LIFT Microloan Fund

Providing microloans to Howard County Small Businesses

The HCEDA’s Leveraging Investment for Future Transformation Fund, or “LIFT” Fund, enables HCEDA to provide microloans ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 to small businesses for a 3–5-year term. HCEDA also has resources at its Maryland Innovation Center (MIC) to supplement the funding, with the goal of better positioning the loan recipient for success. For example, if a small business wants to obtain a microloan and HCEDA determines that the owner need business coaching/training as a requirement, the owner will find resources available at the MIC.

The loan program primarily serves small businesses including minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, and other socially disadvantaged groups. The ideal candidate would be a Howard County business that is generating revenue, who is looking for funds to lift and empower their business towards growth.

Eligible Uses of Funds:

A business can use funds for working capital, inventory purchase, equipment purchases, improvement costs, or build-out/expansion costs or similar expenses. Please note: microloans are capped at $30,000.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Business must be located in Howard County.
  • Business must be operational for at least 1 year.
  • Cash flow must be sufficient to repay obligations.
  • Borrower must demonstrate ability to repay debts, as indicated by a good credit history (preferred credit score is 600 and above)
  • All individual business owner(s) who own 20% or more of the business must provide personal guarantees.
  • The analysis will be conducted on a case-by-case basis.
  • No prior bankruptcy within 7 years.

To Apply:

Please note: loan applications will be accepted starting on August 15, 2023.

Step 1: All potential candidates must complete the LIFT Fund Loan Application

Step 2: To answer question #6 of the application, candidates must fill out the LIFT Fund Application Form, which requires in-depth information.

Step 3:  Once complete, submit the Application Form to the Director, Business Incentives Programs via:

Mail to:
Director, Business Incentives Programs
6751 Columbia Gateway Dr. Suite 500
Columbia MD, 21046

Step 3: Immediately after application submission, submit a non-refundable application fee of $100 at: www.PayPal.Me/HCEDA

For additional information, please contact us via email.