Article - Housing and Community Development
(a) (1) A small business, nonprofit organization, or microenterprise may apply for financial assistance under the Business Development Program.
(2) The Department shall review each application.
(b) An applicant may qualify for financial assistance for a project in a priority funding area or an eligible opportunity zone if the application demonstrates that:
(1) the financial assistance from the Fund is the minimum amount necessary to make the project financially feasible;
(2) the project is ready to proceed when it receives financial assistance from the Business Development Program; and
(3) any food desert project includes a plan to seek out sources of Maryland–grown produce and Maryland produced foods.
(c) (1) The Department shall provide written notice to the political subdivision in which the proposed project is located.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, the Department may not approve an application unless the political subdivision in which the proposed project is located approves the application by:
(i) resolution; or
(ii) letter, delivered to the Department by the political subdivision’s authorized designee, expressing support of the plan or project.
(3) If the Department does not receive notice of approval or denial of an application from the affected jurisdictions within 45 days after notice of the proposed project is given in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Department may approve the application.
(d) Financial assistance under the Business Development Program may be provided to a small business, nonprofit organization, or microenterprise as:
(1) a grant;
(2) a loan;
(3) a reduction in the principal obligation of or interest rate on a loan or portion of a loan;
(4) a prepayment of interest on a subordinate or superior loan or portion of a loan;
(5) an assurance;
(6) a guarantee; or
(7) any other form of credit enhancement.
(e) (1) The Department shall reserve at least the lesser of $5,000,000 or the annual capital appropriation for the Fund to make financial assistance available to projects located in sustainable communities.
(2) The Department may meet the funding obligations for sustainable communities and food deserts by using any financial assistance available to the Department that is authorized to be used for these projects.