Maryland Capital Enterprises, Inc. (MCE) is honored to announce that it has been selected by Wells Fargo Bank to receive a $750,000 grant, as part of the Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, to provide operating support for MCE, and to direct resources to small businesses negatively impacted by Covid-19. Through the Open for Business Fund, Wells Fargo provides support for nonprofit organizations who serve small businesses, particularly businesses owned by underrepresented individuals — a group disproportionately affected by the pandemic — to provide needed capital, offer technical support, and develop long-term resiliency programs.
MCE is a private, nonprofit, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides access to capital and free technical assistance to small businesses located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County. Our mission is to empower businesses to grow, create jobs, and generate wealth across Maryland. MCE is the only CDFI in the State of Maryland with all four lender certifications: United States Department of Treasury Intermediary Lender, a Small Business Administration (SBA) Intermediary Lender, an United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Intermediary Lender, and a State of Maryland Departments of Commerce (DOC) and Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Intermediary Lender. We are also proud to operate two Women’s Business Centers – one in Salisbury and one opening in Baltimore City.
A portion of the Wells Fargo grant funds will be used for businesses impacted by Covid-19 in our service area. MCE will use the funds to provide 40, $5,000 grants, for small businesses with 10 employees or less whose operations have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus. Maurice Ames, MCE’s Executive Director, states “We are excited to be selected by Wells Fargo as a recipient of these important grant funds, which will be used to help Maryland’s smallest businesses respond to challenges and persevere during this unprecedented time”.
It is MCE’s hope that microenterprises will use this funding to not only stay open, but to thrive during this critical period in Maryland’s economy. Merchants may use these funds for a wide variety of needs, including for rent or mortgage, payroll, utilities, vendor payments, inventory, and more.
“The Open for Business Fund enlists the care and expertise of organizations like Maryland Capital Enterprises to urgently assist the small business community with the capital and technical assistance needed to preserve jobs throughout Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County.” said Jenny Flores, Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “By working with these organizations and other CDFIs, we can ensure that local minority-owned small businesses receive the resources necessary to navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 at this critical time.”
MCE wants “Mom and Pop” type shops, who may have been previously overlooked by other Covid-relief resources, to use these funds in their area of greatest need. Women, minority, disabled, and veteran-owned businesses are encouraged to apply.