01/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/21/2021 08:12
Eligible businesses can receive grants of $20,000 to assist with pandemic recovery
BALTIMORE (Jan. 21, 2021) - Small businesses located within BGE's service area can now apply for a BGE Energizing Small Business Grant of $20,000. This grant 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 the backbone of Maryland's economy and are job creators, especially the historically underrepresented minority and women-owned businesses. These businesses deserve a boost to help their recovery from the pandemic's far-reaching impacts,' said BGE's senior vice president of Governmental and External Affairs, Rodney Oddoye. 'BGE's Energizing Small Business Grants are a critical program to help stabilize the communities we serve and positively impact many local businesses during these uncertain times.'
'The small business grants are a great complement to BGE's Customer Relief and Energy Infrastructure Investment Plan that freezes rates for our customers in 2021 and supports more than 26,000 jobs in Maryland,' said BGE CEO Carim Khouzami. 'The pandemic has affected our region in different ways and this multi-layered approach will reach our customers, businesses and communities in ways that will help them the most.'
BGE is partnering with Hello Alice, a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow, to provide the grants. All applicants gain access to Hello Alice's free COVID-19 Business Center to ensure consistent support and mentorship to all Maryland business owners.
'Small business owners employ more than 60% of Americans and it is time for us to give back to them. The BGE Energizing Small Business Grants will ensure that SMBs receive the funding and mentorship needed to forge ahead,' says Elizabeth Gore, Co-Founder and President of Hello Alice. 'Small business owners are continuing to hold our communities together despite persistent challenges in the new year. These grants will offer much needed relief to small businesses and we are eager to contribute to a better future for small businesses.'
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.
BGE is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility, providing safe and reliable energy delivery to more than 1.3 million electric customers and more than 680,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company was founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and remains headquartered in Baltimore City to this day. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Engage with the latest BGE stories on bgenow.com and connect with BGE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.