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MCE Awarded a $50,000 USDA Grant to Assist Rural Businesses

MCE has been awarded a $50,000 grant the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its RBEG (Rural Business Enterprises Grant) program to assist micro-businesses on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to grow into sizable businesses generating employment opportunities. MCE (Maryland Capital Enterprises, Inc.) will use the grant to support its Incubator Without Walls (IWW) project that provides technical assistance and support to some 20 businesses that it has identified as ones poised to grow to the next level and help the area’s economy grow. The project was launched last year with funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.

MCE’s IWW project assists businesses like Paula Green & Associates H&R Block franchise in Princess Anne expand to add three offices in Eastern Shore Virginia; like Burley Oak Brewery in Berlin to expand to bottled beer, increasing its capacity and serving a larger geographic area; like Kent Island Crab Cakes on Kent Island to expand its production and upgrade its website to grow its online sales to nation-wide; and like BDK, Inc. Internet technology company to expand from its home-based operation in Hurlock to offices in an Easton office park, acquire a New Jersey firm, launch its cloud storage operation, and more than triple its employees.

“We have discovered that several businesses that come to us for financing to expand need all sorts of other assistance to make the expansion successful,” said MCE President & CEO Joe Morse. “We were fortunate to convince a couple of funding agencies of that and how MCE could help.” MCE is still seeking to expand the project.

MCE is a non-profit micro-business finance and assistance agency that provides loans and assistance to small businesses on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and in the Baltimore-Annapolis area. Based in Salisbury, with an office in Baltimore, the firm is certified by the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution. It is also certified as an Intermediary Microlender for the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, and the State of Maryland. Along with the IWW project it operates Women’s Business Centers in Salisbury and Baltimore, conducts business classes, provides business consulting, and manages a loan portfolio of over $4 million. For more information, visit: www.marylandcapital.com.

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