment to aid small businesses across the nation during the pandemic, Solomon said.

Solomon said that financial package includes $500 million in emergency small business loans; $25 million in grants for community development financial institutions and other mission-driven lenders; and $25 million in grants for U.S. communities and organizations in need.

“We are committing to helping Lendistry and other grassroots lenders have the capital needed to reach as many Baltimore businesses as possible, and to have the resources needed to build their capacity and increase lending volumes to maximize their impact,” he said.

Lendistry CEO Everett K. Sands said in the online press conference that his company will help provide loans to businesses not in Lendistry’s portfolio, including many minority-owned businesses, so they can “keep employees on payroll, survive and then thrive.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said he has worked with Young “as we try to defeat the coronavirus and also deal with the economic pain and fallout that it’s caused.” He hopes the CARES Act and this new program will help small businesses stay afloat.

“Small businesses are of course vital to our economy and small businesses are taking a huge hit right now because all of us are working hard to defeat the coronavirus through social distancing,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re there for small businesses in their hour of need.”

Marcus Dieterle


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