Neighborhood BusinessWorks

Neighborhood BusinessWorks loan program provides flexible financing to new or expanding small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Sustainable Communities and Priority Funding Areas throughout the state.

Who Can Apply

Maryland-based small businesses (as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration​), local development corporations and nonprofit organizations whose activities contribute to a broader revitalization effort, and whose projects are intended to promote investment in commercial districts or town centers. Local governments are not eligible applicants​.

Eligible Projects and Uses of Funds

  • Mixed-use projects combining residential and commercial uses in the same building
  • New construction or rehabilitation
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Certain other costs associated with opening or expanding a small business
  • Real estate acquisition
  • Manufacturing
  • Service providers
  • Retail

Note: A Minority Business Enterprise Plan is required for those projects where Neighborhood BusinessWorks funds will exceed $250,000 for construction or rehabilitation.​

Project Criteria

  • Project must be located in a Sustainable Community or Priority Funding Area
  • Project viability and potential impact on the neighborhood
  • First floor business or retail space use that generates street level activity in mixed use projects
  • Improvements to a vacant or under-utilized building or site
  • Readiness to proceed
  • Cash flow and collateral

Priority is given to projects that strengthen neighborhood commercial districts and are part of a greater revitalization strategy.

The following types of projects and activities will not be considered for financing:

  • Residential or transient living facilities (other than mixed-use projects described in eligible projects section)
  • Facilities such as community halls, fire stations, hospitals, colleges or universities
  • Adult bookstores, adult video shops, other adult entertainment facilities, gambling facilities, gun shops, liquor stores, massage parlors, pawn shops, tanning salons, or tattoo parlors​

Loan Terms

  • Loan amounts up to $5 million
  • Interest rate is based on an underwriting analysis
  • Flexible loan terms up to 30 years, depending on use and loan amount
  • Flexible applicant cash contribution is required
  • Personal guarantees and collateral are required
  • Prepayment penalties may be applicable


Applicants must complete a Neighborhood BusinessWorks loan application package. Upon loan approval an applicant will receive a commitment letter from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Loan approval requires that applicants meet underwriting guidelines. Applicants must have executed the necessary legal documents prior to disbursement of the loan proceeds.​ ​
Note:​ Paper applications will no longer be accepted.​​

More Information

CONTACT: Business Lending Team
P: 301-429-7408