New Loans Available for Small Businesses in Baltimore

If you’re a small business in Baltimore, you’ll certainly want to take note. In recent news, Baltimore just announced a new loan program for small Baltimore businesses. The program is called the BaltimoreMICRO and it will offer loans of $5000-$30,000 to businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue and with a personal credit score of at least 650.

As Rawlings-Blake said in the press release for the new loan program, “Baltimore’s neighborhoods that have experienced growth and revival in the past few years are known not only for their unique homes and character, but also for their small businesses, including stores and restaurants. They bring residents together and create a buzz that attracts people from throughout the region. We want that to happen in more of Baltimore’s neighborhoods, and we must do what we can to support that.”

The loan is being administered through the Baltimore Development Corporation and is funded with a $250,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and with $125,000 in assistance from the city.

Maryland Chamber of Commerce Recognizes Philanthropic Companies

On Friday, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and the Baltimore Business Journal recognized three companies for their philanthropies. They handed out the awards at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Maryland Chapter Philanthropy Day Luncheon that took place at the Marriot Waterfront in Baltimore.

The Hartman Executive Advisors in Columbia were given the small employer winner for their philanthropic efforts. They host an annual day of service where their employees and families collaborate for charitable work.

Dataprise won the award for the midsize employer. They support St. Luke’s House, Community of Hope, SOS Children’s Village and others.

The winners of the large employer award were the American Sugar Refining (Domino Sugar) company. They support charities like Our Daily Bread, Make-A-Wish, Blue Water Baltimore and others.

Others who were honored include Edward St. John as the 2012 Outstanding Philanthropist, W. P. Carey Foundation as the 2012 Outstanding Foundation and Betsy Nelson for the Community Impact Award.

Praise for Waste Management from Wildlife Habitat Council

Recently, in Baltimore, the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) announced that Waste Management has added eight new WHC certifications. The announcements were made during the 24th Annual Symposium called Working for a Greener World.

As Margaret O’Gorman, WHC President said, “WHC members continue to raise the bar for conservation success. We connect corporations, conservation and community to create habitat and increase biodiversity. The projects being honored today are the best examples of our model at work. Congratulations to Waste Management for its successful efforts towards habitat enhancement and biodiversity.”

As Waste Management President and CEO David Steiner weighed in, “Waste Management first began working with WHC because our employees wanted to get involved and this organization helped us do that. Our relationship has turned into one that truly benefits Waste Management and its communities. Through the WHC programs we feel we are making a difference as a trusted and valued partner to our customers and communities.”



Baltimore Area College Senior with Cerebral Palsy Plays Soccer Competitively

Kyle Kauffman does not let his cerebral palsy get in the way of his life.  He boasts a high school diploma and now, a dorm room at Stevenson University in Maryland. However, despite his optimistic attitude, there are still some things he has not been able to do until now – including playing soccer for his college team.

That recently changed.  Describing the game as “the most beautiful sport there is,” 21-year-old Kauffman represented his college when they honored the manager of their team – the Division III Mustangs.  According to Bradley Davis, team defender, Kauffman truly earned this right since he has been working hard for the team in other capacities and is incredibly knowledgeable on the subject of soccer. The fact that he wore No. 1 on his shirt when he went out onto the field was also perfectly fitting as Davis said “he’s No. 1 in my heart.”  Kauffman has been doing a ton of work for the team for the last four years, including laundry, ball inflating, and more; jobs he never complains about.  Naturally, Kauffman was very excited to go onto the field through the Mustangs’ tunnel’s swirling smoke and booming music.  He didn’t care if he scored or not; he just wanted to play, to be out there, be one of the guys. And the fact that everyone supported him attaining his dream, meant a lot to him.

According to Coach John Plevyak, Kauffman worked incredibly hard to get ready for this one game.  No-one sees him as “disabled.” As he explained, “I was born this way for some reason. I don’t know what it is yet, but you’ve got to take what you’re given and run with it.  Am I angry that I’m stuck with (cerebral palsy)? No. But when I see kids who waste the soccer talent they have, I do get mad at them. I won’t say so, but I’ll think it.”

At the end of the game, Kyle was “walking around on cloud nine,” which wasn’t surprising since the Division III Mustangs won 3-1.  But it wasn’t just about winning – for him it was about being there, partaking in his dream sport.  Kauffman is a true inspiration to others – whether disabled or not – to enjoy life as much as possible.  The players said they won’t forget him.  But senior midfielder Ryan Pierce said, “his parents told us they were glad that we had taken him in, but really, it was Kyle who took us in.”

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

The 11th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk was on Sunday in Baltimore. It started at 33rd Street in Ednor Gardens-Lakeside and was a four mile walk. 7000 people participated and they raised over $400,000 for breast cancer research.

The American Cancer Society was on hand at the walk, looking for recruits for its long-lasting prevention study. They are looking for health and lifestyle information from 300,000 Americans to help them to find clues about cancer and ways to battle it. The Society is half-way to its enrollment goals.

Many of the walking participants were wearing pink, the color for remembering breast cancer. They were walking in groups and showing support for those in need. Gloria Crockett, the state vice president of the ACS said that the annual walk in Baltimore usually brings in about 400 cancer survivors as part of the walk.  As Crockett said, “It’s about celebrating survivorship. And also, it’s about awareness.”

The next sign up location for the long-term study will be Harford County in November.

DuClaw Brewing Co. Moving to Baltimore County

DuClaw Brewing Co. has just announced that it will be leasing a 62,000 square foot space in Baltimore County as its new headquarters and brewery. They will move more than 20 employees from their Abingdon location to the industrial building at 8901 Yellow Brick Road in Rosedale, as CEO David Benfield reported.

Adding to the economy in Baltimore County, they are hoping to hire up to 35 more people for their production, distribution, sales and marketing jobs and to invest $3.8 million in the relocation.  They have been looking for a new spot for a year, during which their sales nearly doubled.

As Benfield said, “Our world’s changed from trying to convince people to try some of the crazy beers we make to having people push for us to make more kinds.”  They are projecting that they will sell 7000 barrels of beer this year, which is an increase from the 3700 they sold in 2011.

Certainly, Dan Gunderson, director of Baltimore County’s Department of Economic Development, is hoping that the move for DuClaw will signal more financial development for the country’s eastern side.

Baltimore Aquarium Teams Up with SUDS

The Baltimore Aquarium is responsible for more than just entertaining sweaty, electricity-less families this week; working with the SUDS diving program, it provides an outlet for amputee servicemen and women while working to strengthen their mobility.

SUDS is an organization that works to improve the quality of life of veterans who lost limbs while serving our country. The program sends the injured warriors to scuba dive at the Baltimore Aquarium, connecting them with the institute’s animals, including the giant sea turtle that is missing a flipper.

The program’s website explains their mission:

“Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, is designed to improve the lives of injured service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. By training the warriors in a challenging and rewarding activity it can help facilitate the rehabilitation process and promote mobility. Offering this venue provides the service member with a sport they can enjoy throughout their life.”