STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
February 14, 2018
ANGEL INVESTOR TAX CREDIT PROGRAM
House Ways and Means Committee
Provided by Doris Cammack-Spencer,
President and Chief Executive Officer
Southern Maryland Minority Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
The Southern Maryland Minority Chamber of Commerce (SMMCOC) represents Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) across industries in Calvert County, Charles County, St. Mary’s County and Southern Prince George’s County, Maryland. Our primary goal is to support legislation that enhances the capacity of our membership.
We see access to capital as a serious and pressing issue for minority business communities. The SMMCOC believes that angel investors specifically could play a role in the entrepreneurial community. We know that minority communities traditionally are challenged to access early-stage equity. All businesses find it challenging to garner funding from their networks. We also know that angel funds are more open than traditional venture capitalists – innovation is happening in our community but not funded by traditional measures.
The SMMCOC submits that the Maryland’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, through targeting industry sectors, will be critical in the further development of our local economy in Southern Maryland. House Bill 526 seeks to spur growth in other regions of the State, to include our region. We know that our counties lack the maturity of angel investment which exists in the rest of Maryland. Additional incentives to attract local investors from surrounding states could be valuable for our ecosystem. Deal flow is another critical aspect of providing success to an investment tax incentive. Past efforts to stimulate angel investment on the Eastern Shore has been unable to take hold for lack of good investment opportunities. However, major efforts over the past few years in advancing other aspects of our entrepreneurial ecosystem have resulted in an increased deal flow and the ability to sustain a healthy investment environment in our region.
The SMMCOC supports HB526 and encourages the Maryland General Assembly to continue to support programs that to provide additional incentive to attract and expand industry sectors to all jurisdictions across the state, in part encouraging needed investment in the rural counties of Maryland.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Membership of the Southern Maryland Minority Chamber of Commerce.