Small Business

Secretary Gill: Saluting small businesses

Earlier this month, we saluted Maryland small business owners and advocates at the 32nd annual Maryland Small Business Week Awards lunch. Among this year’s winners was one of Maryland Commerce’s own team members Les Hall, who won Minority Small Business Champion of the Year.

The event underscores the importance of Maryland’s small business community and the tremendous impact they have on our economy. In fact, Maryland’s small businesses make up roughly 97 percent of all employers in the state and provide jobs for 1.1 million people.

Here at Commerce, we have a toolbox full of loan and financing options and other programs that can give businesses the boost they need.

  • The Small, Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Loan Fund receives a percentage of Maryland casino revenues to make loans to small businesses – retailers, restaurants, manufacturers, and IT firms – across the state.
  • With its contract financing, guaranty fund, surety bond, and equity participation Investment programs, the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority assists small and minority-owned companies that cannot obtain traditional bank financing.
  • Advance Maryland, a partnership with the National Center for Economic Gardening, helps second-stage entrepreneurs propel their businesses to the next level. Working with a team of highly-skilled research specialists, selected companies develop recommendations and next steps to achieve the next level of growth.

If you are interested in starting a small business, or need guidance on growing your small business, I invite you to contact our Office of Small Business Resources at 410-767-6391 or visit Our dedicated team can help you navigate local, state and federal government regulations and processes; identify and connect to state and federal resources; understand permitting and licensing regulations; and access state and federal financing programs.


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The Author

Mike Gill

Mike Gill


  1. June 30, 2016 at 5:10 pm —

    I would like to meet with Secretary Gill to discuss how he can help me to get more Maryland Businesses to support a small Maryland Non-Profit organization that is the recognized leader in Maryland for programs and services that support the independence of older adults by using the time and talents of our members, leadership and staff. We help our members remain actively involved in their community through transportation, member care, home repair program, as well as, a meaningful social network of care. We don’t have advertising funds and we need our name out there. Partners In Care Maryland. Thank you!

    • July 1, 2016 at 1:51 pm —

      Mandy, please keep an eye out. Someone from the Maryland Department of Aging will be reaching out to speak with you. Thanks.

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