Good Energy Boosts Local Businesses: BGE Shines a Light on Smith Co.

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Philanthropy Community

Baltimore creates itself with bright, broad strokes. It has always been a city with a thriving arts scene. Now, thanks to a BGE Energizing Small Business Grant to Creative Development Studios (CDS), doing business as Smith Co., Baltimore is thriving and vibing a bit more with a new fashion, music and lifestyle retail space.

“We are deeply grateful to be a BGE Energizing Small Business Grant recipient,” says Smith Co.’s Accessory Designer Qwishuna Smith. “The funds are instrumental in our journey to renovate our new location, Smith Company, and create an immersive and inspiring space that will redefine the fashion and music experience for our valued customers,” according to Smith.

The new storefront adds to the expanded offerings of this local Black-owned creative business. Smith Co.’s commitment to fostering creativity resonates deeply with the heartbeats of our city’s youth. That’s why they’ve consistently given back, inspiring the next generation of creatives through their enriching programs. The new store aims to extend this mission, providing students with a full-circle experience, witnessing the journey of the founders, who themselves are passionate creatives.

Their community work includes creative enrichment programs that cover a diverse range of arts and technology fields, including music production, videography, fashion and jewelry design. Through these programs they empower students K-12 and beyond with enriching STEM and arts education. This aligns with BGE’s commitment to introducing young minds to the wonders of science, the joys of creativity, and the art of problem-solving, paving the way for careers not just in the creative sphere, but also in fields like energy.

BGE congratulates to CDS’ Smith Co. for contributing to a more equitable, forward-thinking, and artistically vibrant community. We extend our heartfelt thanks for partnering with us to make this positive impact possible.

Opportunity-making is what the BGE Smart Energy Business Grants program is all about. The BGE Smart Energy Grants Program embodies BGE’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In total, 522 businesses have received Energizing Small Business Grants totaling $10.48 million since 2021. The Energizing Small Business Grants program and all nonprofit contributions are made using shareholder dollars and are not reflected in customer bills.

To be considered for a BGE Energizing Small Business Grant, applicants must be a for-profit business located within BGE’s service area; be an existing BGE electric and/or gas customer with positive BGE credit history; be in good standing (or on the way to) with the State of Maryland; have a maximum of 25 employees (full-time, part-time, contractors); have a maximum annual gross revenue of $7 million; and have a demonstrated need of funding to support business and serve customers.

You can learn more about BGE’s Energizing Small Business Grants here.