The Council for Equal Business Opportunity Inc., (CEBO) began 22 years ago as a guide for minorities who sought equal access to business ownership.
Since then, CEBO has expanded its orientation to all small businesses, and not just those owned by minorities.
The organization is preparing for the challenge the 1990's in economic development under its executive director, Michael A. Gaines Sr. 39, a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic High School and the University of Maryland, College Park.
Before coming to CEBO, he spent three years at the Baltimore Economic Development Corporation, (BEDCO) the city's economic development agent. Mr. Gaines has also operated his own real estate business.
He was appointed executive director of CEBO in February.
CEBO, at 1925 N. Eutaw Place, assists small businesses to become more competitive in the market. It also helps businesses to get started. Its staff of 20 includes people with backgrounds in management, banking, real estate and business ownership.
The organization operates on funds from the Housing and Urban Development department of the federal government. It has a revolving loan fund available to existing and new businesses in the city. Loans can be used to fund working capital, to purchase fixed assets or to finance accounts receivable. A revolving fund requires that the full amount be paid in one year, but can be borrowed again.
There is a loan committee which reviews each loan application. If the application is approved, the applicant must pay CEBO one percent of the amount of the loan as a processing fee for preparing the loan package. This fee is due at settlement. CEBO also does regular management reviews with its clients.
CEBO loans about $300,000 annually to companies which agree to provide jobs to low and moderate income people.
For more information, call CEBO at 669-3400.