OSI-Baltimore and nine other funders have joined forces to fund the Baltimore Small Business Support Fund, which will help local women- and minority-owned business affected by the COVID pandemic access local, state, and federal sources of aid.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation, in partnership with the Baltimore Community Foundation, established the support fund in 2018 by “to address barriers in community lending that disproportionately affect entrepreneurs of color— and to work alongside related investment efforts.” As of earlier this year, the fund had raised more that $1.8 million. In the wake of the pandemic, OSI joined the other funders in contributing to the fund, which will now focus on helping local minority-owned business tap resources to help them stay afloat.
Mayor Jack Young announced on Friday that the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development and the Baltimore Development Corporation would help to set up the assistance network with support from funders including the Aaron and Lillie Straus Foundation, Abell Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Goldman Sachs Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Opportunity Finance Network, PNC Bank and the Surdna Foundation, in addition to OSI.
“Small business is the lifeblood of Baltimore City’s economy, and these local employers are experiencing unprecedented challenges to their operations and business models as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said in a statement. “I am thankful the City is able to expand our capacity to serve small businesses by partnering with our local philanthropic and non-profit organizations and act as a conduit to these additional resource providers.”
More details about the collaboration are in the Baltimore Business Journal’s story on the collaboration.