The amount of money loaned by the city's economic development arm more than quadrupled between 2013 and 2014, according to an audit of the Baltimore Development Corp. presented Thursday at its monthly board meeting.

The increase in lending by the quasi-public agency comes as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake emphasizes assistance to small businesses as part of her development strategy. A report released this week calls on the city to dedicate an additional $500,000 to small loans for start-up firms.

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The BDC made $577,000 in loans during the fiscal year that ended June 30, up from $130,00 in 2013. About $3.1 million was available in loan funds at the end of June.

The increased lending came with added risks: The BDC wrote off $168,487 in bad debt during the fiscal year that ended June 30, up slightly from $131,128 in 2013. After the monthly board meeting, BDC officials declined to identify the bad loans, saying they wanted to check disclosure rules first.

The BDC took in about $7.9 million in revenues in 2014, of which 81 percent came from city coffers. Federal and state funding accounted for another 10 percent.

nsherman@baltsun.com

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