BALTIMORE –U.S. Senators Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, along with U.S. Representatives Elijah E. Cummings, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes (all D-Md.) today joined Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet to announce federal resources from the SBA to assist small business owners that were affected by the unrest in Baltimore during the week of April 27.
The SBA resources include additional funding for microloans and PRIME grants, technical assistance and government contracting emphasis, an increase for entrepreneurial development funding, and a targeted push to bring high-tech innovation to Baltimore.
“With hundreds of businesses harmed by rioting and tens of millions of dollars in expenses and lost economic activity in Baltimore, it is essential that the city receives strong support from federal agencies like the SBA,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. “In recent meetings with Team Maryland at the White House, the Obama Administration expressed its unwavering support to Baltimore’s recovery efforts, and today’s announcement underscores that commitment. We applaud the SBA and Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet for acting swiftly to help our community.”
“We’ve got to work together and not just do it with platitudes,” Senator Mikulski said. “The neighborhoods are crying out for it. People who are counting on us need to have a government on their side and a real opportunity ladder based on hard work. That’s what this assistance from the SBA is about – keeping businesses open and opportunity growing.”
“I thank Administrator Contreras-Sweet for the SBA’s immediate response and commitment to helping Baltimore businesses recover after the unrest in our city,” Congressman Cummings said. “Strong local businesses create strong communities by providing jobs and access to the goods and services that residents need to care for their families. The funding for grants, loans, and technical assistance, will help our businesses re-open their doors and continue to serve our community.”
“The businesses that will benefit from these loans are the heart and soul of the community – not only do they provide valuable goods and services, they provide invaluable jobs,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “For many small firms, the SBA may be the only possible source of the capital needed to reopen their doors.”
“When it comes to providing jobs, goods and services to the people of Baltimore, small businesses play an integral role,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “The resources offered by the SBA will not only help small businesses in Baltimore rebuild, but also help strengthen our city and its economy.”
The SBA has already set up Assistance Operations Centers for small businesses affected by the unrest to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.