BGE has awarded $2,460,000 to 123 small businesses located in Central Maryland during the fifth round of BGE’s Energizing Small Business Grants program. This program is part of BGE’s $15 million pledge to assist small businesses with COVID-19 relief and recovery, and is a multi-year commitment expected to run through at least 2023.

The program prioritizes businesses operated by historically underrepresented minority groups often challenged with access to capital ― with 70 percent of grants provided to businesses owned by people of color and 70 percent owned by women. Military-affiliated owners account for 22 percent of grantees.

BGE is partnering with Hello Alice, a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow; and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that supports entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. and around the world, to provide the grants. All applicants gain access to Hello Alice’s free COVID-19 Business Resource Center and opportunities through GEN to ensure consistent support and mentorship to all business owners.

“[During] the past two years, small businesses have faced challenges on many different fronts. The need to provide access to capital for our New Majority entrepreneurs, who have historically been left behind, is more important than ever,” noted Elizabeth Gore, president and co-founder of Hello Alice. “We are proud to again partner with BGE and GEN to provide $20,000 grants to 123 Maryland-based small businesses that are making an impact in their communities.”