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MDHCC SB0955 Testimony

Monday, March 26, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Budget and Taxation Committee
MDHCC SB0955 Testimony

The mission of the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MDHCC) is to promote the establishment, growth, prosperity and retention of Hispanic businesses, and those entities, and persons that support them in the State of Maryland.

Our chamber recently tasked our Government Affairs Committee to review a host of issues that impact our current and potential future members. One of the key items our Committee has identified is the need to “boldly open the availability of private capital investment for Hispanic businesses.” We believe that SB0955 would assist our communities in accessing needed capital to foster entrepreneurship and innovation.

Our membership continues to communicate that access to capital is a serious and pressing issue for minority business communities. Angel investors can play a role in our entrepreneurial community and we are learning more about how our minority community is challenged to access early-stage investments. The MDHCC recently challenged the lack of Hispanic businesses and Hispanic influencers in a Baltimore program to improve lending in underserved markets. This program sought to improve the traditional model of lending and capital access for small businesses in underserved communities, but Hispanics were not included in the pilot program. Our efforts resulted in the MDHCC being invited to participate in the program’s Steering Committee, and a speaking role at the prestigious Milken Institute’s Global Conference in a panel regarding capital access in underserved communities. We continue to support work in this important policy area.

The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supports SB0955 and encourages the Maryland General Assembly to continue supporting programs that incentivize investment in minority-owned businesses and expand industry sectors to all jurisdictions across the state.

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