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Maryland Capital Access Program

The Maryland Capital Access Program (MD CAP) is a financing resource administered by the Department of Commerce to stimulate opportunities for small businesses that may have difficulty in obtaining business financing by establishing a Loan Reserve Program.

MD CAP encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. If you own a small business and need a loan for start-up, expansion or working capital, you may receive more favorable loan terms from a lender if your loan is enrolled in the MD CAP Loan Loss Reserve Program. This program helps communities by providing financing to small businesses that create jobs and improve the economy.

Lenders are encouraged to apply for registration so they can become positioned to assist borrowers should funding for the program become available. The application form for lenders can be found here. 

MD CAP may provide up to 100% coverage to participating lenders on losses as a result of certain loan defaults.  With MD CAP portfolio support, a lender may be more comfortable underwriting small business loans.


Participating Lenders

  • Must be a credit union, financial institution or community development financial institution;
  • Must complete the MD CAP application and become certified by Commerce as a participating MDCAP lender;
  • Must enroll a qualifying loan not more than 30 days after the date of the first disbursement of the loan; and
  • May enroll all or a portion of a qualifying loan in an amount not more than $250,000.

Qualifying Borrowers

  • Most Maryland small businesses, including nonprofit organizations, are eligible.
  • Borrower must qualify as a small business under SBA size standards;
  • Must apply to a participating lender for business financing; and
  • Have fewer than 50 employees.

Qualifying Loans

  • Must satisfy the lending criteria of the lender;
  • Have a term not exceeding ten years;
  • May be short or long term, have a fixed or variable rate of interest, and be secured or unsecured; and
  • May not exceed $250,000.


Loans for the following types of projects and activities will not be considered for enrollment:
  • Financing of passive real estate ownership.
  • Residential living facilities, e.g., multifamily or single-family housing developments, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, crisis care centers, group homes, transitional housing, and homeless shelters.
  • Adult bookstores, adult video shops, other adult entertainment facilities, check cashing facility, gambling facilities, liquor stores, massage parlors, pawn or gun shops, tanning salons, or tattoo parlors.
  • Financing for the furtherance of sectarian religious instruction.


  1. A small business applies to a participating lender. The lender underwrites and enrolls a qualifying loan (or portion of a loan).  Typical loans under this program would be those that fall slightly outside the lender's normal credit guidelines.
  2. The lender, borrower, and the Maryland Capital Access Program deposit their contributions into a reserve account. Typically, the borrower and lender make up one-half of the contribution and MD CAP matches that amount. An example would be: 2.0 percent from the lender (minimum) and 1.0 percent from the borrower, for a total of 3 percent, and a 3 percent match from the Maryland Capital Access Program, for a total of 6 percent of the original loan amount for the reserve account. The lender determines the amount of contribution within a range established by the Maryland Capital Access Program.
  3. A one-page Loan enrollment form with summary information is submitted to the Maryland Capital Access Program by the lender. There is one reserve account for each lender where all their enrolled loans are placed. In the event an early loan default, reserves may not be sufficient to cover the loss. In that case, future withdrawal from the reserve account may be made on subsequently enrolled loans, providing the remaining balance of the claim is not greater than 75 percent of the balance in the reserve account. Early loans are considered to be the first two million dollars of enrolled loans made by the lender.
  4. If a loan goes into default and the lender has performed their normal methods of collection, at the time of charge-off a lender uses a one-page form to file a claim for all or part of an enrolled loan.


  • Easy and timely loan processing for both the lender and the small business borrower.
  • Assistance to borrowers who may not be covered under other existing loan programs.
  • May be combined with other loan programs.
  • Can be used for both lines of credit and term loans.

Application for lenders can be found here. 


Authorizing statute:  CH 704, Acts of 2021