Article - Housing and Community Development
(a) The Department shall:
(1) administer the Business Development Program;
(2) adopt regulations to carry out the Business Development Program, including a process to designate an area as a food desert under subsection (c) of this section; and
(3) make a reasonable, good faith effort to make 25% of the Business Development Program loans and grants to microenterprises.
(b) The Department may:
(1) sell, assign, or otherwise dispose of a Program loan or revenue from a loan on terms and conditions acceptable to the Department, including selling loans at a discount, if the maximum sale proceeds in any fiscal year do not exceed limits that the Department sets by regulation;
(2) apply the proceeds received from a sale, assignment, or other disposition under item (1) of this subsection to the Fund; and
(3) pledge a Program loan as security for any:
(i) business project loan, bond, or security that is issued, made, or purchased by the Community Development Administration under Title 4 of this article; or
(ii) insurance, guaranty, or credit enhancement on a Program loan or business project under § 4–223 of this article.
(c) The Secretary, on the recommendation of the Interagency Food Desert Advisory Committee established under § 6–308.2 of this subtitle, may designate an area as a food desert after considering the following factors:
(1) availability of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy foods in the area;
(2) income levels of local residents;
(3) transportation needs of local residents and the availability of public transportation;
(4) comments from local governments; and
(5) any other factors that the Department considers relevant.