WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) released their requests for Congressionally Directed Spending for projects under the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee for Fiscal Year 2022. The Senators’ requests will help strengthen local economic development and support workforce training programs. Senator Cardin is Chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. Senator Van Hollen serves as the Chair of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee.
“Maryland boasts the highest concentrations of minority- and women-owned small businesses in the country, so investing in our state’s HBCUs, community colleges and other minority serving institutions has been one of my highest priorities on the Small Business Committee,” said Senator Cardin, Small Business Committee Chair. “These appropriation requests will provide much-needed resources to our Maryland entrepreneurial ecosystem while our workers and small businesses recover from the effects of COVID-19. I am grateful to the local officials and nonprofits across the state who helped identify programs that target the communities that have faced historic barriers to business ownership and been particularly harmed by the pandemic. I remain committed to building federal capacity to boost our states ability to serve small businesses.”
“Across Maryland our workers and small businesses are still recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must continue to make investments that support their success and help them build back better — especially for those in our minority and historically excluded communities. That’s why we’ve partnered with nonprofits, governments, minority serving institutions, and universities across our state to identify programs that will expand opportunities for workers and help small businesses grow and thrive. I’ll be fighting to bring these funds directly to our communities, and I’ll continue pushing to provide the tools we need to recover, rebuild, and, ultimately, provide more jobs, higher wages and greater economic opportunity to all Marylanders,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.
PROJECT NAME: Baltimore Small Business Technical Assistance Network Infrastructure Support
Project Location: Baltimore City
Applicant: Baltimore Development Corporation
Amount Requested by the Senator: $1,700,000
Description: These funds will be used to provide technical assistance and support small businesses and community-based organizations in Baltimore City in order to obtain access to capital and sustain their operations.
PROJECT NAME: Bowie Business Innovation Center’s Center of Excellence for 8(a) Government Contracting
Project Location: Bowie, Maryland
Applicant: Bowie State University
Amount Requested by the Senator: $3 million
Description: Expand the existing work of the only 8(a) Accelerator Program in the country that currently provides diverse, socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs with customized training, mentorship, and networking opportunities that have allowed the 57 8(a) company graduates to win more than $31 million in federal contracts since December 2019. Additional funding will allow for the expansion and replication of the Bowie BIC 8(a) Accelerator Program model through partnerships with other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide. The Center will provide procurement capture strategy training, 8(a) mentorship programs, access to commercial online market intelligence tools, and access to legal expertise in government contracting, and new opportunities for student internships and faculty researchers. The Center will be a resource and clearinghouse for best practices in 8(a) government contracting and utilize the data analytics capabilities at Bowie State University. Awarding funds for the establishment of the Center will support the creation of successful, diverse, and inclusive government contracting activity that drives the generation of new jobs and wealth creation for the communities served by HBCUs.
PROJECT NAME: Loyola University Maryland: York Road Initiative
Project Location: Baltimore City
Applicant: Loyola University-Maryland
Amount Requested by the Senator: $675,000
Description: Funding will be used for continued development of the York Road corridor, including building small business capacity and hiring local residents to manage the business corridor, expand healthy food access programming, and work on infrastructure and capital projects to strengthen the commercial district.
PROJECT NAME: Mary Harvin Center Southern Bridge Workforce Center
Project Location: Baltimore City
Applicant: Mary Harvin Transformation Center
Amount Requested by the Senator: $4,000,000
Description: Funds will be used to develop a Workforce Development and Career Center in order to provide training and support for those seeking employment in East Baltimore.
PROJECT NAME: Small Business Development – Increasing Access to Government Contracts
Project Location: Prince George’s County
Applicant: People for Change Coalition
Amount Requested by the Senator: $350,000
Description: These funds will be used to provide workshop training, online resources, coaching, business partnerships, and hands-on activities to help small businesses navigate opportunities through local, state and federal government procurement and contracting processes.
PROJECT NAME: University of Maryland, College Park’s Maryland Economic Opportunity Center
Project Location: College Park, Maryland
Applicant: The University of Maryland, College Park
Amount Requested by the Senator: $2.25 million
Project Purpose: The Maryland Economic Opportunity Center (MEOC) will be the central hub for supporting efforts across the state to start, grow, and sustain businesses owned by minority, women, and other underserved business owners, most immediately to help them overcome pandemic-related challenges they now confront. MEOC proposes to serve a wide range of needs for entrepreneurs, including providing connections with external resources and coordinating assistance to address “gaps” in small business support programs. Through partnerships with colleges on campus, the MEOC will establish the Maryland Economic Opportunity Corps and pair paid interns with businesses to apply their academic lessons in support of real world business owners. The MEOC will also allow for engagement, mentorship, and networking opportunities between program participants. MEOC will fully wield the research strength of UMD to support underserved business owners and measure MEOC operations outcomes. Funding would allow the MEOC to hire staff for the Center, including full-time Navigators who would support underserved business owners through case management practices, identifying best available resources and potential collaborations with other MEOC supported businesses.