Baltimore, MD. October 1, 2020
Baltimore Community Lending (BCL) is pleased to announce the merger of the organization with its subsidiary, Baltimore Business Lending, in order to better serve local real estate developers and small business owners. Since 1989, BCL has provided vital loan capital for small and medium-sized real estate developers who revitalize Baltimore communities. In 2017, the organization created BBL as a subsidiary to address the need for small business economic development to ensure the viability and stability of stressed neighborhoods.
Since it began lending in 2018, BBL provided $1,227,200 in capital to 21 startup and growing businesses that would otherwise be unable to qualify for traditional lending resources. In the same timeframe, BCL invested $16 million into the community and financed 229 units. This tremendous success drove the merger of the two entities into one to effect a stronger impact on communities. The real estate division will work with different types of borrowers and provide financing to develop affordable housing, community facilities, and mixed use developments, while the small business division will address the primary barriers to credit to small businesses in Baltimore City, especially minority and women owned businesses, by providing flexible loan terms, technical assistance support, and an ecosystem of small business lenders and bankers.
“The goal for the merger here is to increase synergies across BCL and BBL brands, teams, and impact. Together, BCL and BBL combined entities will bring great resources to community development in the city of Baltimore. The strategy is to ensure the two business lines are working in concert in an efficient way,” said Watchen Harris Bruce, President and CEO of Baltimore Community Lending.
Bonnie Crockett, Director of Baltimore Business Lending, added, “Merging BBL and BCL will strengthen our small business lending position in the market and will allow us to quickly grow our outreach and portfolio, building on the strength of BCL’s decades of experience and community reputation in the Baltimore market.”