Cecil Catalyst

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What is Cecil Catalyst?
Cecil Catalyst is a low interest loan program designed provide funding to credit worthy businesses and individuals that find it difficult to obtain financing through traditional sources due to limited equity, collateral requirements, or marginal cash flow. The purpose of the Cecil Catalyst is to promote job growth and the target market is small businesses, including start-up businesses.

How can I use Cecil Catalyst funding?
Loan proceeds may be used for any legitimate business purpose approved by the Loan Review Committee to include leasehold improvements, acquisition of real property (must occupy 51% of the improvements on the subject parcel), construction, renovation and rehabilitation, machinery and equipment, and working capital (may include loan fees imposed by third party lenders).

How much can I borrow?
From as low as $5,000 up to a maximum of $75,000, however, the loan maximum may be increased by the Loan Review Committee with approval from the County Executive. Loan requests exceeding $75,000 must demonstrate a level of capitalization that meets loan underwriting standards for the type of loan.

What is the qualifying criteria for Cecil Catalyst funding?

  • Collateral & Guarantee: Loans may be unsecured or secured subject to the Loan Review Committee’s discretion. All loans require the personal guaranty of the applicant business’ principle(s)/owner(s), with the exception of limited partners in a limited liability partnership.


  • Underwriting Criteria: Applicant is required to demonstrate credit worthiness as well as an acceptable debt to income ratio that demonstrates the ability to repay the loan in full. Applications will be reviewed by a qualified underwriter selected by the Loan Review Committee.

What is the interest rate for Cecil Catalyst?
Prime Rate (as published in the Wall Street Journal on the date of the application) plus 2% fixed for up to 5 years. For loans exceeding repayment within 5 years, the interest rate will be adjusted with a new fixed interest rate based on the Prime Rate on the first day of the 59th month of the loan, plus 2% applied beginning with the 61st monthly payment.

How do I apply for Cecil Catalyst funding?

Step 1:   Contact the Office of Economic Development at 410-996-6292 or via email to discuss your project.

Step 2:  Complete the application form (add link to form) and submit it along with the required supporting documents via email to the Economic Development Manager.

Step 3:  The Loan Review Committee will review the loan application package and underwriting decision and subsequently approve or deny the loan.

Is there an application fee and what about closing costs?

There is a one-time, non-refundable loan application fee of $100 due at the time of the application submission. In addition, the applicant/borrower will be responsible for all applicable customary closing costs, including, but not limited to, title and lien searches, recordation fees, taxes, and legal fees. All fees due at time of settlement.


What happens if my application is approved?
Settlement will be scheduled and your repayment terms will be based on the use of the funding. Below outlines the uses and associated repayment terms:

  • Real Estate – 10 year maximum with 20-year amortization and balloon payment of all outstanding principal and interest at 120th month
  • Equipment – 3 to 10 years depending on the useful life of the equipment purchased
  • Working Capital – 1 year (interest only) with balloon payment of all outstanding interest and principle at 12th month with an option to extend the interest only payment  for a period of two additional 1-year periods (at the Loan Review Committee’s discretion)
  • Physical Improvements to Real Property –  5 year maximum

For more information, please contact the Office of Economic Development at 410-996-6292 or email.