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Funding Options

Once you have determined the amount of financial capital required to start or grow your business, our staff will help you navigate the variety of funding options available depending on the business type and stage. 

General Resources 
For Businesses in Howard County
Specifically for Technology or Intellectual-Property (IP) Based Companies

General Resources

Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED): provides a variety of funding programs, from grants to loans to equity investments for early to established companies based in Maryland.

Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPs) Program: MIPs brings companies together with University of Maryland based researchers to accelerate the commercialization of intellectual property. Businesses from start-up to established concerns have been awarded MIPs grants to develop products, processes or training materials.

Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guaranty: While the SBA does not loan money directly, it does provide a guarantee to affiliated banks, allowing businesses without a strong credit history an opportunity to borrow money.


For Businesses in Howard County

For some small businesses, finding funding sources can be the difference between success and failure. In the past, economic development followed a formula. If a business fit into a certain category, they would be eligible for whatever funding sources were in that category. The bigger or more profitable the company, the greater the funding options. For small, unproven businesses, funding options are limited.

While the HCEDA will never lose sight of large companies looking to start, grow and relocate, it has made a commitment to support entrepreneurs and small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Supporting them takes the government, businesses and the community at large working in concert on a shared goal: helping businesses thrive so that they can create the jobs that drive our economy.

Catalyst Loan Fund: The Catalyst Fund, powered by the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA), is part of Maryland’s Video Lottery Terminal Small, Minority and Woman-Owned Business Account initiative. The fund is a locally managed source of capital used to finance start-ups and expanding businesses statewide whose projects will create permanent jobs and leverage private sector investment. Catalyst is a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) – as borrowers repay Catalyst Fund loans, the principal and interest payments are returned to the fund for lending to other businesses 
to create more jobs and investment opportunities. See more information about the Catalyst Loan Fund.

US Route 1 and US Route 40 Revitalization Loan Programs: The Route 1 and Route 40 loan programs were established to encourage businesses to improve building and site conditions along both corridors. The programs offer at or below prime rate financing through participating banks. See Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning for more information on Rt. 1. 


Specifically for Technology or Intellectual-Property (IP) Based Companies

Maryland Technology Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO): Provides seed-stage funding and working capital loans for companies based in technology or other intellectual property, especially when transferred out of a research institution.

Step By Step

Let's get your business started! This step-by-step guide will show you how.

Licensing & Permits

Certain businesses and specific activities may require a license and/or permit. Find out if your business needs a special permit to operate.