Baltimore City Named as Finalist in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge
Thursday Jun 17th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Thursday, June 17, 2021) — Baltimore is one of 50 Champion Cities selected earlier this week as finalists in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a global innovation competition that identifies and accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These 50 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 630 applications from 99 countries, in the first-ever Global Mayors Challenge.
As a Mayors Challenge finalist, Baltimore now advances to the four-month Champion Phase of the competition. From June through October, the 50 finalist cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts. Fifteen of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.
“We are excited that Baltimore City was selected as one of 50 Champion Cities in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “The Small Business Technical Assistance Network, coordinated by the Baltimore Development Corporation, demonstrates the importance of collaboration in sustaining local businesses owned by people of color.”
Baltimore would use these funds to expand the Small Business Technical Assistance Network (TA Network), a collaboration of 19 organizations committed to inclusive economic recovery and growth. The TA Network is focused on helping Baltimore’s most vulnerable businesses gain access to capital and other aid during this recovery process from the pandemic.
These funds would enable the TA Network to continue to assist Baltimore's BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color)-owned small businesses by expanding partnership with lenders that prioritize these businesses to ultimately increase the amount of small business capital to communities of color. The proposal also seeks to significantly increase the reach of the TA Network, moving from assisting 3.5 percent of Baltimore's BIPOC-owned businesses to 20 percent.
“These 50 finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “By helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, we will have a chance to identify cutting-edge policies and programs that can allow cities to rebuild in ways that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and more just.”
“During the pandemic, businesses that had been historically left behind were the ones most adversely affected economically, and had the most difficulties in accessing aid,” said Colin Tarbert, president and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC). “By leveraging the resources of all the partners, the TA Network was able to secure partnerships with lenders to provide capital to these small businesses. With this selection by Bloomberg Philanthropies, we have the opportunity to transform this economic emergency effort into a sustainable model for ensuring entrepreneurs of color in Baltimore have access to capital to maintain and grow their businesses.”
The 50 Champion Cities submitted ideas addressing four of the most significant challenges borne of the pandemic: Economic Recovery & Inclusive Growth; Health & Wellbeing; Climate & Environment; and Good Governance & Equality. A prestigious selection committee co-chaired by Bloomberg Philanthropies board member Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO & President, Ariel Investments, and David Miliband, President & CEO, International Rescue Committee, assessed the applications to determine the Champion City finalists.
“This is always an especially exciting phase of the Mayors Challenge, helping mayors push their innovations to even greater heights," said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies. "While 15 cities will ultimately take home grand prizes, all 50 cities receive world class coaching and support to improve their ideas and their potential to improve lives."
The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge builds on the success of four previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013 and 2018), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). For more information, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.
About Baltimore Development Corporation
The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) is the economic development agency for the City of Baltimore. Our mission is to grow the city’s economy in an inclusive manner by retaining, expanding and attracting businesses and promoting investment, thereby increasing career opportunities for residents.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $600 million. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.