Baltimore County offers a variety of direct financing programs and tax credits to help grow your business, encourage investment and job creation in the County. Whether you are a new business, opening for the first time or have been open for decades—we offer programs that work for any industry and any size company.
To learn more about any of these tax credits and finance programs, contact a Baltimore County business development representative by calling 410-887-8000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
County Financing Programs
Private sector financing is leveraged with Baltimore County gap and flexible financing programs to help businesses expand and grow. Additionally, the County can help you access state, federal and private financing for new and expanding businesses.
The Boost Loan Fund Program provides access to capital for targeted businesses including small, minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses in the Baltimore Metro area. The new fund is capitalized by Maryland casino tax revenue and can provide loans from $50,000 to $250,000.
The Advanced Technology Loan Fund provides loans to technology based businesses and businesses acquiring technology equipment. Maximum loan amount is $250,000. Funds may be used to finance the acquisition and improvement of land, buildings, plant and equipment, including new construction or facility expansion.
In order to the reduce the cost burden associated with the purchase and installation of security equipment and building improvements that are required under the Secure All Firearms Effectively (SAFE) Act, the following programs are available to Baltimore County businesses:
Matching Grant Program
Baltimore County will provide a matching grant in an amount of up to $10,000 for the purchase of security equipment and improvements that are required under the SAFE Act. Example: If the project cost is $10,000, the business will contribute $5,000 and the County will provide a $5,000 grant. If the total project cost is $25,000 the County will provide a $10,000 grant.
Commercial Loan Program
Baltimore County will provide a commercial loan in order to assist County Businesses to comply with the SAFE Act. Proceeds of the loan can be used for the purchase of security equipment and for security improvements to real property. Loan applications will be reviewed and approved based upon the financial strength of the applicant and the available collateral to secure the loan. The outline of the program is as follows:
- Term Loan: five years
- Interest Rate: zero percent
- Personal Guarantees are required
All applicants must be in the process of obtaining the approval of the security plan by the Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD). Funding will not take place until the BCoPD provides a written approval of the security plan.
The Small Business Loan Fund provides real estate and fixed-asset loans through a partnership between Baltimore County and the area's leading financial institutions. The maximum loan amount is $1 million, or 40 percent of the project cost, whichever is less.
Applicants must obtain a loan commitment in an amount equal to at least 50 percent of the project cost from a bank participating in the Small Business Loan Fund:
- Bank of America
- First National Bank
- Fulton Bank
- CFG Community Bank
- Chesapeake Bank of Maryland
- Orrstown Bank
- Howard Bank
- M&T Bank
- Northwest Bank
- Old Line Bank
- PNC Bank
- Peoples Bank
- Revere Bank
- Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan
- Sandy Spring Bank
- SunTrust Bank
- TD Bank
- The Harbor Bank of Maryland
- Wells Fargo
- Farmers & Merchants
Business Growth Loans are direct loans or loan guarantees for new or expanding industrial or commercial businesses. Maximum loan amount is $250,000. Funds may be used to finance the acquisition and improvement of land, buildings, plant and equipment, including new construction or facility expansion.
Baltimore County offers loans for qualifying waterfront businesses in Baltimore County. The funds can be used for exterior improvements including: bulkhead repair, slip renovations, signage, landscaping, facade improvements, etc. Funds are available for the lessor of 90 percent of the project cost, or $75,000. Loan terms are five years with zero percent interest.
Building Improvement Loan Program (BILP) provides up to a $30,000 interest-free loan which can be used for exterior improvements such as awnings, landscaping and signage for businesses in one of 18 Commercial Revitalization Districts. This loan can be combined with other economic development incentives for larger projects. Some minor interior and equipment improvements may also be financed.
Contact us for more information about BILP and to download an application.
Tax Exempt Bond financing is available to manufacturers and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Bond proceeds may be used to finance the acquisition and improvement of land, buildings, plant and equipment, including new construction or facility expansion. Bond financing is available from $2.5 million to a maximum of $10 million.
Other Financing Programs
In addition to Baltimore County financing programs, our partner organizations also offer options for financing.
MIDFA encourages private sector investments with insurance, and the issuance of tax-exempt and taxable revenue bonds. Insurance reduces the lender's credit risk. All projects must be in a Priority Funding Area. While the transaction size is generally not limited, the credit enhancement is subject to the applicable program limits.
Whether contributing intellectual or financial resources, TEDCO qualifies concepts, management teams, and the potential market value of entrepreneurial innovation by supporting the enterprises with the greatest potential for success.
PACE offers loans for energy efficient and renewable energy projects for commercial, industrial, agricultural, hospitality, retail and multifamily properties. Loans are provided by private lenders and repaid as a long-term surcharge on the real property tax bill. The surcharge stays with the property upon change in ownership.
The County participates in the statewide MD-PACE program, administered by PACE Financial Servicing. Commercial property owners, contractors and lenders may visit the MD-PACE website or call the Maryland Clean Energy Center at 443-949-8505.
The following are tax credits and incentives you might be eligible for right now.
Enterprise Zones are intended to encourage investment in distressed areas by helping to assist existing businesses to expand and to attract new companies investing in property and create jobs.
Baltimore County offers both employment and real property tax credits for businesses located within any of our three enterprise zones. This credit offers a reduction on your property tax bill as a result of major improvements. The credit also offers deductions on your state income tax bill for creating new jobs.
For more details about the tax credit, please see our Baltimore County Enterprise Zone Information Sheet.
View Enterprise Zones
There are three ways to view Enterprise Zones:
- Use the MyNeighborhood GIS mapping tool to locate and learn more about Enterprise Zones in the County.
- Download a map of all Enterprise Zone locations in the County.
- Download detailed maps of all three zones:
If you are interested in applying for the credit, complete the Enterprise Zone Application.
Baltimore County's Commercial Revitalization Districts (CRD) are the "front doors" to our desired established communities. They offer a shopping and entertainment experience where family-owned business and national retail chains are neighbors. The CRD program of the Department of Planning offers three incentives for businesses located within any of the 17 districts throughout the County.
- Real Estate Improvement Projects: Real property tax credit for major improvements.
- Building Improvement Loan Program (BILP): Interest-free loan up to $30,000 for façade improvements.
- Architect on Call: Free architectural design services are available for facade improvements such as awnings, landscaping and signage.
The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.
Bwtech, the business incubator for University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), is part of the tax incentive program called the Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise (RISE) Zone. This tax incentive provides businesses with a $1,000 credit on their state income tax for creating a new job. If your business is located at bwtech, you are eligible for the tax credit. To apply for the credit, please complete the RISE Zone Application and submit it back to our office via the instructions on the application. Once the application is submitted you will receive a RISE Zone Certification Letter for your company.
If your company plans to create more than 25 new jobs at a single Maryland location over the next two years, you may qualify for a state tax credit for each new job added. Credit up to $1,000 per job or up to $1,500 per job in Enterprise Zones is available for certain industries. Tax credits are subject to eligibility and require approved applications.
Baltimore County is a designated Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) for businesses who are involved in international trade. If your business is importing products from overseas and paying taxes and duties, a foreign trade zone activation might save so you some time and money. Foreign Trade Zones allow domestic activity involving foreign items to take place as if it were outside U.S. Customs territory. Duty-free treatment is accorded to items that are re-exported and duty payment is deferred on items sold in the U.S. market, thus offsetting Customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with producers located in the United States.