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Baltimore Gas and Electric Awards 44 Small Businesses $20,000 Grants for Pandemic Recovery

  • Dec 8, 2021
Targeted News Service (Press Releases)

BALTIMORE, Maryland, Dec. 8 -- Baltimore Gas and Electric, a subsidiary of Exelon, issued the following news release:

Forty-four small businesses received grants totaling $880,000 during the third round of BGE's Energizing Small Business Grants program. This program is part of BGE's $15 million pledge to assist small businesses with COVID-19 relief and recovery and is a multi-year commitment expected to run through at least 2023.

"Small businesses are foundational to our region's economy and are still being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Energizing Small Business Grants program aims to help strengthen these businesses so they can continue serving the community," said BGE CEO Carim Khouzami. "We're also supporting the economy through our Customer Relief and Energy Infrastructure Investment Plan which froze customer rates in 2021 and supports more than 26,000 jobs in Maryland. We are still dealing with new variants of COVID-19 so this multi-layered approach will continue to support our customers, businesses and communities going into 2022."

Of the 44 recipients (click here for a full list of recipients), 30% are in the healthcare and wellness industry, 20% in food and beverage services, and 14% in consumer goods and retail. A majority of the grants went to businesses owned by historically marginalized groups, more than 60% went to women-owned businesses, and nearly 20% of business owners are affiliated with the military.

"The BGE grant will serve as both a catalyst for job creation and a buttress against the challenges our business has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the BGE team for supporting small businesses with real solutions at just the right time," said Bobby Hand, grant recipient and co-founder of BrookieGirl.

BGE partnered with Hello Alice, a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow, and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, a Washington, DC-based organization that supports entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. and around the world, to provide the grants. All applicants gain access to Hello Alice's free COVID-19 Business Resource Center to ensure consistent support and mentorship to all business owners.

"BGE's commitment to supporting small businesses in central Maryland has created a lasting impact on the 176 outstanding small businesses awarded grants so far. Through follow up surveys, we've learned that in addition to investing the funds in general operating expenses, payroll, and marketing, 40% of recipients applied the grant to hiring new employees, further strengthening the community BGE serves," said Elizabeth Gore, co-founder and president of Hello Alice.

In addition to small business grants, BGE's comprehensive efforts to support Marylanders during the COVID-19 pandemic have included an additional $1.5 million contribution to the Fuel Fund of Maryland, $1 million in funding to county-administered business pandemic relief funds, expansion of BGE's Workforce Collaborative infrastructure academy to train approximately 600 local residents for job placement over the next three years, and extending flexible payment arrangement plans to help qualifying customers to maintain their electric and gas service. BGE and the Exelon companies in Maryland directed $1.25 million to Maryland relief organizations, including the Maryland Food Bank, United Way of Central Maryland, PCs for People, and the Baltimore Community Foundation. The Energizing Small Business Grants program and all nonprofit contributions are made using shareholder dollars and are not reflected in customer bills.

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