HOWARD COUNTY, MD — More than 200 Howard County businesses have received grants in the first round of funding issued by the HoCo RISE Business Relief Grant Program. Howard County officials allocated $5.7 million in CARES Act funding toward the grant program to provide financial assistance to businesses in targeted sectors that have been most impacted by the coronavirus and plan to reopen. New grants supporting local childcare businesses and the hotel industry have been established, too.
“All of us are trying to get by and move forward. I applaud those making sacrifices in the hope that we will make an impact and save lives, including Howard County small businesses. The first 203 recipients of these grants provide jobs, value and support to our community, and we want to ensure that they too are able to survive,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “These grants address immediate needs and ensure businesses have the funds, resources and support to adapt to safety and regulation changes.”
In this first round of grants, there are 85 storefront retail, 44 farms and 74 restaurants receiving funding. Unlike other local grant programs in the region that have been based on a first-come, first serve model for any business, the Howard County grants have specific targets to pinpoint small businesses as recipients.
The application window has been reopened for a limited time for the first-round of HoCo grants now through July 18 with an 11:59 p.m. deadline. Business owners can learn more information and apply online at http://www.hceda.org/c19grants/
The business grants include:
A Storefront Retail Assistance Program providing $2.7 million to locally owned small retailers and service merchants in commercial space who have been forced to close because of the governor’s non-essential business order.
An Agriculture Assistance Program providing $800,000 in total grant assistance to support local, full- or part-time farms affected by the decreased demand by local restaurants as well as a drastic decline in commodity prices.
A Restaurant Assistance Program providing $2.0 million to locally owned restaurants for support for accommodations required to reopen outdoor or indoor service and customer access.
The two new grant programs supporting the childcare and hotel sector are now open to receive applications for a $2,500 grant. The Howard County Economic Development Authority (EDA) is working directly with the department of community resources and services to direct mail the application link to more than 400 certified in-home and center-based childcare providers in the county. This program would provide $1 million to the childcare sector in Howard County. The EDA is also working directly with Visit Howard County to direct mail the application portal to the 48 accommodation providers in the county.
“Howard County’s Economic Development Authority business grants through the Cares Act have provided a lifeline to the true small businesses attempting to stay alive during the pandemic,” said Jay Winer, managing partner of Historic Savage Mill. “Historic Savage Mill and all its sole proprietor small businesses thank County Executive Ball for great communication and caring for its small businesses throughout this process. It gives us all a fighting chance to save the heart of small business in our own backyard.”
This article originally appeared on the Columbia Patch