For over 20 years, the Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) has provided business development and lending services to the Latino and minority business community in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. LEDC is both a U.S. Department of the Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution and a Small Business Administration (SBA) micro lender with a current loan portfolio of $2.6 million and 240 small business borrowers.
Recognizing the growth of the Latino immigrant population in Baltimore City since the 2000 census and the profusion of new businesses in the Southeast corridor alone, LEDC identified an opportunity to expand its micro lending operations into Baltimore City. LEDC received a Community Development Block Grant award from Baltimore City and Abell Foundation grant support for new full-time staff positions based in Baltimore.
Since February, 2014, LEDC has based its Baltimore lending operation at offices provided at in-kind by the Southeast Community Development Corporation which also provides outreach support. LEDC expects to make at least ten business loans during each year of operation, ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 loans for the purposes of business expansion, equipment purchases and working capital. Based on prior lending experience, these businesses are expected to support 40 current employees, and create approximately 20 new jobs in the next two years.