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BALTIMORE (Dec. 17, 2020) – BGE announced that it is pledging $15 million to assist small businesses with COVID-19 relief and recovery. Starting in January 2021, eligible businesses located in BGE's central Maryland service area can begin applying for BGE Energizing Small Business Grants of up to $20,000 each. The grants program is a multi-year commitment and is expected to run through at least 2023. This program is part of the company's comprehensive Customer Relief and Energy Infrastructure Investment Plan, designed to help the state's businesses and residents recover from the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We recognize the vital role that small businesses play in driving the Maryland economy. Now more than ever, job creators need a boost to help lead the recovery from the pandemic's far-reaching impacts," said BGE CEO Carim Khouzami. "Our hope is that the BGE Energizing Small Business Grants will provide much-needed help to hundreds of small businesses in our community, especially historically underrepresented minority and women-owned businesses. This is part of a multi-layered plan to provide direct assistance to energy customers, area nonprofits, and government partners to help put Maryland back on its feet for the long-term, as the public health crisis begins to lift."
In addition to small business grants, BGE's comprehensive efforts to support Marylanders during the COVID-19 pandemic have included an additional $1.5 million contribution to the Fuel Fund of Maryland, $1 million in funding to county-administered business pandemic relief funds, expansion of BGE's Workforce Collaborative infrastructure academy to train approximately 600 local residents for job placement over the next three years, and extending flexible payment arrangement plans to help qualifying customers to maintain their electric and gas service. BGE and the Exelon companies in Maryland directed $1.25 million to Maryland relief organizations, including the Maryland Food Bank, United Way of Central Maryland, PCs for People, and the Baltimore Community Foundation. The Energizing Small Business Grants program and all nonprofit contributions are made using shareholder dollars and are not reflected in customer bills.
Additional details on the BGE Energizing Small Business Grants program, including application criteria and deadlines, will be announced when the program opens in January 2021 at bge.com and across BGE's social media platforms.