Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and the Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) released application instructions to access the $5.7 million in Business Relief Grants allocated to Howard County. The grants provide financial assistance to businesses in targeted sectors that have been most impacted by COVID-19 and plan to re-open. Applications will open at 7 a.m. on June 11, 2020 and close at 11:59 p.m. on June 17, 2020. To prepare for the application, please review application instructions available at http://www.hceda.org/c19grants. Grants are expected to be distributed by early July.
“This $5.7 million of relief funding will help businesses with the response and recovery from the pandemic right now,” said Ball. “As we adjust to our new normal, there will be additional costs of doing business to keep employees and customers safe. These grants address immediate needs and ensure businesses have the funds, resources, and support to adapt to these changes.”
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 re-open outdoor or indoor service and customer access.
“While this pandemic has impacted all of our businesses, these programs focus the limited resources to help sectors that have faced enormous challenges and represent a significant portion of our business community,” said Larry Twele, Howard County Economic Development Authority CEO. “This assistance to locally-owned merchants, restauranteurs, and farms will help them reopen and begin to put our residents back to work.”
“The coronavirus has significantly impacted many of our small businesses. Some industries have been affected more than others,” said Leonardo McClarty, Howard County Chamber of Commerce CEO. “The Chamber applauds the County and HCEDA for trying to help those business sectors that have been impacted the most.”
“Visit Howard County commends Howard County Executive Calvin Ball for his work in providing much-needed economic disaster relief to small retail, farm, and restaurant businesses, added Amanda Hof, Executive Director of Visit Howard County. “This assistance will help these businesses reopen and provide the tourism amenities that make Howard County an attractive place for residents and visitors alike.”