Business Innovation 2005

Navigating Small Business Grants: A Guide to HCEDA Funding Opportunities


Starting or expanding a small business can be challenging, especially when it comes to securing capital. Fortunately, the Howard County Economic Development Authority in Maryland (HCEDA) offers a range of grants to support local businesses. In this post, we’ll explore the available grants, and discuss eligibility criteria for businesses to access them. Whether you’re a tech startup, a restaurant owner, or a creative entrepreneur, there’s something here for you.

Small Businesses in Howard County, MD: The Backbone of Economic Development

Small businesses are the lifeblood of Howard County’s economy. They create jobs, invest locally, and contribute to the community’s character. These businesses foster innovation, resilience, and economic vibrancy. Whether it’s a family-owned restaurant or a tech startup, their impact extends far beyond financial metrics. And through a range of Howard County small business grants and loans programs, HCEDA extends a financial lifeline to small businesses that form the foundation of Howard County’s economic growth.

  • Catalyst Loan Fund: Fueling Innovation and Job Creation ()

The Catalyst Loan Fund, powered by HCEDA, is a valuable resource for startups and expanding businesses statewide. This Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) provides capital to finance projects that create permanent jobs and leverage private sector investment.

As borrowers repay loans, the principal and interest payments are reinvested to support other businesses. Whether you’re developing a new product, expanding your team, or upgrading facilities, the Catalyst Loan Fund can be a game-changer.


  • Maryland-based businesses
  • Projects that generate permanent jobs
  • Private sector investment leverage

Use of Funds:

  • Hiring employees
  • Purchasing equipment
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Facility improvements
  • Route 1 Property Tax Credit: Revitalizing Commercial Spaces () (…)

The Howard County Economic Development Authority encourages reinvestment in Route 1 properties through the Route 1 Property Tax Credit. If your business is adjacent to or visible from Route 1, you may qualify. Eligible improvements include both buildings and land.


Borrowers may apply the tax credit annually, equivalent to 125% of verified expenses, for up to four years. By revitalizing commercial and industrial spaces, you contribute to the community’s growth.


  • Properties with less than 15 acres along Route 1
  • Visible from the roadway

Use of Funds:

  • Renovations
  • Rehabilitation
  • Upgrades
  • TEDCO: Empowering Technology and IP-Based Companies (…)

For technology or intellectual-property (IP) based companies, the Maryland Technology Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) offers seed-stage funding and working capital loans. If your business is rooted in cutting-edge research or innovative ideas, TEDCO can be a strategic partner. Their support extends beyond financial assistance, providing mentorship and networking opportunities.


  • Technology-focused companies
  • IP-driven ventures

Use of Funds:

  • Research and development
  • Prototype development
  • Market entry

Building a Resilient Business Community

Howard County’s small business grants and loans empower entrepreneurs, foster innovation, and strengthen our local economy. Whether you’re a startup founder with a bold vision or an established business seeking growth, explore these opportunities. Remember, behind every successful business, there’s a supportive community. HCEDA’s small business financing initiatives help to continue building a resilient entrepreneurial eco system across Howard County.

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