(Washington, D.C.)—U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today issued a statement after the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that Morgan State University and Salisbury-based SBA microlender Maryland Capital Enterprises (MCE) were awarded grants to operate Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) in Maryland. The two additional WBCs in Baltimore and Salisbury will provide greater geographic coverage in Maryland—joining the existing WBC in Rockville. The WBC in Salisbury has been operating since April and has helped many small business owners navigate COVID-19, including helping them secure Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

“The two new Women’s Business Centers will be a great addition to Maryland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Ranking Member Cardin said. “These centers already have been helping Maryland small business owners navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as preparing them for the lasting impact of the virus on our economy.”

“Maryland proudly boasts the highest concentration of women-owned businesses in the country. I was proud to work closely with leaders in Maryland’s small business community to secure these resources for our state’s women entrepreneurs. I thank SBA for making this critical, timely investment, which will increase Maryland’s capacity to provide small businesses with expert mentorship, relationships, technical assistance, and access to capital they need to grow and create jobs.”

Senator Cardin has been urging SBA to provide more resources to create additional WBCs in Maryland since May of last year. In December, Cardin joined SBA officials and Maryland small business leaders for a briefing on the application process for organizations interested in competing for a grant to host a WBC.  

The SBA WBC program is a national network of more than 100 locations that offer one-on-one counseling and entrepreneurial development training to women and other underserved entrepreneurs seeking to start and grow their small businesses.